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High Speed 2 Railway Line: Construction

Question for Department for Transport

UIN HL11684, tabled on 30 December 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of any damage caused by the construction of Phase 1 of HS2 on chalk aquifers; and what estimate they have made of the costs related to any such damage.

Answered on

12 January 2021

Where construction activities occur within a chalk aquifer, or any other designated aquifer, HS2 Ltd works closely with the Environment Agency and relevant third parties to ensure that any risks are identified and that the design and delivery of the scheme causes no damage to the aquifer. The Environment Agency, as the regulatory body responsible for managing groundwater resources, will not provide the necessary approvals for work to commence until it is satisfied that there will be no detrimental impact to the aquifer.

In order to provide all necessary protections and to mitigate identified risks, HS2 Ltd has produced comprehensive and detailed risk assessments for its activities which affect aquifers. The HS2 project is funded to ensure that works can progress with minimal impact on the water environment and no interruption to the continued provision of high-quality drinking water from aquifers. Protective measures include the selection of the cleanest tunnelling technologies and the enhancement of water treatment and supply capabilities.