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Mr. Grogan: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement about how the National Air Quality Strategy will be applied to coal fired power stations. 
Alun Michael: The Government's policies and measures for reducing air pollution from industry, transport and other sources are set out in the 'Air Quality Strategy for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland', published in January 2000 and the Addendum to the Strategy, published in February 2003. The Strategy contains ambient air quality standards for nine key pollutants and the dates between 2003 and 2010 by which they should be met. The Environment Agency is responsible for the regulation of larger power stations and other major industrial processes in England and Wales. The Environment Act 1995 requires that the
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Agency takes account of the requirements of the Air Quality Strategy in discharging its pollution control functions.
The larger coal fired power stations are currently regulated by the Environment Agency through the Integrated Pollution Control ("IPC") regime. IPC was established by the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and regulates industrial pollution through a system of authorisation. IPC is being superseded by the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control ("IPPC") regime, which implements an EC directive of the same name. Power stations that came into operation before 31 October 1999 will be regulated by IPPC from 2006. New installations or those undergoing substantial change are required to apply for an IPPC permit with immediate effect.
Sulphur dioxide from power stations is controlled by system emission limits that restrict the amount that can be discharged in any given year. Limits are set for individual sites and for companies operating several sites to take account of the potential for local air pollution and long-range pollution. In order that the combined impact of adjacent power stations and other sources will not lead to a breach of the objective, operators are required to develop a local air quality management and monitoring plan which will ensure adherence with the Air Quality Strategy by 2005.
Mr. Bill O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on her proposals for the National Emissions Reduction scheme; and if she will make a statement. 
Alun Michael: I assume that this question refers to implementation options under the revised Large Combustion Plant Directive (2001/80/EC) for plants that were in existence in 1987. We are currently considering whether to implement the revised Directive for these plants by the emission limits approach or by adopting a National Emissions Reduction scheme and will issue a consultation paper in due course. Measures under the Directive would apply to these plants from 2008.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many successful prosecutions have been undertaken since 6 February 2002 by the Environment Agency concerning pollution in Buckinghamshire. 
There were five prosecutions successfully concluded during the period. These comprised two cases involving fly-tipping, two cases involving breaches of the producer responsibility regulationsdesigned to encourage the recycling of waste packagingand one case involving water pollution.
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Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much funding her Department has allocated to (a) Buckinghamshire county council and (b) Aylesbury Vale district council to assist with the costs of storing and processing refrigerators and freezers; and what plans she has to make further funds available. 
Mr. Meacher: (a) Buckinghamshire County Council received £312,480 from Special Grant Report 109 to assist with the costs of storing and processing refrigerators and freezers in 200203. This was in addition to an allocation from the £6 million provided to waste disposal authorities in England for 1 January to 31 March 2002. Spending Review 2002 included future funding within the Environmental, Protective and Cultural Services block which will be distributed through Formula Standard Shares (FSAs).
Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the total subsidies awarded to (a) farms and (b) non-farming rural businesses were in each of the last five years. 
Alun Michael: It is not possible to differentiate subsidy payments between farms and non-farming rural business. The total direct aid payments made under the Common Agricultural Policy in England in each of the last five years were:
Current projects include the use of tyres in coastal and river engineering schemes, improving the economics of granulating tyres by reducing the rubber contamination of the processed steel which should enable this steel to be
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beneficially used, the processing of tyres into fine rubber crumb by the use of ultra high pressure water, and research looking at the use of rubber crumb in asphalt mixes. There is also a study, developed in collaboration with the Institute of Civil Engineers, and supported by landfill tax credits monies, setting out the many potential civil engineering uses for tyres.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many staff in her Department, agencies and non-departmental public bodies receive paid leave to undertake union duties; how many days they are allocated; and what has been the cost to public funds in 2002. 
Alun Michael: In the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and its agencies, 353 staff have received paid leave to undertake union duties during the financial year 200203. The cost to public funds for this period is not yet available.
Mr. Bill O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to set up a strategic waste forum to ensure co-ordination between (a) Government Departments, (b) local authorities, (c) the waste management industry and (d) the environmental sector. 
Mr. Meacher: The Government are keen to improve co-ordination with their partners and stakeholders. The Strategy Unit Report, 'Waste Not, Want Not' included recommendations aiming to improve co-ordination between Government, local authorities, and industry, for example to establish an industry forum, and to set up a multi-disciplinary task force to help and provide advice to local authorities.
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the Government's policy is on the possibility of NATO taking over operations of the ISAF in Afghanistan; and if he will make a statement. 
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