|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Margaret Beckett [holding answer 15 October 2001]: The UK is committed to the EU's target of ratification and entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol by 2002. The European Commission is expected to publish shortly its proposal for formalising the emission reductions to be delivered by the EU under the Protocol.
Margaret Beckett [holding answer 15 October 2001]: From 1 January 1999 all British registered fishing vessels over 10m catching more than 2 tonnes of quota stocks have had to demonstrate an economic link with coastal communities in the UK. A full report on the first year of operation was published in November 2000 and placed in the Library of the House. There was almost total compliance; foreign-owned UK vessels increased their landings and expenditure in the UK, and additional quota was made available to inshore fishermen in the under 10m fleet and the non-sector. A report on compliance in 2000 will be published later this year.
29 Oct 2001 : Column: 542W
Margaret Beckett [holding answer 15 October 2001]: The Government have sought to reduce the risk of flooding by investing in effective flood warning arrangements and flood defences in the highest risk areas. Funding for the Department's programme is increasing from £66 million in 200001 to £114 million in 200304.
This Department provides funding to the Environment Agency, local authorities and internal drainage boards for capital flood and coastal defence works that meet certain criteria. Responsibility for deciding which projects to promote and their timing rests with the operating authorities.
Mr. Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions she has held with the Environment Agency regarding measures to stop flooding of the (a) Ouse, (b) Uck and (c) Cuckmere; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: I have attended meetings with concerned residents, such as those from Lewes, at which the Environment Agency has been represented. However responsibility for operational flood management rests with the agency and I have not discussed specifically with them their plans for the Ouse, Uck and Cuckmere. DEFRA's regional flood defence engineer will be involved in discussions on the technical aspects of any plans. I am always interested in the progress of flood defence schemes and hold regular meetings with the agency.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the proportion of UK agricultural land under organic production is; and what the proportion is in (a) the EU member states and (b) the USA. 
|Member state||Organic area as a percentage of total agricultural area|
29 Oct 2001 : Column: 543W
Margaret Beckett [holding answer 15 October 2001]: Food hygiene policy is the responsibility of the Food Standards Agency. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is responsible for the implementation of the enforcement aspects of Community and UK legislation concerning the hygiene of food imported from third countries.
Margaret Beckett [holding answer 15 October 2001]: My Department's responsibilities for protecting and improving the environment and conserving and enhancing biodiversity cover all areas, including inner cities.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on her Department's policy towards nuclear power and the disposal of nuclear waste. 
Margaret Beckett [holding answer 15 October 2001]: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to my hon. Friend the Member for Preseli Pembrokeshire (Mrs. Lawrence) on 22 October 2001, Official Report, column 25W. This describes our consultation paper "Managing radioactive waste safely". The Government policy on nuclear power is described on page 18 of the consultation paper.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list the number, value and location of properties newly leased in each of the last five years by her Department, broken down by leases by the Department itself, its next step agencies and its non-departmental public bodies, differentiating between purchases made as a result of the creation of new bodies and those purchases made by established bodies. 
Mr. Morley: The information requested in respect of the Department and its next step agencies is available in the Libraries of the House. The Department does not hold centrally information about the properties occupied by non-departmental public bodies.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of (a) vegetables, (b) fruit, (c) cereal products and (d) meat products available for consumption in the UK has been sampled for pesticide residues in the past 12 months. 
Margaret Beckett [holding answer 15 October 2001]: In the calendar year 2000, 2,304 food samples were analysed for a wide range of pesticide residues under the Governments annual pesticide residues surveillance
29 Oct 2001 : Column: 544W
programme. The programme generated results for about 90,000 pesticide/commodity food combinations. Specifically, 395 samples of fruit, 643 samples of vegetables, 71 samples of cereal/cereal products and 350 samples of animal products including meat were tested during 2000.
The majority of samples are collected at retail level and information is not available on the size of the consignment from which samples are collected. It is not therefore possible to calculate the proportion of total supplies sampled. As a result of the provision of additional funding by the Government and value for money improvements in the programme we are boosting the total number of samples collected for analysis to 4,000 during 2001.
Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many staff in Worcestershire Trading Standards Department are working with her Department on issuing autumn livestock movements licences; what other responsibilities these individuals have; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: I understand from Worcestershire county council that three staff are employed on autumn movement work on Tuesday, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays with an additional person working on Mondays and Fridays more staff would be deployed if the workload should arise.
Mr. Meacher: Work is under way within the EU to establish a framework for the assessment of the environmental impact of ionising radiation. The project is due to finish in October 2003. A recent study on behalf of the Environment Agency and English Nature "Impact Assessment of Ionising Radiation in Wildlife", published in July this year, concluded that wildlife is not significantly impacted by exposure to ionising radiation from authorised discharges. The study, however, recommended some specific areas that needed to be investigated further.
Proposals for liquid or aerial discharges of radioactive waste, or the disposal of solid low-level radioactive waste, are subject to authorisation by the appropriate regulator. In examining such proposals the regulators satisfy themselves, among other things, that alternatives, where they exist, are properly evaluated and that the resulting authorisation will result in a low environmental impact and that it is based on the best practicable environmental option.
Last year the Government published for consultation a draft "UK Strategy for Radioactive Discharges 200102", and draft "Statutory Guidance on the Regulation of Radioactive Discharges into the Environment from Nuclear Licensed Sites". Final versions of both documents will be published shortly. The former is the Government's strategy for complying with the commitments it and other members of OSPAR entered into in 1998 for reducing radioactive discharges into the marine environment of the north-east Atlantic in the period up to 2020. The second is guidance
29 Oct 2001 : Column: 545W
to the Environment Agency about the setting of radioactive discharge limits which will help to ensure compliance with the objectives of the strategy.
The Government published in September this year a consultation paper "Managing Radioactive Waste Safely". The purpose of the consultation is to set in train a process for deciding how radioactive waste can best be managed. Nuclear power generation contributes 23 per cent. of the total volume of radioactive waste. Nuclear power contributes about 26 per cent. of the UK's electricity supply and plays an important role in helping the UK to meet its climate change target. In 1998 nuclear power generation was estimated to have reduced UK carbon emissions by between 12 and 24 million tonnes. At present, high and intermediate-level waste from nuclear power generation is safely stored at nuclear licensed sites. Low-level waste is mostly disposed of at BNFL's facility at Drigg in Cumbria.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|