Government backs minewater pollution prevention

Energy Minister John Battle has announced that the Coal Authority will give a high priority to preventing polluting minewater from recently abandoned mines reaching sensitive watercourses, as well as dealing - as now - with pollution that has already occurred from long-abandoned mines.

Funding for the Authority’s minewater programme will be separated to ensure that the programme was not disrupted by other demands on the Authority’s budget. Mr Battle set out the Government’s commitment to a broader approach to addressing the problem of minewater pollution following a policy review.
In a written answer to a Parliamentary Question from John Grogan MP (Selby), Mr Battle said: “The Government has reviewed its policy on water pollution from abandoned coal-mines. I have written to the Chairman of the Authority setting out my views, and my commitment to the Authority’s programme of preventing and treating significant water pollution from long-abandoned mines.

“The Authority should also give a high priority to carrying out appropriate research, monitoring and preventative work and early treatment into pollution from more recently abandoned mines. These activities will be carried out in close collaboration with the Environment Agency and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency. The Coal Authority will have a separate minewater budget within its Grant-in-Aid to ensure that the Authority’s other activities do not adversely affect its minewater programme, and that any emergencies can be dealt with”.

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