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British Farm Produce

Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much of the (a) bread-making wheat, (b) butter, (c) cheese and (d) beef consumed in the United Kingdom between 2000 and 2004 was produced by British farmers. [46187]

Mr. Bradshaw: The amount of produce available for consumption in the United Kingdom is measured by its total new supply. The following tables show production in the United Kingdom as a proportion of total new supply.
UK production as a proportion of total new supply


(23) Provisional

Information specifically on the amount of bread-making wheat consumed in the United Kingdom that was produced by British farmers is not available. However, available data show that the following proportion of home grown wheat was used by United Kingdom millers:
UK proportion of home grown wheat used by millers in the UK


The data include wheat milled to produce bread, biscuits, other food ingredients and starch, where production of flour for bread making was typically around 60 per cent. of the total flour produced over this time period. No data are yet available for 2005.

Buncefield Oil Depot

Mr. Holloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans her Department has to track and evaluate the ongoing environmental effects of the recent oil refinery explosion in Hertfordshire. [39522]

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what environmental studies have been undertaken by her Department in Hemel Hempstead to assess the consequences of the Buncefield oil depot fire and subsequent explosion. [47823]

Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer 2 February 2006]: The main environmental consequences of concern relate to possible contamination of surface and ground waters, safety of drinking water supplies and gaseous and particulate emissions to the atmosphere.
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Efforts to contain contaminated water and fuel were largely successful; firewater on the site has now been removed and is stored in secure off-site storage tanks. The site is still under the control of the Health and Safety Executive and Police and a detailed site investigation is under way. Drinking water sources in the surrounding area continue to be monitored and to date have shown no impacts attributable to the Buncefield incident.

Recent investigations have revealed that a road drain immediately to the north of the site contains a borehole extending into the underlying strata that contains a black liquid, which is currently being analysed. The Environment Agency will continue to monitor the situation and work with the Drinking Water Inspectorate, local water companies, the Health Protection Agency, the site operators and other relevant bodies to carry out these investigations and develop any remedial action necessary. Three Valleys Water have been informed of these findings, but the company is not currently abstracting from the nearby boreholes. More information, results from analysis and further sampling will be needed before the EA can clarify the extent of any groundwater pollution.

Regarding emissions to air, the main air pollutants of concern from hydrocarbon fuel fires are emitted as particulate matter especially those particles of respirable size (referred to as PM10), and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, measured as benzo(a) pyrene. In the very high temperatures of the fire (3000oC) however all organic chemicals will be completely destroyed. There is the possibility that in the cooler margins of the fire and during the relatively short period at the end of the fire, some of the products of incomplete combustion at the lower temperatures may be hazardous.

Monitoring undertaken close to the fire when the fire brigade began to attack the blaze did pick up elevated areas of particulates and of hydrocarbon solvents for a short period but this was foreseen and, provided that the warnings given beforehand were complied with, no public health effects are envisaged. None of the data from later air monitoring indicated any values that were outside the normal range of ambient air levels.

There is no ongoing risk to air quality from the Buncefield fire as the pollutants have been widely dispersed through the atmosphere and, in general, have had no discernable impact on background levels of pollution. The following exceptions were consistent with the footprint of the plume and may have been associated with its descent to ground level. On the evening of Sunday 11 and early in the morning of Monday 12 December, monitoring sites in parts of east Surrey and Sussex detected PM 1 0 particulate concentrations reaching 'moderate' levels in Horsham and Lewes. Monitoring sites in north London and St. Albans also showed slightly elevated concentrations, but remained in the 'low' air pollution band.

On the evening of Tuesday 13, PM 1 0 particulate was detected at the Barnet 2 background sites and on the morning of Wednesday 14, PM 1 0 particulate was detected at the Watford 1 site. In both cases concentrations remained 'low'.
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Throughout the period of the fire 'moderate' PM 1 0 particulate was measured at several roadside sites in London. This was due to road transport sources and was not directly related to the smoke from the oil depot fire. 'Moderate' PM 1 0 concentrations at the Chichester 1 site were due to nearby road resurfacing.

Levels of pollution in the UK during the course of the fire were therefore within the normal range of ambient air levels at each location, and are not considered exceptional.

A report of the supplementary air quality monitoring carried out by Defra at the time of the fire is currently in preparation and is planned for publication in March 2006. The Health Protection Agency is currently carrying out an assessment of the impacts on human health of the Buncefield fire. There have been no substantive immediate health effects reported from the areas affected by the fire and plume. A multi-agency surveillance steering group, chaired by the Health Protection Agency, is working on projects to assess whether any long-term effects (physical, psychological and toxic) might occur and work-streams are proceeding.

Regarding emissions of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, I refer the hon. Member to the Minister of State for Environment's reply to a Question from the hon. Member for Lewes (Norman Baker), published in on 9 January 2006, Official Report, column 10W.

Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many (a) fixed penalty notices have been issued and (b) successful prosecutions have been brought in Tamworth constituency under each section of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 that has been brought into force to date. [48652]

Mr. Bradshaw: The fixed penalty provisions contained in the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 will not be commenced until April this year. Figures for this coming fiscal year will be available in June 2007.

Climate Change

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what projections she has made regarding UK carbon dioxide figures for each year until 2010; [48019]

(2) what projections she made regarding UK carbon dioxide figures for 2005. [48141]

Mr. Morley: Final UK greenhouse gas emissions for 1990 to 2004 were published by Defra on 23 January 2006. Net carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) emissions (ie emissions from sources minus removals by sinks) were 152.5 million tonnes of carbon equivalent (MtC) for 2004. Provisional estimates of UK CO 2 emissions for 2005 are due to be published by Defra and DTI on 30 March 2006.

The headline figures from the most recent CO 2 emissions projections for 2010 were published in the Government's Energy Review consultation paper, Our Energy Challenge: securing clean, affordable energy for the long term", on 23 January 2006. These show that,
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based on current measures only, CO 2 emissions are projected to be 144.2 MtC in 2010. The revised Climate Change Programme, which we will publish shortly, will contain additional measures to reduce further our CO 2 emissions.

Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she expects to reach agreement with the heat treatment sector on eligibility for climate change levy exemption; and if she will make a statement. [47516]

Mr. Morley: Regulations to enact the new eligibility criteria under which the heat treatment sector is able to enter into the Climate Change Agreements came into force on Saturday 21 January 2006. The heat treatment sector's Climate Change Umbrella Agreement was signed on Monday 23 January 2006. On the same day, most of the individual facilities' underlying Climate Change Agreements were also signed and their details notified to HM Revenue and Customs for entry on to their website. This gives access to the 80 per cent. discount from the Climate Change Levy to which these facilities are now entitled. Applications for five heat treatment companies were incomplete. We expect to be able to sign these agreements this week.

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the progress of the Climate Change Programme Review. [48002]

Mr. Morley: We are aiming to publish the revised UK Climate Change Programme as soon as possible this year.

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations she has made to other Government Departments regarding the Climate Change Programme review; and what response has been received. [48006]

Mr. Morley: We have been working closely with other Government Departments throughout the Climate Change Programme review. We are aiming to publish the outcomes of this work in the revised UK Climate Change Programme as soon as possible this year.

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what assessment she has made of the steps which need to be taken on an annual basis in order to meet long-term carbon reduction targets up to 2050; [48003]

(2) what measures have been taken to ensure that Government long-term targets on climate change meet emission reduction pathways. [48004]

Mr. Morley: The Government recognise that atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases depend on the amounts emitted, so emissions reduction pathways are as important as the targets themselves.

The Energy White Paper said we would put ourselves on a path to cut the UK's carbon dioxide emissions by some 60 per cent. by about 2050, with real progress by 2020. To achieve the 2050 target we would need to reduce emissions by, on average, about 2 MtC a year. However, some annual fluctuation in emissions is inevitable due to uncontrollable factors such as the weather. The first commitment period of the Kyoto
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Protocol, for example, is for five years rather than a single target year to smooth out annual fluctuations in emissions.

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations she has received regarding climate change targets based on 550 parts per million; and if she will make a statement. [48005]

Mr. Morley: Various representations on the issues of future action on climate change and stabilisation levels have been received by the Department. The EU, including the UK, has set as an objective to keep global temperatures from rising by more than two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The EU Environment Council in March 2005 noted that in order to have a reasonable chance to limit global warming to no more than two degrees Celsius, stabilisation of concentrations well below 550 parts per million CO 2 equivalent may be needed.

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