Written Answers to Questions

Monday 24 July 2006

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Agricultural Support Sector

Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent assessment his Department has made of the impact of the delay to single farm payments on the farm machinery business; and if he will make a statement. [84613]

Barry Gardiner: UK tractor registrations, a broad indicator of the strength of the domestic market for agricultural equipment, have increased marginally in the first half of 2006. However, individual businesses may, to varying effects, have been affected in the short term by the cash flow issues faced by farmers as a result of the timing of payments under the 2005 single payment scheme (SPS).

Animal Freight

Mark Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many people were employed by his Department to carry out on-road inspections of transporters carrying vertebrate animals in each of the last five years. [86354]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Department does not hold the information requested. Roadside checks are arranged by local authorities, to check compliance with a range of animal health and welfare rules. The state veterinary service liaises with local authorities so that emergency veterinary cover can be made available if needed.

Animal Health Strategy

Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what funding the Government incorporates into its animal health strategy for the rescue and care of abandoned, wounded and homeless animals. [86871]

Mr. Bradshaw: [holding answer 20 July 2006]: While the Government applaud the fine work undertaken by animal welfare charities in rescuing and caring for abandoned, wounded and homeless animals, we do not use public money to directly fund such work. However, we do have policies in place to increase the value of charitable gifts by generous tax concessions.

Aarhus Convention

Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps his Department is taking to inform the public of their rights under the Aarhus Convention. [85491]


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Ian Pearson: The Government recognise that the Aarhus Convention is an important statement, at international level, of the rights of the public to be involved in decisions which have significant environmental effects. The UK’s ratification of the convention, in February 2005, demonstrates our commitment to the importance of these principles. A comprehensive guide can be found on the DEFRA website at: http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/internat/aarhus/index.htm

In addition, DEFRA’s environmental information unit (EIU) provides advice on the convention and the Environmental Information Regulations. The EIU has produced leaflets and posters publicising peoples’ rights to access environmental information and provides detailed guidance on the DEFRA website at http://www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/opengov/eir/index. htm This also links to the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIRs), the code of practice and the Aarhus Convention.

The code of practice, (which was laid in Parliament in February 2005) and guidance have been revised to take responses to a public consultation into account.

Additionally, the unit offers support to Government Departments and public authorities on EIRs. This support includes workshops to discuss how they can raise awareness within their authorities and provides an opportunity to share good practice. In 2003-04, the Government’s sustainable development unit worked with the Department for Constitutional Affairs supporting the freedom of information (FOI) roadshows programme and gave talks to public authorities around the country explaining how to handle FOI and EIR requests.

Biomass Energy Crops

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what measures are in place to remove barriers to the market development of biomass energy crops; and what further measures are planned. [86116]

Ian Pearson: The Government provide support to help establish and develop supply chains, and create markets for biomass energy crops. The Government set up a Biomass Task Force in 2004 to identify the barriers to developing biomass energy and to recommend ways to overcome the problems.

The Government's response to the taskforce report was published in April 2006 and sets out 12 key initiatives and over 60 associated actions to help realise optimum use of biomass as a resource. These measures include a capital grant scheme for biomass boilers, the establishment of a new Biomass Energy Centre to provide expert information and advice, further grant support for biomass supply chains, and a commitment to consider using biomass in the Government estate. We also intend to publish a UK Biomass Strategy in the coming year.

Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act

Anne Snelgrove: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many prosecutions have been brought by each local authority in England under section 3 of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 since the Act came into force. [86149]


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Mr. Bradshaw: Measures contained in section 3 of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act, which concern exposing vehicles for sale on the road, commenced in June 2005.

Figures relating to the number of prosecutions brought under this section will not be available until autumn this year.

Mr. Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations he has received regarding the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005. [87766]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Department has received a range of representations on the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act, in the form of letters, emails and parliamentary questions.

Commercial Kitchens

Lorely Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what research his Department has conducted into (a) carbon emissions from commercial kitchens and (b) means to reduce such emissions; [84943]

(2) what plans his Department has to encourage the use of technology to reduce carbon emissions from commercial kitchens. [84942]

Ian Pearson: The information available on carbon emissions from commercial kitchens is currently very limited.

Two scoping studies have been carried out for DEFRA which indicate that carbon emissions from non-domestic cooking equipment are somewhere between 2.2 million and 6 million tonnes of carbon per annum. Further work is being carried out by the Government’s Market
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Transformation Programme (MTP) to refine these estimates. The MTP estimates that the refrigeration equipment used in commercial kitchens produces a further 1.4 million tonnes of carbon per annum.

The Government are working with industry, through the Carbon Trust and the MTP, to reduce these emissions. For example, the Hotel and Catering International Management Association manages a programme on behalf of the Carbon Trust which offers free energy saving advice to the sector.

We are also working to encourage manufacturers to improve the efficiency of their goods by developing agreed test methodologies, performance standards and benchmarks which will enable the relative energy efficiency of these appliances to be measured. This process is complete for commercial refrigeration equipment but is at an early stage for commercial ovens.

If all existing catering equipment were replaced by best practice(1 )equipment, we estimate that carbon emissions from commercial kitchens could be reduced by 18 per cent. Substantial additional carbon savings can be made through management and behavioural measures.

Departmental Publications

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will list in date order (a) Green and (b) White Papers produced by his Department since October 2005. [81295]

Barry Gardiner: The following Command (“Green” and “White”) Papers have been produced by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, since October 2005.

Paper number Title Publication date

6692

Autumn Performance Report

21 December 2005

6764

UK Climate Change Programme 2006

28 March 2006

6845

UK Government Response to Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution's 25th Report: Turning the Tide—Addressing the Impact of Fisheries on the Marine Environment

24 May 2006

6827

Departmental Report

25 May 2006


Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will list the Unnumbered Command Papers produced by his Department in each Session since 1976; by what means (a) hon. Members and (b) members of the public can (i) inspect and (ii) obtain copies; and if he will make a statement. [81298]

Barry Gardiner: Documents which are laid before Parliament as unnumbered Command Papers are generally restricted to explanatory notes to treaties, explanatory memorandums to statutory instruments and some Treasury minutes. All other documents are published in the Numbered Command Papers series.

A complete list of unnumbered Command Papers can only be produced at disproportionate cost.

Copies of all unnumbered Command Papers are made available via the Vote Office.

Environment Agency

Dr. Desmond Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps the Environment Agency takes to ensure that its charging policy is fair and equitable across its user groups. [87032]

Ian Pearson: The Environment Agency complies with Her Majesty's Treasury's “Fees and Charges Guide”, applies the polluter (or beneficiary) should pay principle, attributes relevant costs to specific charging regimes, and recovers those costs through charges.

The Agency also takes account of guidance set out in the DEFRA Charging Handbook, which states that policy makers should be sensitive to the burden upon payers (and particular segments) and that this should be done though developing a Regulatory Impact Assessment on the proposed change in charge if it
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imposes a real increase in burden. In accordance with good Government practice the Agency routinely seeks the views of stakeholders, customer groups and individual charge payers on proposals for changes.

Environmental Directives

Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which environmental
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directives have been agreed and published since May 1997; and what the date or expected date of transposition is of each. [84060]

Ian Pearson: DEFRA was formed in June 2001. Between 8 June 2001 and 30 June 2006, 30 EU environmental directives, for which the Department has responsibility for implementation, were adopted. These are shown in the following table.


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Directive number Directive name Transposition deadline Date UK transposition completed/or expected to be completed

2001/080/EC

Limitation of emissions of certain pollutants into the air from large combustion plants

27 November 2002

9 September 2003

2001/081/EC

National emission ceilings for certain atmospheric pollutants

1 March 2002

13 March 2003

2001/091/EC

Restrictions on the marketing and use of certain dangerous substances and preparations (hexachloroethane)

31 December 2002

30 June 2003

2002/003/EC

Relating to ozone in ambient air

9 September 2003

26 February 2004

2002/031/EC

Energy labelling of household air conditioners

1 January 2003

14 March 2003

2002/040/EC

Commission Directive 2002/040/EC implementing Council Directive 92/75/EEC with regard to energy labelling of household electric ovens

31 December 2002

14 March 2003

2002/045/EC

Relating to restrictions on the marketing and use of certain dangerous substances and preparations (short-chain chlorinated paraffins)

6 July 2003

23 December 2003

2002/049/EC

Assessment and management of environmental noise

18 July 2004

October 2006

2002/062/EC

Adapting to technical progress for the ninth time Annex I to Council Directive 76/769/EEC on the approximation of the laws of the Member States on marketing and use of (organostannic compounds)

31 October 2002

14 March 2003

2003/002/EC

Relating to restrictions on the marketing and use of arsenic

30 June 2003

23 December 2003

2003/004/EC

On public access to environmental information and repealing 90/31 3/EEC

14 February 2005

04 January 2006

2003/011/EC

Relating to restrictions on the marketing and use of certain dangerous substances and preparations (pentabromodiphenyl ether octabromodiphenyl ether)

15 February 2004

22 March 2004

2003/035/EC

Providing for public participation in respect of the drawing up of certain plans and programmes relating to the environment

25 June 2005

October 2007

2003/066/EC

Energy labelling of household electric refrigerators, freezers and their combinations

30 June 2004

1 July 2004

2003/087/EC

Establishing a scheme for greenhouse gas emission allowance trading within the Community

31 December 2003

23 December 2004

2004/008/EC

On the promotion of cogeneration based on a useful heat demand in the internal energy market

21 February 2006

September 2006

2004/012/EC

Packaging and packaging waste

18 August 2005

September 2006

2004/035/EC

Environmental liability with regard to the prevention and remedying of environmental damage

30 April 2007

April 2007

2004/042/EC

Limitation of emissions of volatile organic compounds due to use of organic solvents in certain paints and varnishes and vehicle refinishing products

30 October 2005

25 October 2005

2004/098/EC

Restrictions on the marketing and use of pentabromodiphenyl ether in aircraft emergency evacuation systems

1 January 2005

22 December 2004

2004/101/EC

A scheme for greenhouse gas emission allowance trading within the Community

13 November 2005

September 2006

2004/107/EC

Relating to arsenic, cadmium, mercury, nickel and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in ambient air

15 February 2007

February 2007

2005/032/EC

Establishing a framework for setting ecodesign requirements for energy-using products

11 August 2007

August 2007

2005/033/EC

The sulphur content of marine fuels

11 August 2006

August 2006

2005/059/EC

Restrictions on marketing and use of certain dangerous substances (Toluene and Trichlorobenzene)

15 December 2006

December 2006

2005/069/EC

Marketing and use of certain dangerous substances and preparations

29 December 2006

December 2006

2006/007/EC

Bathing water quality

24 March 2008

March 2008

2006/011/EC

Pollution caused by dangerous substances discharged into the aquatic environment of the community (codified version)

n/a

n/a

2006/012/EC

Waste (codified version)

n/a

n/a

2006/032/EC

Energy end-use efficiency and energy services

17 May 2008

May 2008


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