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Viral Organisms

David Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what work has been undertaken by her Department on infection control of viral organisms in the last five years. [5250]

Mr. Morley: An extensive research programme is in place to address the problem of infection by viral organisms in livestock.

The rapid diagnosis and control of disease are fundamental aspects of the research programme together with epidemiological studies and work on pathogenicity and immunity. The programme of research covers a range of viral-induced diseases, including statutory and exotic diseases and those that are non-statutory or endemic within the UK.

Several viral diseases are covered by this programme of research including foot and mouth disease, classical swine fever and African swine fever, influenza, rabies and Newcastle disease.

Meat Imports

David Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the advantages of using sniffer dogs at points of entry to the UK to detect illegal meat imports. [5352]

Mr. Morley: We are looking at a number of ways to improve our ability to detect illegal imports of agricultural products. We have not yet reached any decision on the most efficient and cost-effective approach.

Landfill Tax

Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of landfill tax will be given to the local authorities which are responsible for waste management, in order to fund recycling initiatives in (a) the current year and (b) 2002–03. [5195]

Mr. Meacher [holding answer 19 July 2001]: Landfill site operators can contribute a proportion of landfill tax revenue to a range of projects via the landfill tax credit scheme. Under the rules of the scheme, local authorities

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cannot receive funding from this source. However, the hon. Member may be interested to note that up to 31 August 2001, 15 Environmental Bodies (EB's) based in the county of Essex had spent approximately £1.2 million on sustainable waste management related projects.

The Government's policy, as set out in 'Waste Strategy 2000', is that the landfill tax credit scheme should be delivering an increase in recycling. The Treasury has subsequently issued indicative guidelines which said spend on sustainable waste management projects should increase to 65 per cent. of the credits available through the scheme, with at least a third of this being spent on recycling projects.

In the 2001 Budget statement the Chancellor said that in the longer term the Government are attracted to replacing the scheme, in whole or in part, with a public expenditure programme. That remains the position, although we have made no decisions yet about abolishing or radically changing the existing scheme.

Southern Water

Mr. Brazier: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will instruct Ofwat to require Southern Water to review the main sewer system in the Little Stove and Nailbourne Valley; and if he will publish the results. [5189]

Mr. Meacher [holding answer 19 July 2001]: Ofwat is an independent economic regulator of the water industry. The Secretary of State does issue periodic guidance to the Director General of Ofwat on regulatory issues, but his independent status means that we do not have the power to instruct or request specific actions from him.

Each sewerage undertaker is required to maintain its network of sewers and set priorities for work where this is necessary. Although Ofwat sets price limits, which constrains the revenue available, it does not specify the particular programme of work the undertaker must carry out.

Combined Heat and Power

Helen Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the installed capacity for CHP is; and what she expects this to be in (a) 2005 and (b) 2010. [5767]

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Mr. Meacher: The DTI's recent UK Digest of Energy Statistics gives a figure of 4,632 MWe at the end of 2000 for Good Quality CHP capacity. At present, no projection of capacity for 2005 has been made. The Government have a target to more than double Good Quality CHP capacity to at least 10,000 MWe by 2010.

Helen Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what further measures the Government plans to introduce to encourage the installation of CHP to ensure that the target of 10 GWe is reached by 2010. [5766]

Mr. Meacher: The Department is developing, in close collaboration with DTI and other Departments, a draft CHP Strategy, which will set out the measures needed to achieve the CHP target by 2010.

Joan Ruddock: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the current installed capacity is for CHP; and what she expects this to be in 2005 and 2010. [5185]

Mr. Meacher [holding answer 19 July 2001]: The DTI's recent UK Digest of Energy Statistics gives a figure of 4,632 MWe at the end of 2000 for Good Quality CHP capacity. At present, no projection of capacity for 2005 has been made. The Government have a target to more than double Good Quality CHP capacity to at least 10,000 MWe by 2010.

Joan Ruddock: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what further measures the Government will introduce to encourage the installation of CHP to ensure that the target of 10 Gwe is reached by 2010. [5187]

Mr. Meacher [holding answer 19 July 2001]: The Department is developing, in close collaboration with DTI and other Departments, a draft CHP Strategy, which will set out the measures needed to achieve the CHP target by 2010.

Green Ministers

Mrs. Helen Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list the Green Minister for each Government Department. [5770]

Mr. Meacher: The Green Ministers for each Government Department are as follows:

NameDepartment
Right hon. Michael Meacher MP, Minister of State (Environment) (Chair)Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Right hon. Harriet Harman QC MP, Solicitor GeneralLaw Officers Department
Right hon. Paul Boateng, Financial SecretaryTreasury
Peter Hain MP, Minister for EuropeForeign and Commonwealth Office
Right hon. Alun Michael, Minister of State (Rural Affairs)Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Brian Wilson QC MP, Minister for Industry and EnergyDepartment of Trade and Industry
Right hon. Baroness Blackstone, Minister for the ArtsDepartment for Culture, Media and Sport
George Foulkes MP, Minister of StateScotland Office
Christopher Leslie MP, Parliamentary SecretaryCabinet Office
Rosie Winterton MP, Parliamentary SecretaryLord Chancellor's Department
Angela Eagle MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of StateHome Office
Hilary Benn MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of StateDepartment for International Development
Right hon. Baroness Hollis of Heigham, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of StateDepartment for Work and Pensions
Dr. Alan Whitehead MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of StateDepartment for Transport, Local Government and the Regions
Yvette Cooper MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of StateDepartment of Health
Baroness Ashton of Upholland, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of StateDepartment for Education and Skills
Dr. Lewis Moonie MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of StateMinistry of Defence
Desmond Browne MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of StateNorthern Ireland Office
Don Touhig MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of StateWales Office

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Environmental Appraisals

Helen Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many environmental appraisals have been produced and held on DEFRA's central database since it was established, broken down by Government Department. [5771]

Mr. Meacher: Departments are required to publish all free-standing environmental appraisals of policies unless there are overriding reasons for not doing so (for example, security or commercial sensitivities). The Second Annual Report of the Green Ministers Committee, published in November 2000, included a list of free-standing environmental appraisals (Table 4.2). Since publishing this report, the Inland Revenue has carried out one further appraisal, published in 2001: DEFRA has received notification of a further 18 appraisals carried out in DETR up to February 2001.

Total figures by Department

DepartmentNumber of published appraisals notified to DEFRA
DETR45
DTI4
HMT2
Joint HMT, C&E, DETR1
IR2
MOD1

Power Plants (Fish)

Mr. Kirkwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what research the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science has undertaken to evaluate the success of fish deterrent systems, with particular reference to bubble screens and acoustic devices in reducing entrapment; [5632]

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Mr. Morley: The development and testing of fish deterrent systems has been carried out by those interested in the operational side of power station cooling plants. The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science has not therefore been directly involved. Neither are we aware of the extent to which mitigation measures are applied around the country. This is a matter for the power station operators themselves.

The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science has worked with staff of the former CEGB and the Environment Agency in monitoring fish impingement in a number of coastal power stations since the early 1970s. In general, this monitoring has indicated that the mortality caused in marine fish by power stations is small by comparison with the widespread distribution of these species and the overriding impact of natural mortality and additional fishing mortality.

In 1983, the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science conducted an investigation to estimate the losses of commercial fish species (sprat, herring, cod, whiting, dab, sole and plaice) at Sizewell 'A' power station. These fish kills were calculated to the between 0.01 and 0.08 per cent. of commercial catches in the southern North Sea. A further study of the mortality of juvenile bass at Kingsnorth power station in the Medway Estuary in 1987–88 concluded that the mortality of first year bass during peak impingement in autumn and winter was around 15 per cent. of the population in the immediate vicinity of the power station. This is significantly less than the percentage of juveniles which die as a result of predation, disease and even starvation in their first winter. The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science has since withdrawn from such monitoring.

To date, the Secretary of State has not held any meetings with her international counterparts about this particular problem.

The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science is not responsible for enforcement of the legislation relating to bass nursery areas. This is conducted by the Sea Fisheries Inspectorate, Sea Fisheries Committees and the Environment Agency.


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