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Lord Warner: The document Improving Chronic Disease Management is intended to highlight the need to improve the management and treatment of chronic conditions, whatever they are. References to specific conditions are purely for illustrative purposes.
Lord Warner: The safety of dietary copper was considered by the Expert Group on Vitamins and Minerals (EVM) in 2003. It was noted that the evidence on the long-term effects of high levels of copper intake in humans is limited. However, the EVM concluded that the existing evidence indicates no adverse effects of high dietary intakes (7.510mg/day) of copper. A copy of the EVM report is available in the Library.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Whitty): The decreasing level of application of copper based pesticides has been set in the EU Organic Farming Regulation because the Commission and a number of member states are concerned that the regular
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use of copper fungicides leads to an accumulation of copper that can eventually effect soil biology and crops.
This is a long-term issue (it does not affect the current crop) which is one reason why it was agreed to be acceptable to have a programme of gradually reducing applications. This is intended to give the industry time to find alternatives. The effects of long-term copper use are widely documented in the scientific literature for example the following publication:
Lord Whitty: The burning of hazardous wastes is currently controlled by the Hazardous Waste Incineration Regulations 1998 (SI 1998 No 767) which will be superseded by the Waste Incineration (England and Wales) Regulations 2002 (SI 2002 No 2980) and associated directions from 28 December 2005 although the latter already apply to any incinerators new or substantially changed since 28 December 2002.
These regulations transpose the respective requirements of European Directives 94/67/EC on the incineration of hazardous waste and 2000/76/EC on the incineration of waste (under the latter, the former will be repealed from 28 December 2005). These contain emission limits for a range of pollutants associated with incineration which were agreed in the negotiations leading to the adoption of those directives. The limits in the latter are more stringent and reflect further research into the health effects of the pollutants.
What is the definition of an incinerator in which hazardous waste may be burned; whether there are different classes of incinerator; and whether the same regulatory regime applies to each class. [HL3197]
Lord Whitty: The definition of an incineration plant provided in the Waste Incineration (England and Wales) Regulations 2002 (SI 2002 No 2980) is "incineration
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plant means any stationary or mobile technical unit and equipment dedicated to the thermal treatment of wastes with or without recovery of the combustion heat generated. This includes the incineration by oxidation of waste as well as other thermal treatment processes such as pyrolysis, gasification or plasma processes in so far as the substances resulting from the treatment are subsequently incinerated".
Different designs of incinerators are available for incinerating solid and liquid hazardous wastes. However, the same regulatory regime applies irrespective of the type of design of the incinerator. Hazardous waste incinerators existing prior to 28 December 2002 are currently subject to the Hazardous Waste Incineration Directive (implemented into legislation by the Hazardous Waste Incineration Regulations 1998 (SI 1998 No 767) but will be subject to the more stringent controls of SI 2002 No 2980 from 28 December 2005 which already apply to any incinerators new since 28 December 2002.
Whether industrial processors, such as cement manufacturers, have to apply for a change of use permission and submit an environmental impact assessment if they choose to burn hazardous wastes. [HL3198]
Lord Whitty: The exact position will depend on the particular circumstances of individual cases. In general a change of fuel is not likely to result in a material change of use that will require planning permission and which would then require consideration of whether an environmental impact assessment was necessary.
However, depending upon the circumstances of the case a change in fuel could require an application to the Environment Agency for a variation in the conditions of the integrated pollution control authorisation or pollution prevention and control permit relevant to the process.
Lord Whitty: The definition of waste in force in the United Kingdom is the definition in Article 1(a) of the Waste Framework Directive (as amended). It provides that waste means "any substance or object . . . which the holder discards or intends or is required to discard." Whether or not a substance is discarded as waste is a matter which must be determined on the facts of the case and the interpretation of the law is a matter for the courts. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has issued several judgments on the interpretation of the definition of waste and the meaning of "discard". It rests in the first place with the producer of a substance to decide whether it is being discarded as waste. The Environment Agency is
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designated as a "competent authority" for the implementation of the directive in England and Wales and is responsible for the application of its controls to substances discarded as waste.
The ECJ held in cases s C418/97 and C419/97 (ARCO Chemie Nederland Ltd) that, "The fact that that use as fuel is a common method of recovering waste and the fact that that substance is commonly regarded as waste may be taken as evidence that the holder has discarded that substance or intends or is required to discard it within the meaning of Article 1(a) of [the Waste Framework Directive]. However, whether it is in fact waste within the meaning of the directive must be determined in the light of all the circumstances, regard being had to the aim of the directive and the need to ensure that its effectiveness is not undermined."
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Lord Whitty: Pesticides used on organic produce are subject to the same requirements as other pesticides, to demonstrate acceptability of consumer intakes and operator, re-entry worker and bystander exposures. This will normally require a range of toxicity studies, from single exposures to lifetime exposures and investigations of mutagenicity, carcinogenicity, reproductive toxicity and teratogenicity. All are included in the EC review of pesticide active substances.
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