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21 Apr 2008 : Column 1359W—continued

at the same event IBM also won the award for European Green IT Supplier of the Year. So we are at the forefront of work taking forward the Green IT agenda.

Departmental Waste Disposal

Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much waste his Department sent to landfill in each year since 1997. [198805]

Joan Ruddock [holding answer 3 April 2008]: DEFRA was created in 2001, and we are unable to provide data on waste sent to landfill from the date as requested. However, the figures for the last five years are as follows.


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Waste sent to landfill (tonnes)

2006-07

1,560

2005-06

1,619

2004-05

1,890

2003-04

2,129

2002-03

1,180


Data are gathered from waste monitoring returns which are collated by each site, this data feeds into the Sustainable Development in Government (SDiG) reporting.

Environment Protection: Carbon Emissions

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the expected changes in average annual temperature in the UK by 2050 using a Kyoto commitment as its benchmark (a) if carbon emissions increase by 20 per cent., (b) if carbon emissions remain the same, (c) if carbon emissions decrease by 20 per cent., (d) if carbon emissions decrease by 40 per cent., (e) if carbon emissions decrease by 60 per cent. and (f) if carbon emissions decrease by 80 per cent. [198233]

Mr. Woolas: Estimates by the Met Office Hadley Centre, suggest that the anticipated increased average annual temperature in the UK by 2050, relative to the 1990 temperature level, will be approximately (a) 1.5°C if greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions increase by 20 per cent., (b) 1.3°C if GHG emissions remain the same, (c) 1.1°C if GHG emissions decrease by 20 per cent., (d) 1.0°C if GHG emissions decrease by 40 per cent., (e) 0.8°C if GHG emissions decrease by 60 per cent. and (f) 0.6°C if GHG emissions decrease by 80 per cent.

Actual increases in temperature will, however, depend on when emission reductions begin, with later start dates for reductions resulting in a correspondingly larger temperature rises. The above estimates for temperature increases are based on a set of emission reduction pathways beginning during the 2010 to 2030 period.

Ferries: Lymington

Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what the reasons are for plans for larger ferries between Lymington and Yarmouth and associated shore works not being subject to an environmental impact assessment; and if he will make a statement; [199174]

(2) what progress has been made in conducting an appropriate assessment of plans to increase the size of ferries between Yarmouth and Lymington together with associated shore works; and if he will make a statement. [199175]

Joan Ruddock: It is for the relevant consenting authorities, in this case the Marine and Fisheries Agency and the planning authorities, to decide whether or not an environmental impact assessment is needed. In this case I understand that in view of the nature, scale and location of the proposed works the relevant authorities agreed that there are not likely to be any significant environmental effects and therefore the proposals do not trigger the requirement to undertake such an assessment.

The criteria for undertaking an appropriate assessment under the Habitats Regulations provide that the consenting authorities must ascertain, before granting approval to
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the works, that the proposals will not have an adverse effect on the integrity of a European protected site. In this case the authorities agreed that an assessment should be undertaken which would also take account of the possible effects of operating the new ferries on the Solent and Southampton Water protected site. The developers engaged consultants who produced a report on 28 March to underpin that assessment. This is currently being considered by Natural England and the Marine and Fisheries Agency. In determining their respective consents the regulating authorities must make an assessment of the potential effects of the proposals on the site and on any mitigation necessary to protect the site from damage.

Fisheries: Subsidies

Mr. Goodwill: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what information he has received from the European Commission on fuel subsidies to other member states’ fishing fleets in the last 12 months. [200204]

Jonathan Shaw: The European Commission does not routinely publish information on fuel subsidies in member states and I have received no information from the Commission in the last 12 months.

Flood Control

Sir Michael Spicer: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will ensure that those local authorities which are in the lead of flood preventative planning committees have the (a) resources and (b) powers to carry out the recommendations of those committees. [199025]

Mr. Woolas: My Department is not aware of any local authority bodies named as flood preventative planning committees.

In terms of resources committed to the effective management of flood and coastal erosion risk more generally, spend across central and local government will increase from £600 million in 2007-08 to £650 million this year, £700 million in 2009-10 and £800 million in 2010-11.

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps his Department is taking to establish a single, comprehensive source of accurate flood risk data in the UK. [199350]

Mr. Woolas: As this is devolved issue; the Environment Agency has responsibility for England only.

As part of their role in taking a strategic overview of flood risk, the Environment Agency is determining what data needs to be collected in relation to the different sources of flood risk.

Decisions on the form and accessibility of the database will be taken in the light of this.

Flood Control: Coastal Areas

Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the scope for using recycled materials to provide low cost material for coastal defence. [200042]


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Mr. Woolas: The Environment Agency employs a comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment process to ensure its construction activities deliver the best for the environment. This is complemented by a procurement Sustainability Construction Risk Assessment which aims to ensure that sustainability issues are considered at the outset, in the project plan, the design and the specification. This ensures that where possible the materials used are recycled and/or locally sourced.

Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the compatibility of Natural England and the Environment Agency’s policies on Managed Retreat. [200053]

Mr. Woolas: The Government’s policy, as set out in their response to “Making Space for Water”, is to adopt a more sustainable approach to flood risk management, moving to a wider portfolio of responses including greater use of rural land-use solutions. In that context, the recent inquiry into the 2007 flooding, chaired by Sir Michael Pitt, has concluded that DEFRA, the Environment Agency and Natural England should work with partners to establish a programme and framework to achieve greater working with natural processes.

Flood Control: West Sussex

Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions he had with the Environment Agency about the warning received on 7 March about an imminent collapse of the sea defences in Selsey. [200157]

Mr. Woolas: On 7 March, the Medmerry shingle bank was in a good condition and there was no concern of an imminent collapse of any sea defence in Selsey.

Storm conditions, combined with high spring tides and a coastal surge on 10 March caused the overtopping of the shingle bank during the lunchtime high tide. This resulted in the subsequent failure of a section of the defence. The Environment Agency has kept DEFRA updated on the general situation regarding the coastal surge and wave conditions.

Foot and Mouth Disease: Disease Control

Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps he has taken to prevent a recurrence of the circumstances that led to the foot and mouth outbreak at Pirbright. [197994]

Jonathan Shaw: As soon as we became aware that Pirbright was a potential source of the foot and mouth disease (FMD) outbreak we put in place a number of additional safeguards at the site. We immediately asked the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Professor Spratt to carry out reviews of biosecurity, and subsequently accepted all of the recommendations in their reports. Since then, stringent new biosecurity conditions have been applied to work on the Pirbright site, providing several independent layers of safety and ensuring that the process is contained. For example, a
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comprehensive programme of preventive maintenance of the contained drainage system has been implemented and sections have been re-lined. These measures will ensure the highest level of biosecurity at Pirbright.

In addition, a Safety Alert was issued last September to all similar laboratories, which has been followed up by a joint programme of inspections by HSE and DEFRA inspectors to these labs. The inspections of containment level (CL) 4 laboratories revealed no breaches of the legislation and no formal enforcement action was taken. This process has provided both the regulatory bodies and the operators of the laboratories with the assurance that their facilities are well managed. HSE will continue this series of Safety Alert inspections to consider CL3 facilities based on risk.

The Government accepted all of the recommendations in Sir Bill Callaghan's independent review of the regulatory framework for the handling of animal pathogens, published in December 2007. These included that responsibility for the regulation of animal pathogens should transfer to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). DEFRA is working closely with the HSE and other departments, to implement all three phases of the work recommended by Sir Bill Callaghan. The formal legal transfer of the Specified Animal Pathogens Order enforcement and inspection responsibilities is well under way and is nearing completion.

We have worked closely with the HSE and are satisfied that all necessary measures are in place to provide assurance that the risk of accidental release is as close to zero as possible.

Genetically Modified Organisms: Crops

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the French government on its decision to extend its ban on Monsanto’s MON810 maize. [198716]

Mr. Woolas: We have not discussed this issue with the French Government. In line with European Union (EU) rules, the French decision to suspend the marketing of MON810 maize seed is now being considered by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Based on its advice, the European Commission should then make a proposal for an EU decision to either require France to rescind its action, or to approve and extend it across the EU. We will take a position on this in due course, taking account of the EFSA opinion and the view of our own independent Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether he plans to respond to the National Audit Office review UK Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Measurements and Reporting, published on 15 March. [199705]

Mr. Woolas: The review “UK greenhouse gas emissions: measurement and reporting” produced by the National Audit Office was a briefing note prepared for the Environmental Audit Committee. Therefore, although DEFRA is carefully considering all the
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points that were raised during the review, we will not be formally responding to the review.

Heating: EC Law

Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when officials from his Department next plan to meet European Commission officials to discuss the proposed labelling of heating systems in the Energy-using Products Directive; and what the timetable is for implementation of the Directive in the UK. [198828]

Joan Ruddock: My officials have no meetings currently planned, but a request has been made to the European Commission for a teleconference about this in the next couple of weeks. At that time, the European Commission will be asked whether they intend to stick to their original timetable for this implementing measure, which is for a vote at a regulatory committee in early 2009.

Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether the Energy Using Products Board will meet the UK controls industry following the Government’s submission of a paper to the Commission on Lot 1 of the Energy-using Products Directive. [198829]

Joan Ruddock: Officials have met the controls industry several times while developing a position on Energy-Using Products Directive Lot 1 and would be happy to do so again if the industry needed to discuss this further at this stage. However, we have received no recent indication that the industry would like to meet.

Home Energy Efficiency Scheme

Mr. Caton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his Department has spent on (a) Warm Front and (b) Warm Deal since 2000. [199554]

Mr. Woolas: Warm Front is a devolved issue. In Scotland it is known as Warm Deal and is the responsibility of the Scottish Executive. For information on Warm Front spending I refer the hon. Member to the reply given on 1 April 2008, Official Report, column 731W, to my hon. Friend the Member for North Durham (Mr. Jones).

Joan Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent representations he has received on the Warm Front scheme in respect of (a) affordability, (b) properties already benefiting from prior insulation grants and (c) regional procurement; and if he will make a statement. [199861]

Mr. Woolas: We have received representations on the Warm Front Scheme in the form of letters and e-mails from hon. Members and the general public as well as parliamentary questions. These have been on a variety of issues, including affordability, prior insulation grants and regional procurement.


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Home Energy Efficiency Scheme: Eaga

Mr. Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many firms involved in the Warm Front scheme are wholly or partly owned by Eaga. [195740]

Mr. Woolas: A total of seven companies involved in the delivery of Warm Front are wholly or partly owned by the Eaga Group. These are listed in the following table:

Company Role Percentage ownership

Eaga plc

Scheme Management

100

ATEC Ltd.

Client Contact Centre and Surveys

100

Iguana Ltd.

Heating installations

100

Eaga Social Housing

Heating installations

100

Milfold Group Ltd.

Insulation installations

100

WarmSure Ltd.

Aftercare services

50

Eaga Insurance Services Ltd.

Insurance cover provision

100


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