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Paddy Tipping: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list the local authorities that have made representations to maintain the blanket closure of the rights of way network. 
Blackburn with Darwen borough council
Bradford metropolitan district council
Cumbria county council 1
Devon county council 1
Durham county council 1
East Riding of Yorkshire council
Gloucestershire county council 1
Hartlepool borough council
Herefordshire council 1
Kent county council
Lancashire county council 1
Leeds city council
Lincolnshire county council
Sheffield city council
Somerset county council 1
1 My Department's officials wrote to local authorities on 13 July approving applications from those authorities.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if the costs awarded to MAFF following the case of MAFF v. TT Smith (Mink) Ltd. (1999) have been paid by the defendant. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 10 July 2001]: On 11 March 1999 at Lyndhurst magistrates court TT Smith (Mink) Ltd. was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £15,000. £5,000 has been paid and the magistrates court is enforcing payment of the remainder.
Margaret Moran: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what recent discussions she has had with motor manufacturers regarding recycling of end of life vehicles; 
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Mr. Meacher: The Government are planning to issue a consultation paper on options to implement the End of Life Vehicles Directive 2000/53/EC in the near future. Views from all parties will be welcomed.
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to monitor progress in implementing the Government's waste strategy; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Meacher [holding answer 13 July 2001]: A Waste Strategy Monitoring Group has been set up to monitor the implementation of the Government's waste strategy in England. As announced in "Waste Strategy 2000", we intend to review progress towards achieving the strategy goals regularly to ensure that we are on course to meet our international obligations and that the targets that have been set are realistic. The National Assembly is currently reviewing the strategy in Wales.
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what definition her Department uses of fuel poverty; what the level is of household fuel poverty in Great Britain; what timetable has been set for implementing a strategy to eradicate fuel poverty; and if she will make a statement. 
The Government's overall goal is to seek an end to the problem of fuel poverty, with the first objective being to take all those most vulnerable to cold-related ill-health (older people, families with young children, the disabled and those with long-term illness) out of fuel poverty by 2010. The individual programmes set out in the draft strategy are already under way, with the Home Energy Efficiency Scheme (HEES) in England already substantially improved and offering grants of up to £2,000 compared to the £315 available under the previous scheme that had run since 1991. Since its launch in June 2000, HEES has already assisted over 100,000 vulnerable households and has a target of reaching 800,000 homes by 2004.
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Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to introduce a moratorium on the building of new incinerators; and if she will make a statement. 
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what rules are used to ensure that companies take responsibility for pollution under the integrated pollution control system and the integrated pollution prevention and control system; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Meacher [holding answer 13 July 2001]: In Great Britain, both the integrated pollution control and integrated pollution prevention and control regimes require operators to be issued with permits before they can undertake polluting activities. They give the regulator discretion to issue enforcement notices requiring compliance and provide for criminal prosecution in a range of circumstances.
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to increase protection of sites of special scientific interest; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Meacher [holding answer 13 July 2001]: We have provided significantly increased protection for sites of special scientific interest (SSSIs) in England and Wales, through measures in part III of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000. The first wildlife legislation for 20 years, the Act gives the conservation agencies new powers to refuse consent for damaging activities and to tackle neglect on SSSIs. It also imposes new duties on public bodies to further the conservation and enhancement of SSSIs and new procedures where such bodies are undertaking or considering consents for activities which may damage the features of SSSIs.
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to change the targets of the Government's air quality strategy; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Meacher [holding answer 13 July 2001]: The air quality strategy for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, published in January 2000, sets policy objectives for reducing levels of the eight air pollutants which are thought to pose the greatest risk to human health and the environment. The objectives are all subject to regular review, in the light of new scientific and policy documents.
The Department plans to consult shortly on possible new objectives for three of the eight pollutants (particles, carbon monoxide and benzene). At the same time, we will also consult on a policy objective for a ninth pollutant
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(polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons). Thereafter, we intend to consult on a possible new objective for nitrogen dioxide, and on new objectives for the protection of ecosystems and vegetation from nitrogen oxides and sulphur dioxide, during the course of 2002. We have no immediate plans to revise the objectives for the other pollutants covered by the strategy (sulphur dioxide, lead, ozone and 1,3 butadiene).
Mr. Meacher: There are currently no automatic air quality monitoring sites in Gloucestershire that form part of the UK national air pollution monitoring network. However, I understand that the Forest of Dean district council and Cheltenham borough council have set up their own monitoring stations at Cinderford and Montpellier respectively. I also understand that all the Gloucestershire authorities have used diffusion tubes at a number of locations across their areas for monitoring levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO 2 ) and levels of sulphur dioxide (SO 2 ) for the purposes of their air quality reviews and assessments.
Mr. Nigel Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on how many occasions since 1997 air monitoring stations in Gloucestershire have reported pollution above recommended health levels. 
Mr. Meacher: Within the UK as a whole, there has been a steady decline since 1997 in the number of days of poor air quality recorded at urban sites. In rural areas, the number of days when air pollution is recorded as moderate or higher has fluctuated over the same period because of the variability in levels of ozone. There are, however, no air quality monitoring stations in Gloucestershire that supply data to the UK automatic monitoring networks, so we are unable to provide any validated data to indicate on precisely how many occasions since 1997 air pollution was reported above recommended health levels in Gloucestershire.
The local authorities in Gloucestershire have been reviewing and assessing the current, and likely future, air quality in their region as a requirement under Part IV of the Environment Act 1995. I understand from Gloucestershire Pollution Group that while there have been a number of days where the air pollution has been recorded as moderate or higher, they are not aware that the annual objectives have been exceeded for any pollutant.
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress has been made towards meeting the targets of the Government's air quality strategy; what measures she intends to monitor future progress; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Meacher [holding answer 13 July 2001]: Air pollution in the UK's towns and cities is on a steady downward trend, as a result chiefly of the progressively tighter controls over industrial and vehicle emissions that
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have been introduced in recent years. Current modelling suggests that the UK is broadly on track to meet the objectives for most of the pollutants covered by the air quality strategy. It is likely, however, that three of the objectives (those for particles, nitrogen dioxide and ozone) will not be met in some parts of the UK without some additional national and/or local policy measures.
In the case of particles and nitrogen dioxide, the air quality action plans that many local authorities will be developing over the months ahead will have a key role to play in helping us to achieve the objectives. In the case of ozone, concerted action at a European level is likely to be the best way of delivering the necessary reductions in levels across southern England. The forthcoming Ozone and National Emissions Ceilings Directives will help us to achieve this.
We will monitor future progress towards these objectives by means of the national air quality monitoring network, and by a programme of reviews of the objectives for individual pollutants. We will also look to the results of the reviews and assessments of local air quality carried out be local authorities under Part IV of the Environmental Act 1995.
Mr. Meacher: The number and location of the air monitoring stations that form part of the UK air pollution monitoring network are predominantly determined by the need to meet the ambient air pollution reporting requirements laid down in the EU Air Quality Framework Directive and the Air Quality Daughter Directives. Other monitoring sites have been chosen to provide input into the development of proposed legislation and to improve the understanding of sources and effects of air pollution.
The national monitoring network is constantly evolving. New sites have recently been installed to measure sulphur dioxide, particles and nitrogen dioxide in order to meet the requirements of the First Daughter Directive. Additional monitoring sites are also being installed to meet the requirements for benzene and carbon monoxide required for the Second Daughter Directive. There is also an extended monitoring programme for polyaromatic hydrocarbons and heavy metals to inform understanding of the sources and levels of these pollutants. Other developments to the network are also under consideration, although, at present, there are no definite plans for new sites in Gloucestershire.
Local authorities will also continue to have to monitor their local air quality from time to time as a requirement under Part IV of the Environment Act 1995. It will be up to them to continue monitoring the air quality in their region to assess whether or not the air quality objectives will be met by the relevant deadlines.
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she (a) has had and (b) plans with local authorities in Gloucestershire on the subject of air quality; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Meacher: My officials have been in regular contact with all the local authorities in Gloucestershire over the past few years, while they have been undertaking their local air quality reviews and assessments. Gloucestershire Pollution Group is represented at the Regional Air Quality Co-ordinators' meetings which are organised by my officials and take place every six months or so. The local authorities in Gloucestershire, along with all other English authorities, also have a duty to consult the Secretary of State on their review and assessment reports.
Out of the six district/borough authorities in Gloucestershire, only Stroud district council and Tewkesbury borough council have identified potentially significant air pollution problems. These two authorities have therefore had to designate a joint air quality management area (AQMA) in respect of levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO 2 ) adjacent to the M5 motorway, and they will now have to undertake a further review and assessment of air quality in the affected areas. They will also have to draw up an air quality action plan setting out the measures they intend to take in working towards the air quality objective for NO 2 .
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