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Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will make a statement on the exclusion of the (a) Brasenose Wood and Shotover Hill, (b) Iffley Meadows, (c) Littlemore Railway Cutting, (d) Lye Valley, (e) Magdalen Quarry, (f) New Marston Meadows and (g) Rock Edge sites of Special Scientific Interest in Oxford, East from the application of the Environmental Liability Directive. 
The directive further provides for member states to decide whether or not to bring within its scope species and habitats that are not covered by the relevant EU legislation, but which are designated for equivalent protection under national legislation. The habitats and the species in Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) fall within this category. The consultation document on options for implementing the directive makes clear the Governments policy of not going beyond the minimum requirements of European directives unless there are exceptional circumstances justified by a cost benefit analysis and following extensive consultation with stakeholders.
The regulatory impact assessment identifies relatively small net benefits from extending the scope of the directive to SSSIs. The Governments provisional view is that the existing range of targeted measures aimed at improving and maintaining the condition of SSSIs provides the best way forward.
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will introduce
a tsunami watch around the edge of British estuaries associated with a history of tsunamis. 
Ian Pearson: The probability of a serious tsunami impact on the UK is very low. The most plausible extreme projections suggest such waves would be very unlikely to overwhelm defences for major centres of development, which are designed to resist storm surges.
A flood warning system is in place in areas most at risk, and emergency plans are regularly tested (most recently through the Environment Agencys Exercise Triton). The Met Office also has well-developed systems to warn local authorities and other key organisations of severe weather events.
We have already commissioned research into appropriate enhancements to existing forecasting and warning systems to improve their ability to cope with a wider range of extreme events, including tsunami-type conditions. Because such events are very rare, it is important that the systems we develop can deal with to a wide range of other extreme scenarios, if they are to be kept fully operational and regularly tested.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the cost per tonne of each of the waste disposal recovery and recycling methods available to local authorities. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Waste disposal recovery and recycling costs, per tonne, were estimated as part of the analysis underpinning the partial Regulatory Impact Assessment for the Review of Waste Strategy Review 2000. The following table shows the assumed capital and gate fee costs (2003-04 base)(1).
(1) Gates fees are based on discounted capital costs, operating costs and revenues net of residue landfill costs landfill tax. Capital costs are discounted over typical operating lives for each type of plant, and differ according to typology to reflect land costs.
|Gate fees £/t (year)|
|Plant scale kt/y||Capital cost (£ million)||2003-04||2009-10|
These are average costs used to estimate costs at the national level. Exact costs will vary from authority to authority depending on various factors including housing density and availability of different types of plant.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what criteria are applied when a local authority is considering a private finance initiative response to cope with landfill diversion. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The aim of the private finance initiative (PFI) criteria is to ensure that PFI credits are allotted to projects that offer value for money and contribute to the £11 billion(1) investment necessary to meet the demanding targets for landfill diversion. The criteria also ensure that projects will continue to meet requirements and provide long term continuous improvement.
In addition, a new streamlined application process for waste PFI credits was announced on 9 February 2007 to encourage partnership working, including joint
working with neighbouring authorities, and regional or multi-area partnerships. Eligibility will be based, in part, on compliance with the already published waste PFI criteria, and partly on additional criteria, to be published in May this year. The additional criteria will focus on scale, deliverability, readiness as well as environmental objectives.
(1)As outlined in the Landfill Directive and Waste Strategy 2000
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of municipal waste private finance initiatives in (a) the last year and (b) since 2000 have been awarded to projects (i) solely based on recycling, (ii) solely based on energy via waste and (iii) based on a mix of recycling and energy recovery. 
Mr. Bradshaw: It is rare for a waste private finance initiative (PFI) project to have just one technological solution or one waste processing facility. Essentially, PFI credits are awarded to authorities to deliver increased diversion of biodegradable municipal waste from landfill. Once they have analysed sufficiently the technical, environmental and economic options, an authority can choose to deliver this diversion by adopting a range of waste management technological solutions.
All waste PFI projects have a recycling element included. However, none of the projects have been funded solely on the basis of undertaking recycling. A project eligible for PFI credits needs to demonstrate how it will complement longer term national targets for recycling.
|Project scope||In the last year||PFI credits (£ million)||Since 2000||PFI credits (£ million)|
|(1)These projects are scoped in such a way as to treat a proportion (waste stream) of the total waste arisings in an EfW facility. The remaining proportion(s) are treated in other waste management facilities using different types of waste processing technology. For instance, the Cheshire project will treat a proportion of its total waste in an EfW facility, and a proportion in a mechanical biological treatment facility.|
(2) Data are provided for projects based on a mix of recycling and energy from waste
(3) Central Berkshire comprises the councils Reading, Bracknell Forest and Wokingham.
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