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High Speed 2 Line: Colne Valley

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN HL15724, tabled on 14 May 2019

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of whether HS2 is compliant with the obligations of the EU Water Frameworks Directive in regards to its activity at Colne Valley; whether a risk assessment of drilling in that area has been undertaken; what assessment they have made of the impact of any such drilling on contamination of the watercourse; and what discussions they have had with HS2 about the possible risks posed by such drilling.

Answered on

24 May 2019

The Environment Agency (EA) continues to discuss the assessment of the potential impacts of the High Speed Two (HS2) scheme on European Water Framework Directive (WFD) status with High Speed Two Ltd (HS2 Ltd) and its contractors for the Colne Valley.

HS2 Ltd is producing a report about the impacts of the main construction works. Where the EA has issued approvals for enabling and investigation works, it has made sure that HS2 Ltd has assessed the WFD requirements.

HS2 Ltd has a Code of Construction Practice which requires its contractors to work in accordance with British Standards ‘Investigation of potentially contaminated sites’ (BS 10175:2011) and ‘Code of practice for ground investigations’ (BS 5930:2015). By following the practices set out in this guidance, drilling would not cause contamination or further mobilise any contamination already present in the ground.

The EA is working with HS2 Ltd to secure the protection of water bodies in the Colne Valley and also advises HS2 Ltd in relation to any potential environmental risks associated with the proposed construction.