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11 Dec 2003 : Column 541W—continued

Chemical Solvents

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what controls apply to the use of chemical solvents as substitute fuels in cement kilns; and what monitoring takes place of emissions which might reasonably be expected to derive from such use. [142345]

Mr. Bradshaw: The use of solvents as substitute fuel in a cement kiln requires a permit from the Environment Agency. The permit contains conditions specific to the cement kiln which include:

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Permits require the continuous monitoring of the following parameters:

Permits require the periodic monitoring of the following parameters:

Each of the above controls including monitoring requirements is considered in detail in the "Substitute Fuels Protocol"—Environment Agency guidance for managing substitute fuel trials on cement and lime kilns.


Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many litres of milk were produced in the UK in each of the last 10 years; and what the national quota was in each of those years. [141566]

Mr. Bradshaw: The following table gives the total amounts of quota allocated to the UK for the period 1994–95 to 2002–03 and the amount of milk produced in each of these years.

Million litres

Quota yearQuota allocationAmount produced

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North Norfolk Coast

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on her Department's strategy for the stretch of coastline from Happisburgh to Winterton in North Norfolk; and what the cost of implementing this strategy is. [141989]

Mr. Morley: Development and implementation of options for defending against flooding and coastal erosion is the responsibility of the flood and coastal defence operating authorities—the Environment Agency, local authorities and, in areas with special drainage needs, internal drainage boards.

The Environment Agency is responsible for a 14 kilometre length of sea defences from south of Happisburgh village to Winterton-on-Sea. This coastline has a long history of erosion and breaching of the defences, causing flooding of a large low-lying hinterland, extending into the Norfolk Broads area.

Defra agreed the Agency's current sea defence strategy for this frontage which recommends maintaining the existing system of sea defence structures by implementing a programme of beach recharge and groyne replacement. The estimated cost of this strategy is now £60 million, if continued over the next 50 years.

This strategy accords with the 'Hold the Line' defence policy recommended in the current Shoreline Management Plan. This plan is currently being reviewed.

Pet Pig Walking Licences

Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the veterinary resources required to administer the pet pig walking licence scheme. [143634]

Mr. Bradshaw: Pet Pig walking licences are issued as routine work by Defra Local Animal Health Divisional Offices. They allow Defra to minimise the risk of disease spreading from pet pigs to commercial herds. No central record is maintained. To obtain details of the licences issued would result in disproportionate costs.

Countryside and Rights of Way Act

Brian White: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the total cost is of completing the mapping stage of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, broken down by (a) year, (b) central government and (c) local government. [143015]

Alun Michael: By the end of October 2003, the Countryside Agency and the Planning Inspectorate had spent a total of £22.7 million on implementing Part I of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000. This figure includes expenditure of £2.5 million in 2000–01; £3.4 million in 2001–02; £9.1 million in 2002–03 and £7.7 million in 2003–04. As well as the costs of mapping work completed, whether or not yet invoiced, it covers other costs arising from Part 1 of the Act, such as appeals, restrictions and publicity, and it includes staff costs.

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It is not possible to give accurate figures for the remainder of the mapping exercise because there are still large external factors to be taken into account. These include the number of comments received on draft maps and the number of appeals. These variables could have a large impact on the final costs of the mapping exercise.

The figures relate to England. Information on mapping in Wales is a matter for the National Assembly for Wales. Local government is not involved in the mapping stage.

Cement Kilns

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she takes to ensure that materials agreed as suitable for fuel under the Environment Agency's Substitute Fuels Protocol in practice result in no net detriment to the environment; what formula is applied to consider relative gains against relative losses in environmental impact; and if she will make a statement. [142347]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Substitute Fuels Protocol is based on the premise that it is necessary for an operator proposing to use substitute fuel(s) to undertake a programme of rigorous trials, in order to establish scientifically the facts about the possible environmental impacts of its proposals on the area around the site in question. The results of such trials ensure that the Environment Agency is able to make sound judgments as to whether or not the permanent use of substitute fuel(s) should be permitted and, if so, under what conditions.

For applications to allow the use of substitute fuel(s), the Environment Agency ensures that the change will not produce any net detriment to the environment.

The methodology for making this assessment is entitled "H1: Environmental Assessment and Appraisal of BAT" published by the Environment Agency. This methodology enables different operating scenarios to be compared for emissions to all media.

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what analysis is carried out to determine the impact on emissions from cement kilns of (a) particulate matter and (b) complex chemical compounds from the switch from fossil based fuels to substitute fuels, with particular reference to hazardous waste. [142348]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Environment Agency requires operators to conduct a comparative environmental assessment of process emissions, including particulate matter and complex chemical compounds such as dioxins and furans, when plant operation is switched from burning fossil fuels to substitute fuels, such as hazardous wastes.

Particulate matter is continuously monitored irrespective of the operating scenario.

Complex chemical compounds such as dioxins and furans monitored using extractive techniques. Other compounds may be specified based on an assessment of the fuel composition and trial data. In addition, irrespective of the fuel composition, carbon monoxide and volatile organic carbon emissions are continuously monitored as they are both considered a good surrogate

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for monitoring efficient combustion. The operational criteria specified for hazardous waste combustion (temperature greater than 1100oC and residence time at least two seconds) are exceeded in cement kilns thus ensuring destruction of complex chemical compounds.

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