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Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will publish the programme of measures to be undertaken by individual water companies to secure critical infrastructure from flood risk; and what the (a) start and (b) expected end date of each such project is. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: Water companies submitted their final business plans to Ofwat on 7 April. These plans included proposals to secure critical infrastructure from flood risk. Summaries of individual companies' plans, and web links to the full plans, can be accessed via the Ofwat website:
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions he has had with (a) water companies and (b) Ofwat on programmes to protect critical infrastructure from flood risk. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: I received a joint briefing from Ofwat, the Environment Agency, Natural England and the Drinking Water Inspectorate on 27 April on water and sewerage companies final business plans, which were submitted to Ofwat on 7 April. This included discussions on resilience.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the current level of risk from flooding to critical infrastructure of (a) reservoirs and dams, (b) electricity sub-stations, (c) gas power stations, (d) pumping stations and (e) other critical infrastructure. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: The Natural Hazards Team, charged with co-ordinating efforts to identify and counter risks to national infrastructure from natural hazards, has now been established in the Civil Contingencies Secretariat in the Cabinet Office.
The teams first priority will be to assess the vulnerability to flood risk of key elements of the national infrastructure, which includes energy and water assets. This information will be used to prioritise flood resilience building in the national infrastructure. This work is expected to be completed in July 2009 and be published in sector resilience plans, along with proposed resilience measures, by the end of 2009.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent representations he has received on the works required to protect critical infrastructure from flooding; and if he will make a statement. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: DEFRA Ministers and officials maintain regular contact with water companies and representative bodies on a range of issues. This includes discussions concerning the resilience of critical infrastructure from flooding.
The Environment Agency plans to publish the latest national flood risk assessment information on its website in the spring. This will provide a major upgrade to the Environment Agencys flood risk maps.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions his Department has had with the Association of British Insurers on development in flood risk areas; and if he will make a statement. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: The Secretary of State has not had any formal meetings with the Association of British Insurers (ABI) recently. However, he was present at the recent launch of the draft Flood and Water Management Bill on 21 April at the Flood Forecasting Centre, along with ABI representatives.
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether his Department has had discussions at EU level on the implications for the implementation of the provisions of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2007 in respect of the status of waste oil of the ruling of the (a) European Court of Justice in the
case of ARCO Chemie in 2000 and (b) Court of Appeal in the case of OSS Group v. Environment Agency in 2007; and if he will make a statement. 
Jane Kennedy: The Arco Chemie case is discussed in the Interpretative Communication on waste and by-products published by the European Commission on 21 February 2007. The UK participated in the written consultation which the Commission carried out with member states on a draft of that communication.
DEFRA has not to date had discussions at EU level on the case of the OSS Group v. Environment Agency. With the aim of fulfilling the Appeal Courts judgment in that case, the Environment Agency carried out a public consultation on an end-of-waste protocol for the production and use of processed fuel oil from waste lubricating oil. On conclusion of the Agencys consideration of the responses to that consultation, the Government will submit a post-consultation draft of the protocol to the European Commission, and other member states, in compliance with the Technical Standards Directive (98/34/EC).
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research his Department has carried out into the effectiveness of local authority recycling schemes; and if he will make a statement. 
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many end of waste cases have been submitted to the Environment Agency since January 2007; which manufacturers have had their product certified as having reached end of waste by the Environment Agency since that date; and if he will make a statement. 
Jane Kennedy: The Environment Agency and the DEFRA-funded Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) are working to develop end of waste quality protocols that can identify when certain waste materials can be considered to be recovered and no longer subject to waste management controls.
Since January 2007, 17 waste materials have been included in the programme. To date, quality protocols have been fully developed and published for two materials; compost from source-segregated biodegradable waste, and the production of cullet from waste flat glass.
The Environment Agency and WRAP do not certify products produced by manufacturers, but provide a framework for manufacturers to follow which will enable them to state with confidence that the material produced is no longer waste.
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs at what level of rated thermal input a Part 1A permit is required under the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2007 for the
combustion of (a) fuel manufactured from waste, (b) fuel manufactured from waste which has attained an End of Waste certificate, (c) diesel and (d) hazardous waste; and if he will make a statement. 
Section 1.1 Part A(1) (a) 50 MW
Section 1.1 Part A(1) (b) 3-50 MW.
The relevant section will be dependent upon the specific type of material being burnt.
The term end of waste certificate is not used in the 2007 regulations. There is, therefore, no threshold set in the 2007 regulations for this type of fuel.
Section 1.1 Part A(1) (a) 50 MW.
The burning of hazardous waste would fall under section 5.1 which does not refer to rated thermal input. The thresholds in this section are based on tonnages of waste; however, it should be noted that for the burning of hazardous waste there is no de minimis.
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 12 March 2009, O fficial Report, column 674W, on agriculture: subsidies, how much funding has been allocated under Axis 3 of the Rural Development Programme England 2007-2013 to village renewal and development to date. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: Since the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) was formally approved in December 2007, £4.03 million has been allocated (i.e. committed to projects or programmes of investment) under axis 3 of the Rural Development Programme for England 2007-13 to village renewal and development.(1)
(1) Data provided by regional development agencies.
Huw Irranca-Davies: Climate change is projected to increase the frequency, variability and magnitude of flooding and coastal erosion in the UK. The DEFRA funded UK Climate Impacts Programme published scenarios in 2002 which included a range of relative sea level rise of between 9 cm and 69 cm over a 50-year period.
Following this, DEFRA published revised supplementary guidance to operating authorities in 2006 with allowances that varied over time as well as location. This amounted to between 30 cm and 40 cm of relative sea level rise, depending on location, for the period between 1990 and 2055. DEFRAs supplementary guidance also indicated that by 2100, relative sea levels could rise between 79 cm and 98 cm, depending on location.
The Environment Agency, working with the Met Office Hadley Centre, has developed projections of sea level rise for the Thames Estuary 2100 project. This suggested that relative sea levels in the Thames estuary are likely to rise by between 20 cm and 88 cm, by 2100.
Lembit Öpik: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate his Department has made of the effects on the economy of expected changes in sea levels in the next 10 years; and if he will make a statement. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: We do not expect significant sea level rise within the next 10 years. DEFRAs supplementary guidance on climate change impacts for flood and coastal operating authorities estimates that between now and 2019, sea levels could rise by between 25 mm and 40 mm along English and Welsh coastlines, depending on location.
The UK Climate Projections, due to be launched in summer 2009 (UKCP09), will provide data on a range of climate variables, such as temperature and precipitation. The marine report also includes sea level rise and storm surge projections up to 2099 for three emissions scenarios. DEFRA will be reviewing its supplementary guidance in the light of UKCP09.
DEFRA is conducting a UK climate change risk assessment and adaptation economic analysis (CCRA and AEA) of the impacts of climate change. This will assess current and future vulnerability to a range of climate variables, including sea level rise, and quantify the risks and opportunities of these impacts across sectors, such as agriculture, water and the built environment. The CCRA and AEA will provide products to HM Government, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales to:
Understand the level of risk (likelihood and scale of impact) and compare the risk of a changing climate with other pressures on the Government;
Prioritise adaptation policy geographically and by sector; and
Assess the costs and benefits of adaptation actions and support the case for resources for these.
Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether he has had recent discussions with representatives of water companies on the potential need for hosepipe bans in the next six months. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: DEFRA Ministers have not had any discussions recently with representatives of water companies on the need for hosepipe bans in the next six months. Water companies have powers to impose temporary hosepipe bans without recourse to Ministers.
Mr. Paul Goodman: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what the (a) pay band and (b) cash equivalent transfer value is of each member of the senior management board at the Equality and Human Rights Commission; and if she will make a statement. 
Maria Eagle: The information asked for under (a) will be part of the Equality and Human Rights Commissions annual report and accounts for the transition period of October 2007 to March 2008. The Commission intend that the annual report is laid before Parliament before the summer recess.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills (1) how many new apprenticeship places in the agriculture sector have been created in the last 12 months; 
Mr. Simon: There were 4,500 apprenticeship starts in 2007-08 in the 'agriculture, horticulture and animal care' sector subject area, the latest academic year for which full year information is available.
The Government are committed to rebuilding apprenticeships. Since 1997 we have witnessed a renaissance in apprenticeships from a low point of 65,000 to a record 225,000 apprenticeship starts in 2007-08. Completion rates are also at a record high with 64 per cent. successfully completing an apprenticeshipup from 37 per cent. in 2004-05.
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