Letter from the Secretary of State for
Trade and Industry to the Chairman of the Committee
I undertook to provide the Committee with further
information when I gave evidence on 31 October.
I have pleasure in enclosing a note setting
out the current position on resource productivity, including the
work DTI and others have been doing in the UK to develop more
robust indicators and set long-term goals. The forthcoming PIU
Report on Resource Productivity will be important in setting the
future agenda for this work. It will also be helpful for the UK's
contribution to further work on the EU Sustainable Develolpment
Strategy agreed at the Gothenburg Council.
The note also covers our plans to hold a seminar
to review progress and discuss the further development of DTI's
Sustainable Development Strategy. It is important that we get
the views of all our key stakeholders and I am therefore pleased
that Emma Downing, the adviser to your Committee, will be attending.
I undertook to let you have information on the
current position regarding the consultation on offshore wind generation.
The department has consulted on a "one-stop shop" offshore
developers who need to obtain a number of clearances, not just
from DTI. Following the consultation DTI, in conjunction with
DEFRA and DTLR, is preparing guidance notes for developers and
others who are unfamiliar with the consents regime. These guidance
notes have now been published in draft.
I also undertook to look into the impact of
the Marine Conservation Bill and whether guidelines are being
produced on the visual impact on the marinescape which would help
inform decisions about offshore wind development. The former is
a Private Members Bill proposed by John Randall. It does not have
any provisions concerning the visual impacts on the marinescape.
I am not aware of any specific Government guidelines
being developed relevant to protecting the visual impact of the
marinescape. However, offshore generating stations require my
consent under Section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989 and in all
cases I will need to satisfy myself that I have sufficient information
on the environmental consequences of a proposed development, including
visual impact, before taking my decision. The draft guidance referred
to above makes clear that impact in seascape and coastal character
should be covered in environmental statements submitted with consent
It would have been helpful to have had prior
notice that the Committee wished to raise DTI's responsibilities
in the planning sector, as these cover a number of detailed issues.
To assist the Committee in its deliberations, I enclose a note
setting out DTI's planning responsibilities and how, in exercising
these responsibilities, the department takes account of environmental
SELLAFIELD MOX PLANT
The Committee asked for details of the environmental
assessments that formed part of the Government's recent decision
that the manufacture of mixed oxide (MOX) fuel is justified in
accordance with the requirements of European Community law.
I refer the Committee to the Environment Agency's
proposed decision on the justification for the operation of SMP
which was published in October 1998. This document sets out in
clear terms the negligible effect that operation of the SMP will
have on radiological discharges from Sellafield. For example,
it states that the estimated annual radiological dose that even
the most exposed individual would receive from the total radioactivity
discharged annually from SMP in both gaseous and liquid form would
amount to less than one millionth of the annual dose that the
average person receives from background radiation occurring naturally
in the environment.
The document is attached as Annex 2
to the decision document published on 3 October by the Secretary
of State for Health and the Secretary of State for the Environment,
Food and Rural Affairs. It is publicly available on DEFRA's website
ECGD AND ILISU
I am pleased to enclose a copy of the ECGD's
Statement of Business Principles. The
Committee also asked for details of the two consultants commissioned
by the ECGD to undertake independent reviews of the two reports
associated with the Ilisu Dam. 
The Environment Impact Assessment Report (EIAR)
was assessed by the Environmental Resources Management Group (ERM).
The EIAR has been released and is available to the public. The
Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) was assessed by Dr Behrooz Morvandi
of Bradford University. The RAP is the property of the Turkish
authorities and cannot be made publicly available without their
consent. I am pleased to enclose the details requested by the
Committee on the consultants and their remits.
9 November 2001
2 Annex A-not included in this memoranda. Back
Annex B-not included in this memoranda. Back
Annex Ca-not included in this memoranda. Back
Annex C-not included in this memoranda. Back