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Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for St. Ives (Andrew George), of 4 February 2002, Official Report, columns 74849W, if there are exceptions to the policy of returning reprocessing wastes arising from contracts with foreign customers back to the country of origin. 
Mr. Meacher: All BNFL's new reprocessing contracts for overseas customers since 1976 have included a provision to return the resulting wastes back to the country of origin. BNFL has proposed that it should be allowed to return an additional amount of high-level waste in substitution for a radiologically equivalent amount of intermediate and low-level waste. This proposal was referred to in the consultation paper "Managing Radioactive Waste Safely" which my Department and the devolved Administrations published in September 2001. Comments were invited on the link between waste substitution and the availability of a long-term management strategy. The consultation paper noted that BNFL is permitted to engage in waste substitution for low-level waste for which an environmentally acceptable disposal route exists.
Mr. Gareth R. Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which independent consultants were consulted by the Environment Agency before they reached their conclusions on the impact of canoeing on fish stocks in November 2000. 
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Lloyd Street North, Manchester M15 6SE. The expert panel consulted by APEM on the impact of canoeing on fish stocks comprised:
Dr. Nick Giles, Environmental consultant specialising in freshwater fisheries, aquatic ecology and conservation;
Professor Paul Giller, Freshwater and community ecologist, Department of Zoology and Animal Ecology, University College Cork, Ireland;
Dr. Anton Ibbetson, Senior Scientific Officer, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology;
Dr. Michael Ladle, Retired Head of the Fisheries Department, Institute of Freshwater Ecology;
Professor Peter Maitland, Independent freshwater ecology consultant, Fish Conservation Centre, Haddington;
Professor Richard Mann, Fish biologist, Visiting Professor at the University of Hertfordshire;
Dr. David Summers, Fisheries Manager, Tay District Salmon Fisheries Board;
Dr. Ian Winfield, Fish ecologist, Institute of Freshwater Ecology, Windermere.
All committees were apprised of the research and some chose to discuss it. The North East Regional Fisheries, Ecology and Recreation Advisory Committee discussed the document in January, April and October 2001 and South West RFERAC in january 2001. The remainder did not discuss it.
Mr. Gareth R. Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list the members of each Environment Agency regional fisheries, ecology and recreation advisory committee; and whether they have an (a) angling, (b) navigation and (c) recreational interest. 
Mr. Morley: There is no statutory requirement to have recreation and navigation interests on the RFERA Committees but the agency has determined, with the consent of Ministers, that these should be represented. Relevant details of the membership of each RFERA Committee have been placed in the Library of the House.
|Cross-membership with other committees||3 or 4|
|Riparian owners||1 or 2|
|Navigation||1 (except 4 in Thames and 3 in Anglia)|
27 Feb 2002 : Column 1358W
Mr. Gareth R. Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what criteria were used to appoint chairmen and members of the Environment Agency Regional Fisheries Ecology and Recreation Advisory committees. 
Mr. Morley: This Department is responsible only for the appointment of the Chair of each of the Regional Fisheries, Ecology and Recreation Advisory Committees in England and is not directly involved in the appointment of the Committee members.
Mr. Gareth R. Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if advertisements for the chairs of the Environment Agency regional fisheries, ecology and recreation advisory committees were placed in boating and canoeing magazines; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: In accordance with the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments (OCPA) guidance, taking into account the role and remit of these posts, proportionality and available resources, advertisements were placed in The Times, the Sunday Times and the Anglers Mail. The advert also appeared on the Department's website.
Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how the views of customers of the Rural Payments Agency are being accommodated in the design of its new business processes. 
Mr. Morley: The views of Rural Payments Agency's (RPA) customers are being accommodated in the design of its new processes through the involvement of an RPA Industry Forum, drawn from key industry representatives, supported by commodity/scheme expert groups. Consultation will continue to take place and develop as the Change Programme progresses. This work is being supported through the delivery of a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) strategy and overarching European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) Business Excellence and Balance Scorecard approach within RPA. This will incorporate research, targeting, performance monitoring and benchmarking against customer criteria.
Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will place copies of the OGC Gateway one and two reports on the Rural Payments Agency project in the Library. 
strong stakeholder engagement and support;
early industry participation; and
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Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many shipments of Brazilian mahogany there have been to the UK since the Brazilian Environment Agency's ban on trade in October 2001; and how many shipments are en route to the UK. 
Brazilian mahogany is listed in CITES Appendix III and as such does not require an import permit. For these species a self-completed report notification form must be presented to HM Customs prior to the arrival of the specimens, together with the relevant export permit(s) or certificate(s) of origin issued by the Management Authority in the exporting country.
Mr. Whittingdale: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the impact of the Habitats Directive on boating activities within the Essex Estuaries European Marine Site. 
Mr. Meacher: No assessment has yet been made. However, English Nature's advice for the Essex Estuaries given under Regulation 33 of the Conservation (Natural Habitats etc.) Regulations 1994 identifies boat wash and mooring chain abrasion of the sea bed as issues which will require further investigation. In addition, the draft management scheme, established under the 1994 regulations, contains an action point to develop strategic plans for leisure boating development for each estuary system within the site.
Mr. Whittingdale: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress has been made in drawing up the Essex Estuaries European Marine Site management scheme; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Meacher: The management group for the Essex Estuaries European Marine Site are considering the final draft of the management scheme at the moment. It is hoped to launch the management scheme later this year.
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