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Hazardous Waste Disposal:Government Operations

Lord Rotherwick asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bach: Hazardous or "special waste" emanating from the Ministry of Defence is only disposed of at licensed waste disposal facilities that hold an appropriate waste management licence or IPPC permit using disposal contractors registered with the various UK environment agencies.

Under the current procedure for the disposal of special waste, the environment agencies located closest to the disposal site receive written confirmation of the safe deposit of this waste; the producer is not included in this loop. This will hopefully change when the new Hazardous Waste Regulations 2004 are enacted into UK legislation.

Lord Rotherwick asked Her Majesty's Government:

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Lord Bach: From 16 July onwards, the department will continue to dispose of its hazardous waste in accordance with the requirements outlined in the relevant United Kingdom environmental legislation and with Directive 99/31/EC on the landfill of waste.

Gulf War 1990–91:Destruction of Chemical Weapons

Lord Morris of Manchester asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bach: As I stated in my Answer of 25 March 2004 (Official Report, col. WA 112) the US modelling work estimated that the number of British troops who could have been exposed to the demolitions of chemical weapons at Khamisiyah is estimated at 9,000.

The US Government Accounting Office (GAO) report published in June suggested that this modelling was flawed and that all troops in theatre could have been exposed to fall-out from the destruction of these weapons.

I also refer my noble friend to the answer I gave him on 6 July (Official Report, col. WA 74).

HMS "Endurance"

Lord Astor of Hever asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bach: HMS "Endurance" deploys on an annual basis, usually between October to May the following year, to the South Atlantic and Antarctic regions during the austral summer. She is a unique ship of the Royal Navy in that she has three main roles. Her primary role is to provide a presence in the British Antarctic Territory and United Kingdom Overseas Territories in the region reinforcing British interests and supporting Foreign Office objectives. "Endurance" also undertakes a programme of hydrographic and oceanographic survey work, in support of safety of navigation, during her deployment. The UK Antarctic survey programme is the most extensive in the area in waters that are still largely uncharted. The information gathered is processed by the UK Hydrographic Office and drawn into charts that are used by mariners around the world. Her other role is to support the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) in carrying out its scientific research programmes. In addition, "Endurance" also contributes to the Defence Diplomacy Mission by undertaking a series of port visits in the region.
 
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HMS "Endurance" returned from her 2003–04 deployment on 7 May 2004. She is currently in a period of refit which will result in a shortened deployment programme for the 2004–05 austral summer season. She is scheduled to deploy early in the new year during which she will resume work in line with her three main roles.

MoD and Environmental Tectonics Corporation

Lord Tebbit asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bach: Under the terms of the mediated settlement the Ministry of Defence made a contribution of £6.4 million to Environmental Tectonics Corporation.

Lord Tebbit asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bach: Under the Ministry of Defence's former contract with the Environmental Tectonics Corporation (ETC) a new building was constructed at RAF Henlow to house the new centrifuge. Options for its future use are under consideration. This will determine the value of this asset to the MoD.

Lord Tebbit asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bach: Under the Ministry of Defence's former contract with the Environmental Tectonics Corporation, a sum of £5.964 million was paid in stage payments in respect of work in progress.

Black Watch Regiment

Lord Astor of Hever asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bach: As at 1 January 2004, the establishment and trained strength of the Black Watch was, respectively, 675 and 635. Recruitment to the regiment remains steady and further initiatives to encourage new recruits are being planned.
 
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Queen's Guards at Buckingham Palace

Lord Wallace of Saltaire asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bach: The privilege of guarding the sovereign is extended to Commonwealth countries only. The following nations have provided the Queen's Guards in the past five years:

Eurofighter Typhoon Tranche 1

Lord Astor of Hever asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bach: Eurofighter Typhoon Tranche 1 aircraft are expected to enter into full operational service with the Royal Air Force in the second half of the decade. The first stage towards this—initial pilot training and operational evaluation—is under way and will involve increasing numbers of aircraft as they are delivered. The second stage will be reached when aircraft are declared operationally employable, by which time most of the first tranche aircraft are expected to be available for operations.

UK Government Websites: Guidelines

The Earl of Northesk asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bassam of Brighton: There is no centralised system of monitoring UK government websites for compliance with the guidelines for UK government websites and the accessibility standards they achieve. Responsibility rests with individual government departments, agencies and local authorities.


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