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Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the Government's policy is on the EU Commission's plan to merge the Waste Framework Directive with the Hazardous Waste Directive. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The Government's views on the proposed revision of the Waste Framework Directive (WFD) were set out in an explanatory memorandum submitted to Parliament on 18 January 2006 and in a supplementary memorandum submitted on 5 April 2006. Paragraph 11 of the former confirms that the Government welcomes the simplification of EU legislation proposed in the repeal of the Waste Oils Directive and the repeal and integration of the Hazardous Waste Directive into the revised WFD.
Mr. Carswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether local authorities have a statutory obligation to deal with light pollution; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 amended section 79 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to introduce artificial light emitted from premises so as to be prejudicial to health or a nuisance as capable of constituting a statutory nuisance. Local authorities have a statutory duty to check their areas periodically for existing and potential statutory nuisances from artificial light, and to take reasonably practicable steps to investigate complaints of nuisance from artificial light. If satisfied that a statutory nuisance exists or is about to occur or recur, the local authority must serve an abatement notice under section 80 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 requiring that the nuisance is ceased or abated within a specified timescale.
It is an offence to breach or fail to comply with an abatement notice, which upon summary conviction carries a fine of up to £5,000 for domestic premises and £20,000 for industrial, trade and business premises.
The statutory nuisance regime offers a legislative framework to address cases of artificial light nuisance emitted from one premises and affecting another in specific ways. It is not an appropriate tool with which to address light pollution per se. A statutory nuisance from
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artificial light may also be a source of light pollution. It does not follow that all light pollution constitutes a statutory nuisance.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the environmental impact of the use of (a) reusable and (b) disposable nappies; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Bradshaw: In May 2005, the Environment Agency published a report entitled A Life Cycle Assessment of disposable and reusable nappies in the UK". The report concluded that there was no significant difference between any of the environmental impacts of the disposable, home use reusable and commercial laundry systems that were assessed. None of the systems studied was more or less environmentally preferable.
In order to provide a more strategic approach to the management of the noise environment, Defra is currently developing a Noise Strategy; the intention being to publish the Strategy by the end of 2007.
The Environmental Noise Directive requires member states to produce strategic noise maps for roads, railways, airports and agglomerations by June 2007 and action plans to manage noise issues and effects by July 2008. Noise mapping in London has already been completed. Work is underway on other areas.
The Department also sponsors Noise Action Week, run annually in May by the National Society for Clean Air, to raise awareness of noise issues and solutions through local authority engagement with their local communities.
Joan Ruddock: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether it is Government policy that consumers buying organic products should be enabled to select UK-sourced organic products when these are available. 
A key objective of the action plan to develop organic food and farming in England is for the UK produced share of the market for organic foods that can be grown here to increase to at least 70 per cent. similar to the level for conventional produce. Good progress is being made towards achieving this target.
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Joan Ruddock: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the effect of a compulsory logo on all UK-sourced organic products sold in the UK on consumers who wish to buy products produced in the UK. 
Joan Ruddock: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the effects of the current proposals from the European Commission to replace Council Regulation 2092/91 on Organic Production for the roles and responsibilities of member states in this issue. 
Joan Ruddock: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what her Department's policy is on revisions to Council Regulation 2092/91 on Organic Production in relation to organic farmers delivering positive environmental outcomes; and what representations she has received from (a) conservation organisations and (b) English Nature on achieving environmental outcomes in any revision of Council Regulation 2092/91 on Organic Production. 
Mr. Bradshaw: We have proposed that it should be an objective of the proposed regulation that it contributes to environmental sustainability. We do not have records of representations from specific conservation organisations, but comments from organic bodies referred to this issue.
Joan Ruddock: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to consult with (a) the Organic Action Plan Group, (b) small and medium-sized organic businesses and (c) other interested parties before proposals to (i) amend or (ii) replace Council Regulation 2092/91 are taken forward by the European Commission. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The proposal is on the agenda for the meeting of the Action Plan Group on 27 April. The Advisory Committee on Organic Standards discussed the proposal at its meetings on 9 February and 30 March. Other stakeholders were consulted by letter in January and received reports on the negotiations on the proposal as they proceed.
Joan Ruddock: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment her Department has made of the European Commission's proposal to replace Council Regulation 2092/91. 
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what powers (a) local authorities and (b) parish and town councils have to compel the rail authorities to keep stations and tracks free of litter. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Under section 89 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, railway undertakers and operators have a duty to keep their relevant land" clear of litter and refuse. This includes station areas to which the public have access, tracks that are within 100 metres of platforms (provided that the public have access to the platforms) and tracks in urban areas. Where this duty is not complied with, local authorities may issue a litter abatement notice on the railway undertaker or operator, requiring the clearance of the litter and refuse and prohibiting further defacement of the land. A parish or community council can take action via the magistrates' court, seeking a litter abatement order to get the litter cleared.
There is no duty on rail undertakers or operators to keep other track areas clean. However, where such land becomes defaced by litter and refuse and this is detrimental to the amenity of the area, local authorities can issue a litter clearing notice on the occupier or owner (if unoccupied), requiring the clearance of the litter and, if necessary, reasonable steps to be taken to prevent future defacement.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what guidance she issues on whether the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 applies to railway stations and track. 
Mr. Bradshaw: DEFRA has issued detailed guidance on legislation dealing with litter and refuse in Part 4 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, as amended by the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005. This includes guidance on the extent to which railway stations, track and other areas of railway land are affected. The revised code of practice on litter and refuse provides practical guidance on the extent of the litter duty, and includes standards and practicability issues to assist rail undertakers and operators in managing litter and refuse on their land. Both the guidance and code of practice are available on DEFRA's website: http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/localenv/legislation/cnea/index.htm.
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