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Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many (a) letters of warning, (b) infringement notices and (c) prosecutions have been instigated by the European Commission against his Department and its predecessor in relation to EU directives since May 1997; and what the reasons for the Commission's action were in each case. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The European Commission's procedures in relation to formal infringement proceedings against EU member states are based on Article 226 and Article 228 of the treaty establishing the European Community. They provide for a staged approach to infringement action comprising:
(a) Letter putting a member state on formal notice of a possible breach of the EC treaty;
(b) Formal determination, or Reasoned Opinion, by the Commission that a member state is in breach of the treaty; and
(c) Referral to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for a ruling that a member state is in breach.
(a) Letter putting a member state on formal notice of possible failure to comply with a judgment of the ECJ under Article 226;
(b) Reasoned Opinion that a member state has failed to comply with a ECJ judgment under Article 226;
(c) Referral to the ECJ for a ruling that member state is in breach of its treaty obligations and application for a financial penalty.
|Reasons for Commission's action|
|Stage||Non-communication( 1)||Non-conformity( 2)||Non-application( 3)|
|(1) Domestic transposition measures are not notified to the Commission on time.|
(2) Transposition legislation is in some way inadequate.
(3) Otherwise timely and technically adequate legislation is alleged to be improperly implemented on the ground.
Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what transposition date his Department has set in respect of each EU directive relating to the environment which has entered into force since May 1997. 
Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether his Department has authorised sites in Hertfordshire for use for experiments relating to genetically-modified crops. 
Dan Norris: Between 1994 and 2002 we authorised experimental trials of GM crop plants to take place at various sites in Hertfordshire, as set out in the following table. No trials have taken place in Hertfordshire since 2003.
|Town or village||Ordnance Survey grid reference||Crop type|
|(1) Best available information|
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for what reasons greyhound racing tracks affiliated to the Greyhound Board of Great Britain are exempt from the proposed new licensing requirements for the promotion of the welfare of racing greyhounds. 
The regulations we have proposed will only exempt tracks that are affiliated to a body that has gained United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) status in respect of the enforcement of the standards set down in the regulations. Only if the Greyhound Board of Great Britain secures UKAS accreditation as an enforcement body for the standards in the regulations will any track affiliated to it be exempt. Not to exempt
such tracks would, in effect, mean that these tracks would be inspected by two different bodies for the same welfare standards.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the timetable is for the introduction of regulations for the promotion of the welfare of racing greyhounds. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: We have recently published the summary of the responses to the public consultation we held on our proposals to introduce regulations to promote the welfare of racing greyhounds. As indicated in the summary, we intend to lay regulations before Parliament this autumn. Subject to approval by Parliament, it is our intention that these regulations would come into force on 6 April 2010.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which animal welfare organisations his Department has consulted as part of its review of regulations relating to the welfare of racing greyhounds. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: Many animal welfare organisations submitted responses to the recent DEFRA consultation on proposals for racing greyhound regulations. The summary of the responses to the consultation, which we have recently published on our website, provides a full list of all the organisations that responded. Prior to the public consultation, DEFRA formed a number of working groups to help advise on the contents of the regulations. As well as representatives of the industry, veterinarians and local authorities, representatives of welfare groups were also represented. These included the Dogs Trust, the RSPCA and the League Against Cruel Sports.
Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress has been made on the Environment Agency's investigation into the maintenance of ventilation stack monitors at Hartlepool nuclear power station; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The Environment Agency and British Energy have worked to ensure that a replacement project completed in March 2009, has provided equipment suitable for continued operations. All seven replacement ventilation stack sampling systems are in operation and the Environment Agency will continue to monitor the performance of these systems.
Nick Herbert: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent assessment he has made of levels of illegal export of hazardous waste materials to Brazil; and if he will make a statement. 
The UK was informed by the Government of Brazil of up to 100 containers at ports in Brazil alleged to contain potentially hazardous waste materials.
As the competent authority for the waste shipment controls in England and Wales, the Environment Agency commenced an investigation and contacted the Brazilian authorities to establish the precise nature of the alleged illegal activities. The shipping lines contracted to transport the containers from the UK to Brazil agreed to repatriate the containers to the UK at their own expense. 81 containers have now been returned. The remaining containers are due back in the UK later in September. The Environment Agency is carrying out an investigation of the containers and will then ensure the waste is handled and disposed of correctly.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions (a) he and (b) his officials have had with Ministers and officials of (i) the Department for Communities and Local Government and (ii) the Department of Energy and Climate Change on implementation of the provisions of the EU Waste Incineration Directive. 
Dan Norris: No recent meetings have been held between officials from DEFRA, the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Department of Energy and Climate Change about the implementation of the Waste Incineration Directive.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps are being taken to ensure that trade waste collected by local authorities is classified as such and not as municipal waste. 
Dan Norris: Commercial waste collected by a local authority is, and should be classified as, municipal waste. Therefore, we will not be taking any steps to stop local authorities classifying it as such.
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