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29 Mar 2006 : Column 1000W—continued

Fungaflor

Mr. Graham Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) when she expects the product Fungaflor to be approved for sale in the United Kingdom; [60708]

(2) what discussions she has had with the Pesticide Safety Directorate in the last 12 months on the sale of the product Fungaflor in the United Kingdom; and if she will make a statement. [60709]


 
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Mr. Morley: The Pesticides Safety Directorate (PSD) withdrew the UK national approval for Fungaflor (containing the active substance imazalil) in December 2002, with two years allowed for use up of stocks already in the supply chain. This was in accordance with the requirements of an EC directive concerning the inclusion of imazalil on Annex I of Directive 91/414/EEC.

An application for approval of a new Fungaflor product in accordance with the requirements of Directive 91/414/EEC was subsequently made. However, this application did not contain sufficient information to allow PSD to complete a risk assessment demonstrating an acceptable risk to humans and the environment and it was therefore refused. No further applications have been made.

The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has had no discussions with PSD in the last 12 months on the sale of the product Fungaflor in the United Kingdom.

Landfill

Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what her Department's latest estimate is of the total amount of landfill capacity available in England. [61563]

Mr. Bradshaw: In 1999, the Environment Agency published Strategic Waste Management Assessment Reports covering the nine planning regions of England. These indicated that an estimated remaining capacity of all licensed landfill sites in excess of 27 billion cubic metres.

The Environment Agency is currently assessing void capacity of landfills in England at 2004–05. Their findings will be published later this year.

Mobile Telephones

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what percentage of used mobile telephones were recycled in the last year for which figures are available. [61102]

Mr. Bradshaw: This Department does not collect recycling or reused information on mobile phones.

Organ Pipes

Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many organpipes have been disposed of on landfill sites since 2002. [61030]

Mr. Bradshaw: No data are available on the information requested. However, I would expect recyclable organ pipes would be sent to scrap metal facilities rather than to landfill.

Recycling

Jessica Morden: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what total amount of waste was recycled in England in 2005; and what percentage this was of the total waste generated during the period. [61301]


 
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Mr. Bradshaw: The latest available data for England estimate that 80 million tonnes of waste was either recycled or reused in 2002–03. This amounts to 43 per cent. of total waste produced by households, commerce and industry (including construction and demolition). Other sector waste including waste from mines and quarries, sewage sludge, dredged materials and agriculture have been excluded.

Mr. Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many recycling points there are per 1,000 population in (a) the constituency of Lancaster and Wyre, (b) Lancashire and (c) England. [61325]

Mr. Bradshaw: Requested figures, based on the 2003–04 Defra Municipal Waste Management Survey and 2003 mid-year population estimates are as follows:
Recycling points per 1,000 population
Lancaster City Council0.21
Wyre Borough Council0.41
Lancashire(3)0.24
England0.41


(3) Lancashire includes the two postal Lancashire Unitary authorities of Blackburn with Darwen and Blackpool.
Notes:
Recycling points are civic amenity and recycling sites within the area.
Data at constituency level are not available.




River Pollution

Mr. Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what measures she is taking to prevent endocrine disrupting chemicals from entering the river system. [59684]

Mr. Morley: There are a range of chemicals that may have endocrine disrupting effects, and these can come from a variety of sources. Many chemicals considered to be endocrine disrupters (EDCs) have been subject to bans or other regulations for some time, such as the pesticide dieldrin. Measures have already been taken on antifouling paints based on tributyltin (TBT) compounds that were found to cause endocrine disrupting effects in some marine organisms.

More generally, where particular chemicals have been strongly implicated as EDCs, the UK has proposed that these should be subject to a full risk assessment under European Regulations, so that where risks are identified European-wide measures are taken to control them. Endocrine disrupting chemicals will also be considered for authorisation under the new REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals) regulations.

My Department has also invested in research and development to improve our understanding of the risks to the environment of endocrine disrupting chemicals from other sources. In addition, an Endocrine Disruptor Demonstration Programme is soon to commence aimed at testing the effectiveness of various measures to remove EDCs from the effluent of sewage treatment works and informing future regulatory decisions.
 
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Mr. Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what studies her Department has commissioned into the effects on fish of endocrine disrupting chemicals. [59685]

Mr. Morley: My Department has commissioned extensive research to improve our understanding of the possible effects on fish caused by exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals.

For the freshwater environment, we have made a considerable contribution to collaborative investigations into the potential impacts of sewage effluents on two common lowland fish species, roach and gudgeon. A further study, part of the EDIT (Endocrine Disruption in Invertebrates and Top Predators) Programme, costing around 0.5million in total, has been conducted on the top predator, pike. A new collaborative research programme (EDCAT-Endocrine Disruption in Catchments) has recently been commissioned to look into possible impacts of endocrine disrupting sewage discharges on roach and sticklebacks at the population level; EDCAT will cost around £1.4 million in its initial phase alone.

We have established specific programmes of research on endocrine disruption in the marine environment, including the £1.5 million EDMAR (Endocrine Disruption in the Marine Environment) Programme, which conducted studies on flounder, goby, blenny and migratory trout and salmon. Additional research has focused on cod.

Work is now being conducted to develop an understanding of the effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals upon sensitive stages in the development of fish and to establish international test protocols for screening new chemicals for endocrine disrupting effects using the stickleback. The latter forms part of the Endocrine Disruption in Aquatic Ecosystems (EDAQ) Programme, costing over £1 million.

Two studies on fish also form part of the core projects of the UK-Japan research collaboration agreement on endocrine disruption in aquatic systems.

Further information on completed Defra endocrine disruption research projects is available from the Defra website at:

DEFENCE

Apache Helicopters

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his answer of 2 March 2006, Official Report, columns 868–9W, on Apache helicopters, what were the reasons for the four-year delay in reaching the full complement of trained Apache helicopter pilots. [57065]

Mr. Ingram: The fact that the full complement of Apache Attack Helicopter (AH) pilots will not be achieved by the target date of July 2006 is due to a combination of factors. The main reason was a shortfall of qualified helicopter instructors (QHIs). This has been an enduring issue that has had a marked impact on the quantity of pilots being trained for front line operational units. The original assumption (based on our experience
 
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of Lynx and Gazelle training, and advice from subject matter experts) was that a single instructor could train two AH students. However, once training began it became apparent that this assumption was unworkable and the training effort had to be switched in order to generate more instructors. This effectively reduced the pilot delivery rate to the field army. The plan to generate more instructors was further undermined when six QHIs elected to leave the Army shortly after the expiry of their four year time bar. Given that it takes up to 11 months to train an AH instructor, as opposed to six months to convert a pilot, the output of AH qualified pilots has remained lower than planned. Other factors, such as aircraft availability and weather, have exacerbated the situation.


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