Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 30th April 2002.

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Photo of Dr Jenny Tonge Dr Jenny Tonge Liberal Democrat, Richmond Park

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

(1) what recent discussions she has had with BAA regarding the prevention of water pollution from water draining from the proposed new terminal at Heathrow;

(2) what recent discussions she has had with the Environment Agency regarding the cleanliness of water in the three holding reservoirs draining Heathrow airport; and when tests were last carried out;

(3) what recent discussions she has had regarding the adequacy of the Mayfield Farm reedbed system to clean water draining from Heathrow airport.

Photo of Michael Meacher Michael Meacher Minister (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Environment)

No recent discussions have been held. Surface water drainage and pollution control measures were considered at the Terminal 5 public inquiry and in the Inspector's report. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions' decision to approve the development of Terminal 5 and his reasons were set out in full in his decision letter of 20 November 2001.

The Environment Agency, as environmental regulator, will consider detailed plans for drainage from the site, including the holding reservoirs and capacity at Mayfield Farm sewage treatment works, when they are submitted by the British Airports Authority to the London borough of Hillingdon in due course. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State's decision letter required that:

"Development pursuant to this permission shall not begin on any part of the site until a scheme for the disposal of surface water has been submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority in respect of that part." The condition specifies certain aspects to be included in the scheme, including the disposal of run-off contaminated by substances used for de-icing.

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