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Mr. Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what steps he has taken to extend the local planning system to (a) forestry and agriculture (b) bulldozed tracks, (c) power stations and (d) overhead power lines. 
Ms Beverley Hughes: None. Power stations over 50 MW and most overhead electric lines are the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry under the Electricity Act 1989.
Mr. Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if the allocation of local authorities' transport supplementary grants are linked to air quality standards. 
Our guidance to authorities on Local Transport Plans (LTPs) makes clear that allocations will be determined by an assessment of the needs and priorities established in the plans and the extent to which the LTP is likely to provide value for money in delivering its integrated transport objectives. It also recognises that air quality is likely to be one of the major factors influencing the objectives and strategies contained within LTPs, particularly in large urban areas.
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and where this is unlikely, to designate air quality management areas and prepare action plans setting out the steps they propose to take in pursuit of them. Our guidance on LTPs makes clear that where an air quality management area has been declared, LTPs should include measures to improve air quality. In order to maximise the effectiveness of both air quality action plans and LTPs, the two should produced in a co-ordinated manner.
Authorities submitted their first full Local Transport Plans last July. Authorities will be submitting their first annual progress reports later this year and we shall be monitoring closely their progress against the targets set in their LTPs, including those related to air quality standards.
Mr. Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what progress has been made since May 1997 on the establishing of pollution charges on the main air, land and water pollutants. 
Mr. Hill: The Environment Agency inherited from its predecessor bodies charging regimes for integrated pollution control, radioactive substances regulation, waste management licensing and discharges to controlled waters. It has implemented an interim charging scheme for the new Pollution Prevention and Control (PPC) regulatory regime, which came into effect in 2000. The agency is currently working on a long-term scheme for PPC and on a revision to the waste management licensing charging scheme, so that it reflects a risk-based approach to inspections.
Mr. Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how many incinerators will need to be constructed over the next 10 years under the Government's waste strategy. 
The choice of waste facilities is for local councils to take in consultation with their local communities. The Government has no plan for any particular number of incinerators, but recognises that the recovery of energy from waste may have a role to play, alongside recycling and composting, in an integrated waste management plan.
Mr. Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if local authorities have power to introduce byelaws against dog fouling without the prior approval of his Department. 
Mr. Robert Ainsworth: Local authorities do not have the power to introduce dog fouling byelaws without obtaining this Department's approval. However, local authorities can designate areas where it will be an offence for failing to clear up after one's dog under the Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996. In such cases, dog wardens are able to issue fixed penalties of £25 to offenders or
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Ms Beverley Hughes: Where proposed lighting installations, or proposals involving lighting, constitute development, they fall within the scope of planning control, and require submission of a planning application to the local planning authority in the usual way. Where they decide to approve an application, local planning authorities can impose planning conditions to limit any adverse impacts of light. However, the installation of some lighting does not constitute development--for example, if it does not materially affect the appearance of the building--and is therefore outside planning control. The courts have ruled that light itself cannot be treated as development. We have no plans to change the position.
Mr. Robert Ainsworth: The Government are committed to controlling pollution from abandoned mines and have both strengthened the regulatory regime concerning abandoned mines and supported works and programmes to address minewater pollution. Under the Mines (Notice of Abandonment) Regulations 1998 operators must now give the Environment Agency advance warning of any proposed abandonment to allow preventive action to be taken to avoid minewater breakouts. In addition, the Government have brought into effect section 60 of the Environment Act 1995, thus removing a statutory defence for owners and former operators of mines for minewater pollution, and have given the Environment Agency new powers to take remedial action under the Anti-Pollution Works Regulations 1999. Among the specific remedial and preventative schemes supported by the Government are programmes operated by the Coal Authority in close liaison with the Environment Agency and Scottish Environment Protection Agency to prevent and treat significant water pollution from abandoned coal mines. Twelve treatment sites are now working and five others are under construction with a forward programme for four sites each year.
Mr. Meacher: The only eco-labelling scheme administered in this country by the Secretary of State is the European Union eco-label. A company wishing to obtain a licence to use that label must ensure that its product satisfies the technical criteria applying to that type
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of product. The criteria are agreed between the member states, following consultation with interested parties, and then adopted and published by the European Commission. The regulation governing the scheme requires that the technical criteria relate only to the environmental impacts of the type of product concerned and its functional fitness for use; and, as the scheme must operate consistently across the single market, no additional requirements for the licensing of the label may be imposed at a national level. However, the scheme must also operate without prejudice to other requirements of EU or national law on relevant product issues, which may include animal testing, and which determine which products may actually be placed on the market.
Mr. Robert Ainsworth: The utilities, including cable companies, are already signed up to guidelines--NJUG10 ("Guidelines for the planning, installation and maintenance of utility services in proximity to trees")--designed to ensure that they carry out their works without damaging trees unnecessarily.
The key messages of NJUG10 have also been reinforced in a code of practice, included in the Department's "Tree Preservation Orders--A guide to the law and good practice". This further encourages good street works practice and effective consultation between utility operators and local authority tree officers.
Ms Beverley Hughes: The Government have set a statutory best value performance indicator requiring local authorities to monitor the percentage of invoices paid on time, and to publish this figure in their annual performance plan. Authorities are expected to set targets that are consistent with our own standards for central Government, whereby 100 per cent. of invoices must be paid on time by the end of the financial year 2002-03.
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