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Mr. Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on commercial peat extraction, with particular reference to Cumbria; which areas have been confirmed under special protection status over the past 12 months; and which areas are being considered for special protection status. 
Jim Knight: In the last 12 months no additional Cumbrian areas, being worked for peat, have been selected as Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) under the EC Habitats Directive. Two such areas, Solway Moss and Bolton Fell Moss, are currently under consideration for SAC status.
Mr. Morley: With respect to representations made regarding the Royal Commission's study into Bystander Exposure to Pesticides; Defra officials have provided written and oral briefing, answered specific questions raised by the Royal Commission and commented factually on the draft report.
The Government's response to The Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution's 24th, Chemicals in Products, Safeguarding the Environment and Human Health" was presented to Parliament by the Secretary of State in August 2004.
Mr. Austin Mitchell:
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list companies fined for pollution incidents in each of the
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past five years, broken down by amount of fine; how many were fined more than once in that period; and what steps are taken to combat repeat offences. 
Mr. Bradshaw: A list of all companies convicted of and fined for pollution offences by the Environment Agency (the Agency") in the calendar years 2000 to 2004 will be made available in the Library of the House.
A list of successful prosecutions by local authorities from 200102 to 200304 will also be made available in the Library of the House. It is a matter for the individual local authorities to decide what steps to take regarding repeat offenders. The Local Government Association is a signatory to the Cabinet Office Enforcement Concordat.
The Department is still collecting the data for successful prosecutions by local authorities in the year 200405, which will be published on the departmental website in December as part of the annual statistical report on the local authority pollution control systems.
Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of whether all the potatoes identified as being infected with ring rot in this country were processed in the same grading station in Holland. 
[holding answer 11 July 2005]: A revised final potato ring rot report was published on 26 April this year which included new information arising from investigations by the Netherlands Plant Protection Service suggesting there may have been cross contamination of a number of stocks at a Dutch processing facility between December 2002 and March
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2003. As the report explains, previous generations of the stocks from which infected potatoes in the UK outbreaks derived were processed at the facility concerned during the period in question, as were four stocks of different varieties which resulted in outbreaks in the Netherlands in 2004. Despite this common link, the resulting investigation in the Netherlands, which included enhanced testing of remaining stocks, has not identified the original source of infection, The report is available at http://www.defra.gov.uk/planth/ring/repfinal.htm.
Mr. Clegg: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what percentage of (a) domestic, (b) commercial and (c) industrial refuse was recycled in (i) Sheffield and (ii) in the latest year for which figures are available. 
|(a) Household||(b) Commercial||(c) Industrial|
|England and Wales||||23.9||44.1|
Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions she has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on steps to minimise increases in red diesel costs for the fishing and marine industries. 
Mr. Bradshaw: None. Marine diesel is already exempt from excise duty. However my officials are meeting representatives of the fishing industry to discuss the increase in fuel prices and how the industry can respond.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what percentage of the length of rivers in England and Wales was accessible to the public in (a) 1997 and (b) 2004. 
According to the feasibility study Improving Access for Canoeing on Inland Waters: A Study of the Feasibility of Access Agreements",
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published in May 2004 the lengths of water for canoeing on canals, rivers with public navigation rights and rivers with formal access agreements in England total over 5,000 km (34 per cent. of the major river and canal network). We do not hold figures for 1997.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions she has had with (a) the Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport, (b) the British Canoe Union and (c) others on improving the accessibility of rivers in England and Wales to the public. 
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