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Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list the public relations companies that have had contracts with (a) her Department, (b) each (i) non-departmental public body and (ii) executive agency for which her Department is responsible and (c) independent statutory bodies, organisations and bodies financially sponsored by her Department and other such organisations since May 1997. 
For the level of expenditure on these services commissioned through the Communications Directorate of Defra I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 19 December 2005, Official Report, column 2385W.
Information on contracts for each of the Department's non-departmental public bodies, executive agencies, independent statutory bodies, organisations and bodies financially sponsored by the Department is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Peter Law: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what opportunities interested institutions and individuals will have to comment on the draft radioactively contaminated land exposure assessment. 
Mr. Morley: Interested stakeholders have had two opportunities to comment on the proposals. The first, which covered the overall scope and approach of RCLEA, was held between May and June 2005. The second covering the ease with which the RCLEA methodology can be understood and applied is currently underway and is available on the Defra website.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress has been made on the reintroduction of (a) the Red Kite and (b) the Great Bustard; and what the Government's contribution to these projects has been to date. 
The Red Kite Reintroduction Programme has involved the release of 292 young red kites in four separate areas of England between 1989 and 2005. It has been a great success with breeding populations now well established in three different areas; in 2005 an estimated 385 pairs were breeding in these areas. Similar work has been carried out in Scotland as part of the same programme and breeding populations have now been established at three Scottish sites; in 2005 there were an estimated 75 breeding pairs.
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English Nature and RSPB coordinate work on the Reintroduction Programme in England, working with a range of different partners in each of the release areas. Much of the funding is provided by external partners and sources such as the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Landfill Tax Credits Scheme. English Nature has contributed approximately £20,000 per year to the programme, as well as providing considerable staff time for those involved in the work. Gateshead council has committed £250,000 over five years for the Northern Kites project. And the Forestry Commission is a key partner in two of the projects in England, providing staff time for educational work and for monitoring birds.
The Great Bustard Reintroduction Project has involved the release of 54 birds on Salisbury Plain since 2004. Of these, 27 were known to be surviving in the wild as of October last year. The fate of a further three birds was unknown (although they were assumed to be alive and living wild).
The Great Bustard Project is run by a private consortium made up of a group of dedicated enthusiasts and the University of Stirling. The Department contributed an initial £10,000, but the rest of the funding is provided by private sponsorship and from the Sustain The Plain" LEADER+ project.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what measures will be in place under the Regulation, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals Directive to monitor chemicals contained in products imported from outside the EU; and whether imported products which contain one of the substances defined by the Commission as being 'of very high concern' will be banned from sale; 
(2) what methods the European Chemicals Agency will use to determine which of the chemicals covered by the Regulation, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals Directive will need to be tested; and what input national Governments will have in this procedure; 
On 13 December 2005 the UK presidency achieved political agreement on the proposed Regulation on the Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals (REACH). Based on the agreed text, substances imported in articles (i.e. finished products) only require registration if the substances are intended to be released from articles and where they are present above one tonne. Otherwise importers need to notify the authorities only if the article contains a substance of very high concern. The agency may request the registration of any substance in an article if it poses a risk to human health or the environment. The UK Government will appoint a competent authority
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who will be responsible for the monitoring and enforcement of these provisions in conjunction with other UK bodies as appropriate.
All substances manufactured or imported into the EU above one tonne will have to register with the European Chemicals Agency. The registration of a substance involves the submission of a technical dossier of information about the chemical including a testing package. The testing requirements are outlined in Annexes IV to IX of the regulation. To avoid duplicate testing and minimise the cost to industry, sharing of animal test data is mandatory. To simplify the system, the sharing of non animal data has been made mandatory if requested by a potential registrant. Reduced registration requirements apply to substances manufactured below 10 tonnes. Only substances meeting one of the criteria in Annex Ic need to provide the full testing package outlined in Annex V of the regulation. It will be up to companies to identify whether a substance meets these criteria. A key part of the REACH proposal is that the onus is placed on industry (not the European Chemicals Agency or national Government) to identify the appropriate registration requirements and any additional testing that is required. Guidance will be available and a national help desk will be set up to assist industry in meeting these requirements. In addition, the UK competent authority could, under contract to the agency, conduct dossier evaluations to assess the testing proposals submitted.
For substances supplied in quantities over 10 tonnes, the registration package also requires the submission of a chemical safety report. This is a risk assessment in which the registrant takes into account the risk management measures required for the safe handling of the chemical. Details of these requirements are found in Annex I of the regulation.
To inform consumers and the public, basic data held by the European Chemicals Agency about a registered substance, such as its classification and labelling, the results of environmental and health impact studies and guidance on the safe use of a substance, will be made publicly available over the internet. The UK will also explore other approaches through other consumer information services such as Environment Direct.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what regulatory impact assessments the Government has commissioned for the Regulation, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals Directive; 
(2) what estimates she has made of the overall cost in the UK of implementing the Regulation, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals Directive; who will bear the costs; how she expects they will be met; and what assessment she has made of whether there will be a cost to UK industry in terms of competitiveness. 
Within the UK, the draft regulation on the Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals (REACH) was subject to a partial regulatory impact assessment in 2004 which estimated the direct cost to UK industry to be in the region of £515 million over the 11 year implementation period. A further impact assessment was carried out in 2005, which
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examined the indirect impacts for some downstream sectors. This concluded that the potential annual costs of REACH to the sectors studied were relatively low under most of the scenarios examined, with only worst case assumptions giving rise to significant costs.
One of the factors limiting the costs of REACH in the case studies is the large volume of information already available for a significant number of the bulk chemicals acting as inputs to the manufacturing process.
Across the EU, REACH has been subject to over 50 regulatory impact assessments. This includes the European Commission's extended impact assessment of October 2003, which estimated that changes made to its draft proposals could save up to €10.6 billion (around £7.5 billion). The Commission also carried out a further impact assessment in 2005 in partnership with industry, trade unions, consumer and environmental organisations.
On 13 December 2005 the UK presidency achieved political agreement on a REACH text. This includes a number of measures aimed to reduce the cost of REACH-such as 'one substance, one registration', reduced registration requirements for substances manufactured or imported in quantities less than 10 tonnes and the removal of an expensive test in the 10100 tonnage band. The UK Government will update its impact assessment to reflect the changes made in the agreed text. An updated impact assessment is expected in 2006.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate she has made of the change in the number of animals across the EU each year which will be required for animal testing when the Regulation, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals Directive comes into force; and what steps have been taken to reduce the numbers of animals required for testing via (a) alternative methods of testing and (b) data sharing. 
Mr. Morley: There have been no estimates made of the number of animals required for testing per year across the EU when the Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals (REACH) Regulation comes into force, not least since it is not possible to predict in advance the precise timing of any testing carried out by or for registrants. The total number of additional test animals needed as a consequence of the introduction of the regulation has been estimated by the Commission at £3.9 million based on the Commission's original proposal. The text of the Political Agreement of December 2005 goes further still in minimising the amount of animal testing required, for example through the incorporation of One Substance, One Regulation" (OSOR), a UK proposal with strong rules on the mandatory sharing of animal test data by companies.
The Commission's interim strategy during the implementation stages of REACH will focus on developing guidance, through REACH Implementation Projects (RIPs), on information requirements on intrinsic properties of substances, aiming in particular at developing integrated testing strategies based on
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alternative methods of testing which will allow the minimum use of test animals. The RIPs are supported by the UK in providing expertise to the RIP project teams and by funding specific research into developing alternative methods.
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