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High Speed 2 Line: Rivers

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 67275, tabled on 1 November 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of construction work related to HS2 on England’s chalk streams.

Answered on

9 November 2021

The Environment Agency (EA) has given approval to High Speed Two (HS2) Ltd to complete a number of construction activities in the Chilterns (including tunnelling) under Schedule 33 of the High Speed Rail (London – West Midlands) Act 2017.

The EA determines applications on a technical basis using information and data to inform judgements. This process ensures that the applicant has identified and assessed any potential impacts on the water environment and ecology along the route of HS2. Any approval issued must contain appropriate conditions to protect against these impacts.

HS2 Ltd has been doing baseline monitoring of ground and surface water along the route of HS2 since 2017. This data supplements the long-term monitoring done by the EA and its contractors. HS2 monitoring will continue during and post-construction.

The EA will continue to work with HS2 Ltd and its contractors to ensure they comply with the approval conditions and that all risks to the environment continue to be minimised. The EA has regulatory powers of enforcement to use if necessary.