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Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament: A Policy to reduce unwanted by-catches and eliminate discards in European fisheries (COM(2007) 136 final) dated 28 March 2007; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The Government welcome what they consider to be a forward-thinking and radical paper, focusing on the single issue that does most to discredit the Common Fisheries Policy in the eyes of the public.
But much greater thought is needed on practical implementation, particularly in relation to the concept of a discard ban. The Communication underplays significantly the enforcement problems and associated costs that a complete ban would bring, especially in the mixed fisheries found in waters all around the UK. The UK looks forward to participating actively in that additional work. We must also involve stakeholders to ensure the measures are effective in practice.
Mr. Robathan: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what information his Department holds on the relative carbon emission profiles of (a) kerosene, (b) wood, (c) coal, (d) electricity, (e) natural gas and (f) liquefied petroleum gas when used as domestic fuels. 
The second column refers to emissions per unit energy consumed, in kilograms of carbon dioxide per gigajoule (GJ), and the third column contains total UK emissions from the use of the corresponding fuel in the domestic sector, in million tonnes of carbon dioxide. The data include emissions associated with the fuel production, for example at power stations, refineries, and in the transportation of wood fuel.
|CO 2 emissions from the domestic sector in 2005|
|Fuel||Emissions per unit of energy consumed (kgCO 2 /GJ) including emissions associated with production||Total emissions including emissions associated with production (MtCO 2 )|
|(1) The UK GHG inventory reports the use of domestic kerosene under burning oil, following the classification used by the DTI.|
(2) Wood figures include the effect of absorption of CO2 during the lifetime of the tree.
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what arrangements are in place to ensure that contamination of non-genetically modified (GM) potato crops (a) via
GM volunteers and (b) otherwise (i) is minimised and (ii) is detected if it occurs. 
Ian Pearson [holding answer 14 June 2007]: It is assumed that this question relates to the statutory consents granted to BASF to conduct trials of GM disease-resistant potatoes. The consents specify a number of detailed conditions to ensure that a GM presence does not arise in conventional potato crops. These include appropriate requirements on managing volunteers, crop separation, monitoring and reporting. Compliance with the consent conditions will be checked by the DEFRA GM Inspectorate.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate his Department and its agencies have made of changes in the cost of waste collection and disposal to local authorities of (a) increased landfill tax since 1997 and (b) the Landfill Allowances Trading Scheme. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The Government take account of the impacts of landfill tax and the Landfill Allowances Trading Scheme (LATS) when allocating local government funding. In the 2004 Spending Review (which takes us through to 2007-08), revenues from the landfill tax escalator were recycled back to local councils via Revenue Support Grant. Decisions on future funding will be taken in the context of this years Comprehensive Spending Review.
It is not possible to simply attribute a proportion of the actual costs of waste collection and disposal to landfill tax or LATS. These economic instruments influence local government behaviour, and were they not in place, local authorities would pursue different waste management choices with different cost implications.
|Net current expenditure on waste collection and disposal|
| S ource:|
Local Authority Revenue Outturn Returns
Mrs. Dorries: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) how many orders have been served by local authorities to tackle problems of odour in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement; 
Mr. Bradshaw: The Environment Agency (EA) is responsible for regulating and inspecting sites that fall under a number of environmental regulatory systems, including the waste management licensing system and the pollution prevention and control regime. The EAs national enforcement database records details of EA enforcement action, however, these records do not differentiate between different types of offences. The information requested is therefore not available due to the disproportionate cost involved.
Local authorities also have powers to issue notices in relation to odour problems under the pollution prevention and control regime. However, data collected are similarly restricted to the total number of notices issued by local authorities relating to any regulatory matter on emissions from designated Part A2 and B installations. A breakdown of notices served by local authorities solely for odour offences is therefore also not available.
DEFRA currently does not collate statistics on the number of statutory nuisance abatement notices served by local authorities to tackle odours, under section 79 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Local authorities do not have a duty to collect this data.
Joan Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he plans to publish the consultation paper on how private sewers and drains will be transferred to the sewerage undertakers; and if he will make a statement. 
Ian Pearson: A public consultation will take place over the summer on the implementation options for the transfer of private sewers to water and sewerage companies. This will also consider questions of the scope of transfer and the prevention of new private sewers.
Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps the Government intends to take to ensure the independence of the successor body to the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management. 
Ian Pearson: The reconstituted Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM) will be appointed as an advisory non-departmental public body, according to the Code of Practice of the Commissioner of Public Appointments, as was the original CoRWM Committee. It will therefore be independent of Government or any other interest.
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what meetings he has held with the (a) Environment Agency, (b) the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate and (c) Office of Civil Nuclear Security on the new arrangements for the
setting of packaging standards for radioactive waste; and if he will place in the Library copies of the minutes of such meetings. 
Ian Pearson: No such meetings were held by the Secretary of State. However, as stated in his announcement of 25 October, the independent environment and nuclear safety regulators believe that this proposal to nominate the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) as the geological disposal facility implementing body provides a framework that they can regulate in a strong and effective manner. They are content that the NDA will be responsible for implementing the geological disposal programme, within the constitutional arrangements described. The regulators support is of major importance, as strong independent regulation is key both to ensuring the safety of people and the environment and to securing confidence and trust in the delivery arrangements.
Mrs. Dorries: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what level of odours from green waste recycling centres his Department classifies as acceptable; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The European waste framework directive (2006/12/EC) requires member states to ensure that waste is recovered or disposed of without endangering human health and without using process or methods which could harm the environment. This includes without causing a nuisance through odours.
The level of odour emission acceptable from green waste recycling centres depends on a number of factors, including the nature of the activity and the regulatory regime within which it operates and the proximity of those that may be affected. Where the activity is subject to a waste management licence, the prevention of odour may be imposed by way of conditions to that licence. This requirement may be monitored qualitatively or quantitatively by the operator and assessed by regulators on a case-by-case basis.
In addition, section 79 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 places a duty on local authorities to inspect their areas periodically to detect any statutory nuisances that may exist or are likely to occur or recur. There is also a duty to take reasonably practicable steps to investigate complaints of statutory nuisance. Odour may be considered as a statutory nuisance if it is considered to be
any dust, steam, smell or other effluvia arising on industrial, trade or business premises and being prejudicial to health or a nuisance.
Mrs. Dorries: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations have been received by (a) his Department and (b) the Environment Agency on concerns about odour from the Green Waste Recycling Centre in Haynes West End, Bedfordshire; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bradshaw: I am not aware of any representations received by my Department on odour problems from this site. However, I understand that the Environment Agency (EA) has received in excess of 250 odour complaints about the site since December 2005.
The site operates under a waste management licence and is regularly inspected for compliance with the licence conditions by the EA. Sites operating under a waste management licence have an overarching requirement to recover or dispose of waste without causing harm to human health or pollution of the environment. This includes without causing a nuisance through noise or odour.
The EA have assessed all reported complaints, often in collaboration with the local authority environmental health officer, but only a few have been substantiated as being caused by failures on site. Where this is the case, action has been taken to bring about improvements to the companys working procedures.
Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many pages in his Departments publication Waste Strategy for England 2007 are printed on uncoated paper. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The Waste Strategy 2007 document does not contain any pages printed on uncoated paper. All copies of the Waste Strategy 2007 produced by The Stationery Office were printed on Evolution Satin paper. This is a coated paper and contains 75 per cent. recycled paper and 25 per cent. ECF Elemental Chlorine Free (ECF) pulp, which is Forestry Stewardship Council certified.
We are obliged to purchase and use paper specified within the Department for Transport's Recycled Printing Papers Framework (PPAD 09/034/023). In the case of the Waste Strategy document, a coated paper was used due to the colour content.
Mr. Bradshaw: The Government have for a number of years been actively encouraging the widespread application of more selective gears by the UK fleet, developed with the assistance of departmental funding. In this period, we have also worked with the European Commission (and other member states) to introduce a range of enhanced technical measures at Community level, designed to make EU fisheries more sustainable for the longer-term. These have included increases in mesh size, the adoption of sorting grids and the application of square mesh panels in particular fisheries.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what guidance has been produced by his Department and its agencies for local authorities on penalties for businesses who dispose of rubbish in municipal public litter bins. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The Government have not issued specific guidance on this matter. The Governments role is to establish the legislative framework and to issue explanatory guidance on the legislation when it is initially introduced. It is for the relevant enforcement authorities to interpret the legislation, based on their own legal advice, and to apply it appropriately in each individual case.
The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 made certain amendments to the offences in the Environmental Protection Act 1990 which cover illegal waste disposal. This includes: section 33, which is the main fly-tipping offence; section 34, which sets out the waste duty of care; and section 47 on receptacles for commercial waste. Businesses that dispose of rubbish in municipal public litter bins may be committing one of these offences, but this would depend on the individual circumstances of any given case.
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