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Mr. Bennett: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what progress has been made in ensuring that CFCs are not used in the air cooling systems of properties owned or occupied by the Government or Government agencies since October 1992; 
Mr. Clappison: Government Departments have had green housekeeping strategies in place since 1992, which include restrictions on the purchase and use of CFCs in air cooling systems and other applications. There is no record covering the Government estate as a whole; Departments take responsibility for implementing and monitoring their own strategies. My Department's policy is to continue to ensure that no products containing CFCs
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or other ozone-depleting substances are purchased, and appropriate advice has been issued to our property managers, suppliers and contractors. The Department is studying the use of ozone-friendly hydrocarbon refrigerants in smaller air conditioning units.
Mr. Clappison: The Secretary of State has no plans to change regulations concerning emissions of radioactive material or waste. Discharges of radioactive substances are regulated by the Environment Agency under the Radioactive Substances Act 1993 (as amended).
Mr. Clappison: Monitoring levels of radioactivity in the environment is the responsibility of the nuclear operators; the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and the Environment Agency also carry out routine monitoring. The most recent MAFF monitoring report, "Radioactivity in Food and the Environment", is being published today by my right hon. and learned friend the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.
Ms Ruddock: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what discussions his Department has had with (a) Directorate-General XI and (b) other departments of the European Commission regarding discharges of technetium 99 from Sellafield; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Clappison: Officials in my Department have discussions with the European Commission from time to time on various matters relating to radioactivity. These discussions have encompassed consideration of discharges from Sellafield, including discharges of technetium-99.
The latest monitoring report, "Radioactivity in Food and the Environment", addressing levels of radioactivity in both the terrestrial and marine environment, is being published today by my right hon. and learned Friend the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. Discharges of radioactive wastes from sites including Sellafield are strictly regulated by the Environment Agency to ensure that such discharges pose no unacceptable risks to members of the public in the UK or elsewhere. The UK remains committed to meeting all of its international obligations.
Ms Ruddock: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when an environmental appraisal was produced using the guidance contained in his Department's guide "Policy Appraisal and the Environment" for the Local Government and Rating Bill; and if he will place a copy in the Library. 
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Mr. Clappison: The Local Government and Rating Bill takes forward commitments from the rural White Papers published in 1995 and 1996. Environmental considerations were a fundamental part of the preparation of the White Papers and each included specific sections on the importance of the rural environment.
As regards the Bill's provisions, the business rate relief scheme will promote the viability of village shops and other rural businesses which should help to encourage people to use their local facilities and enable them to travel shorter distances to shop. The community transport provisions should help to reduce dependence on use of the car by assisting the development of alternative means of meeting rural transport needs. The other provisions within the Bill have little or no environmental impact.
Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what regulations his Department proposes to repeal by the end of 1996; if he proposes to conduct a compliance cost assessment on each regulation repealed; and what is the estimated cost of undertaking a compliance cost assessment to determine the advantages or disadvantages of such a repeal. 
Since the effect in each case will be to reduce rather than increase compliance costs, a CCA is not required. The cost of undertaking a CCA varies from case to case but is generally modest. Because part of the cost falls on the businesses consulted, a full CCA would be inappropriate for measures designed to reduce business burdens.
Mr. Dykes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what estimate his Department has made of the cost of introducing an identification system for domestic dogs and cats; and what assessment he has made of the feasibility of introducing such a scheme. 
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Mr. Clappison: Under the Control of Dogs Order 1992, dogs, other than certain types of working dogs, must wear a collar and identification when in a public place. The Government have no plans either to change this requirement or to introduce any general requirements for the identification of dogs and cats.
Mr. Clapham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many planning applications were made in the United Kingdom for opencast coal mining sites in the last year for which figures are available; and how many of these (a) were rejected at the initial stage, (b) went to appeal and (c) succeeded at appeal. 
Sir Paul Beresford: Information concerning planning applications for opencast coal mining is not held centrally. Statistics are published annually for the County Planning Officers Society by Durham county council. Four appeals were lodged in England in 1995, of which one has been allowed and one dismissed. Two appeals have yet to be determined. Information relating to appeals in Scotland and Wales is a matter for my right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for Scotland and for Wales.
Ms Armstrong: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what is the standard spending assessment reduction grant and police standard spending assessment reduction grant paid to each local authority and police authority in 1996-97; and for each authority, what is that grant as a proportion of (a) band D equivalent dwellings and (b) chargeable dwellings, as used for council tax setting in 1996-97; 
Ms Armstrong: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what changes to the standard spending assessment formula methodology he is assessing for implementation in 1997-98; and for each individual option what is its potential financial impact on each class of local authority in England expressed (a) as the net change in its SSA and (b) as the net change in its SSA divided by (i) the aggregate number of band D equivalent dwellings and (ii) chargeable dwellings, as used for council tax setting in 1996-97, for that class of authority; 
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Sir Paul Beresford: The report of this year's discussions between local and central government on possible changes to the methodology of the SSA formulae has been placed in the Library. The report describes each of the possible changes and gives an estimate of its effect on the SSA of each authority and each class of authority. Tables expressing these estimated changes in terms of the number of band D equivalent dwellings and the number of chargeable dwellings have also been placed in the Library.
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