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Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether the council tax discounts in her Department's energy saving scheme are financed by (a) central Government and (b) local authorities. 
This Department does not offer council tax discounts through any energy efficiency scheme. British Gas have recently announced a consumer
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incentive scheme, in partnership with local authorities, which includes council tax discounts. This scheme is carried out as part of its energy efficiency activity to deliver its targets under the Energy Efficiency Commitment.
Mr. Gummer: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of expenditure by (a) the Environment Agency and (b) other operating authorities in each year since 200304 was spent on the maintenance of tidal river and coastal defences (a) in England, (b) in the Anglian region and (c) on the Suffolk coast including the Stour and Orwell. 
Mr. Morley: The information is as follows:
The Environment Agency's expenditure on maintenance and operation of tidal river and coastal defences as a percentage of total overall spend on all flood risk management activities nationally (maintenance, capital improvement, flood warning etc) is:
|Environment Agency Anglian region||1.9||1.9||1.9|
Councils' expenditure on flood defence and coast protection, including maintenance work, is included in annual returns to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister who in turn support such expenditure. Councils' flood defence expenditure is not differentiated between coastal and inland waters but is likely to be predominantly spent on inland waters. The following table therefore relates to local authorities' own spend" data on coast protection i.e. works against erosion or encroachment by the sea as compared with the total of this own spend" plus any expenditure notified to DEFRA by the councils in regular returns of spend on DEFRA grant-aided coastal capital improvement projects.
|Environment Agency Anglian Region(18)|
Mr. Wills: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many incidents of fly-tipping (a) were reported and (b) led to a prosecution in Swindon in each year since 1997; and if she will make a statement. 
Defra has worked with the Environment Agency to establish a national database on fly-tipping (Flycapture) which has been operational
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since April 2004. No national data were previously available on illegal waste disposal or fly-tipping. Flycapture collects data at local authority level only.
It is important to note that the data are probably an underestimate and will increase as authorities get better at collecting and reporting the data.
Swindon borough council reported 2,604 incidents of fly-tipping between April 2004 and March 2005 (average of 217 per month) and 1,427 between April 2005 and January 2006 (average 143 per month). During the same time periods the Environment Agency investigated three and seven incidents respectively.
Prosecution data is available only from April 2005 to January 2006. During this period no prosecutions were reported by Swindon borough council, and the Environment Agency took two prosecutions (one fine of £150 and one lost case).
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she expects her Department to be in a position to publish a draft Marine Bill. 
Mr. Bradshaw: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 14 March 2006, Official Report, column 2082W.
Ms Angela C. Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which pesticides harmful to wildlife she plans to add to the list of those which cannot be held without lawful reason. 
Mr. Morley: Clause 43(1) of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Bill will make it an offence to be in possession of a pesticide containing an ingredient prescribed by order of the Secretary of State, unless possession is for purposes in accordance with relevant pesticide legislation.
Potential candidates for inclusion in the order will be identified in consultation with key stakeholders after the Bill has become law.
Mr. Meacher: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 19 December 2005, Official Report, column2015W, on pesticides and paragraph 1.2, page 4 of the Advisory Committee on Pesticides' Commentary on the report published by the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution (RCEP) in September 2005, which bodies (a) the Department of Health and (b) the Health and Safety Executive have suggested should be asked to comment on the RCEP report, Crop spraying and the health of residents and bystanders"; if she will place in the Library the correspondence and other records in which such requests were made; from which bodies such submissions were received; and when each was received. 
The Government are seeking comments on the RCEP report from their independent scientific advisory committees; the Advisory Committee on Pesticides (ACP), the Committee on Toxicity, the
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Committee on Mutagenicity and the Committee on Carcinogenicity. The ACP's commentary has been published on its website. No formal consultation of external organisations has taken place.
Mrs. Dorries: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps the Government are taking to reduce nitrous oxide emissions from waste water; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: In 2004 3.9 thousand tonnes of nitrous oxide were emitted during wastewater treatment. This is equivalent to 0.2 per cent. of UK greenhouse gas emissions for that year. Emissions of nitrous oxide from wastewater treatment plants are regulated by the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Directive where the treatment is a directly associated activity of an industrial installation which is subject to that Directive.
Mrs. Dorries: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps the Government are taking to decrease the amount of nitrous oxide gases emitted into the atmosphere; what mechanisms are in place to monitor emissions; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: UK nitrous oxide emissions are monitored via the UK's Greenhouse Gas Inventory, which is published annually. Between 1990 and 2004 (the most recent year for which figures are available) the inventory shows that nitrous oxide emissions fell by about 40 per cent.
The main sources of nitrous oxide are agriculture and industrial processes including manufacture of adipic and nitric acids. Under the Integrated Pollution Control (IPC) system introduced by the Environmental Protection Act, DuPont (UK) Ltd., the operators of the only adipic acid plant in the UK, introduced an abatement unit that reduced nitrous oxide emissions from their plant by over 95 per cent. This is estimated to have reduced UK greenhouse gas emissions by 6.5 million tonnes of carbon equivalent, equal to about 3 per cent. of 1990 greenhouse gas emissions. The Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) system which is now superseding IPC will drive further reductions including at nitric acid plant.
In the agriculture sector nitrous oxide emissions fell by 17 per cent. between 1990 and 2004, and are expected to continue to fall. A range of options to reduce emissions from the sector are being considered through the Climate Change Programme Review and development of the Adaptation Policy Framework.
As part of a resource-efficient approach to farm management, we are promoting actions to optimise fertiliser use, as well as measures to improve management of manure, nutrients and soil. Additionally, activities under a range of Defra initiative, such as Catchment
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Sensitive Farming, can help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while addressing other environmental issues. Defra is seeking to maximize the benefits of these policies in delivery of climate change objectives.
Mrs. Dorries: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much funding has been made available to sewage treatment companies to explore alternatives to nitrous oxide producing machines in each of the last five years; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: Ofwat makes provision in the price limits it sets the water and sewerage companies to make any improvements required to sewage treatment works to meet new environmental standards.
No specific provision has been made in price limits to explore alternative forms of sewage treatment that reduce the levels of nitrous oxide released to the atmosphere. It is for companies to determine how they meet their obligations in this respect.
James Duddridge: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the administrative costs of the Pollution Prevention and Control System have been in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer 17 March 2006]: The Pollution Prevention and Control (PPC) system was set up by the Pollution Prevention and Control (England and Wales) Regulations 2000 and encompasses (i)regulation by the Environment Agency of industrial installations subject to the requirements of the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) Directive, and (ii) regulation by local authorities of some 23,000 generally smaller industrial installations in respect of their emissions to air. Local authorities are also responsible for the regulation of about 10 per cent. of the some 4,500 installations subject to IPPC.
These regulators recover their costs through charges made to each operator who holds a permit issued under the PPC system. The income from these charges is set out in the tables which cover the annual periods from 2000, in which year the PPC Regulations came into force. The increasing income to the Environment Agency arises because installations subject to IPPC requirements are being phased into the new system according to a timetable laid down in the PPC Regulations extending from late 2000 to early 2007. Many of those installations were already subject to integrated pollution control under the system introduced by the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and which IPPC is superseding. The local authority income from charges does not vary so much from year to year because it includes income from the predecessor controls under Part I of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
While these charges account for a large part of the administrative costs of the PPC system, operators may also incur costs directly in preparing applications for permits and, on a recurring basis, responding to routine monitoring and other information requirements of their permits. No estimates of these on an annual basis are available.
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|April-March||Income £ million|
|April-March||Income £ million|
Mr. Graham Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which sewage treatment works are controlled under the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control regime monitored by the Environment Agency. 
Mr. Bradshaw: In general, the Environment Agency considers sewage treatment works not to be covered by the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) Directive except where they constitute a directly associated activity of an industrial installation which is subject to that Directive.
However, the parts of a relatively small number, around 150, of sewage works which deal with the disposal waste in liquid form (for example, sludge brought by tanker to the sewage works) are considered by the Agency to be subject to the IPPC Directive and as such to fall to regulation for those purposes by the Agency.
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