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Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research she has sponsored into the effects of oil leakage on land on (a) sources of drinking water, (b) soil conditions and (c) welfare of wildlife. 
Mr. Morley: Defra has not sponsored any research directly in these areas. However, the Environment Agency, a Defra-sponsored non-departmental public body, has undertaken a number of research projects that have considered the impact and attenuation of oil spills on soil and groundwater. In particular:
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what action her Department takes against site operators not carrying out a risk assessment at a petrol station as required by her Department's code; 
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(2) what action her Department takes against site operators declining or omitting to carry out a risk assessment at a petrol station as required by the DSEAR code; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: The Environment Agency has powers under the Groundwater Regulations 1998 to serve a notice to prohibit, or make subject to conditions, activities, such as operating a petrol station, which might put groundwater at risk. Failure to follow the Groundwater Protection Code, including the provisions on risk assessments, is not an offence in itself but shall be considered, along with individual site circumstances, by the Agency when deciding whether to serve a notice. The Agency will often, particularly where it perceives risks to be low, seek to address issues through dialogue before using these notice powers.
The Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (DSEAR) are the responsibility of the Health and Safety Executive. Enforcement of DSEAR at petrol filling stations is undertaken by the local Petroleum Licensing Authority (PLA). Regulation 5(1) requires that where a dangerous substance is present at the workplace, the employer should make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks. Should the PLA discover that such a risk assessment has not been undertaken, then the full range of regulatory action is available to the enforcing officer, ranging from a verbal request to undertake a risk assessment to, ultimately, prosecution.
Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list the people working within her Department on secondment from the private sector, broken down by (a) the organisation or industry they came from and (b) the policy responsibilities they have been given. 
Alun Michael: The following annex details the secondees from the private sector currently working in this Department, the organisation they came from and the policy responsibilities they have been given.
The term secondee" refers to a person borrowed" from an organisation outside the civil service for a period of between three months and three years (exceptionally five years), without affecting employment status. During the secondment period the secondee remains an employee of the parent organisation but is expected to abide by the Defra Staff Handbook and the Official Secrets Act. Secondees are expected to undertake the full range of duties attached to the post. At the end of the secondment the secondee normally returns to the parent organisation.
|Name||Parent organisation||Defra unit/division||Policy responsibilities|
|Sarah Perry||FUTERRA Sustainability Communications Ltd.||Sustainable Development||Building Sustainable Development Capacity|
|Fay Blair||Global to Local||Sustainable Development||None|
|Sue Nowak||Water UK||Better Regulation||Implementing the 54 recommendations from Defra's Regulation Task Force report|
|Richard Chalk||Royal Bank Of Scotland Group||Improvement and Delivery GroupCorporate Development Team||None|
|Nick Starkey||National Farmers Union||OFIC Crops for Industry||Development of sustainable non food uses of crops other than energy|
|Alison Pridmore||Capita Symonds||Sustainable Development||None|
|Bill Senior||BP||GAS||Climate Change activity|
|John Enright||London Remade||WS Waste Implementation Programme||None|
|Steven Marshall||Scottish Power||Sustainable EnergySEP3 International||Energy Efficiency Innovation Review and REEEP Initiative|
|Paul Turner||Northumbrian Water||Water Supply and Regulation||None|
|Kate Hampton||Climate Change Capital||Global Atmosphere||Future International action to prevent climate change|
|Phil Cutts||SERCO Group plc||Rural Development Service||None|
|Nader Bahri||Powergen||Sustainable Energy||Combined Heat and Power|
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list the groups (a) supportive of shooting, (b) critical of shooting and (c) neutral on shooting interviewed by her Department's consultants working on the review of game laws and licences. 
Alun Michael: A consultant has been engaged by Defra to undertake a preliminary review of the game licensing system with the specific aim of gathering information to help inform any public consultation. To date, the groups that have been contacted include:
The groups were not asked whether they would characterise themselves crudely as for" or against" shooting. Our purpose in consulting them is to ensure that a range of expertise, experience and views are taken into account as we consider how to review and update the game licensing provisions.
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Mark Tami: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research has been carried out into the likelihood of the UK being struck by a tidal wave in the foreseeable future. 
Mr. Morley: We are aware of some research that has been carried out by The British Geological Survey and others, including specific work at the Benfield Hazard Research Centre at University College, London into the possibility of tsunami-type events originating in the Canary Islands. Most assessments have suggested that such events have a very low probability but they clearly cannot be completely ruled out.
Mr. Morley: Contingency plans at the local, regional and national levels for flooding from rivers or the sea and caused by tide and weather events are already in place. In the light of recent events, and subject to current investigations being led by the Office of Science and Technology, we plan to commission a short-term expert overview of the chances of a tsunami-type event affecting coastal areas of the UK. This will provide information on the likelihood of such events impacting on the UK, possible consequences and the potential for effective preparation and warning.
Mark Tami: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment has been made of (a) which areas of the UK are likely to be affected and (b) the scale of likely damage which would be caused by a tidal wave. 
Mr. Morley: The precise scale of likely damage which could be caused by a tsunami type wave is difficult to predict as this would depend on both size and origin. However, the flood maps published on the internet by the Environment Agency now show the potential extent of an extreme flood (estimated at a 0.1 per cent. or 1 in 1,000 annual probability) for all coastal areas of England. While this was never intended to cover tsunami-type events, these maps are clearly indicative of the areas most at risk in such an occurrence. Assessments of such risks for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are matters for the devolved Administrations. However, the Environment Agency Flood maps also cover Wales.
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