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Parliamentary questions
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18 April 2019
Question for written answer P-002104-19
to the Commission
Rule 130
Jean Lambert (Verts/ALE) , Philippe Lamberts (Verts/ALE)

 Subject:  Pollution of drinking water: the Mid-Chilterns Chalk groundwater body (Thames River Basin District, UK06) and the UK's obligations under EU drinking water legislation
 Answer in writing 

The chalk aquifer south of Harefield in the London Borough of Hillingdon is the source of drinking water for 3.2 million Affinity Water customers(1).

The UK Government’s High Speed Two (HS2) project has identified heavy engineering and piling activities as having certain high-risk effects in this area. The UK is planning the bulk replacement of water supplies and the construction of additional treatment plants in the Mid Colne Valley, Hillingdon, in order to facilitate HS2 delivery(2).

Some of this work is being performed in the New Years Green Lane Landfill monitoring zone, a Contaminated Land Special Site. The London Borough of Hillingdon has obtained Environment Agency contaminated land grant funding to monitor leachate and landfill gases that pose a significant risk at this site(3).

Is the Commission aware of HS2 activities with the potential to alter the flow and concentration of pollutants in the aquifer and affect Groundwater Dependent Terrestrial Ecosystems (GWDTEs)(4)?

Can the Commission provide details of UK chemical and quantitative exemptions for the Mid-Chilterns Chalk groundwater body under the Water Framework Directive?

Do HS2 operations with the potential to harm the aquifer in the Mid Colne Valley require a UK derogation under the Drinking Water Directive or other legislation? Can the Commission give details of any such derogations?

(1)The Mid-Chilterns Chalk groundwater body is listed as ref. GB40602G601200 or GB40601G601200.
(2)Tenders Electronic Daily website, United Kingdom-Hatfield: Works for complete or part construction and civil engineering work, 2018/S 024-051738. http://ted.europa.eu/udl?uri=TED:NOTICE:51738-2018:HTML:EN:HTML&tabId=1&tabLang=en
(3)i. New Years Green Landfill, New Years Green Lane, Ickenham. Grid ref: TQ0640089000. DEFRA ID: 20001. https://ea.sharefile.com/share/view/s176dafe2f74431e9 ii. Environment Agency (UK), Contaminated Land Grants issued to Local Authorities. https://ea.sharefile.com/share/view/sb7c0ce5b62946528
(4)Wet woodland is one GWDTE habitat type that has been badly affected in the Mid Colne Valley and that should be subject to protection from increases in chemical pollutants under the Water Framework Directive and other EU legislation.

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