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Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the impact on (a) air quality and (b) greenhouse gas emission targets of the venting of coalbed methane gas released by drilling and fracturing of the coalseam to the atmosphere; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Meacher: Methane vented from working coal mines is included in the UK National Inventory of Greenhouse Gas Emissions. For 2000, methane emissions from working coal mines was 5.04 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, less than one per cent. of the UK's total Greenhouse Gas Emissions. At current atmospheric levels methane does not have adverse air quality impacts.
Deliberate drilling of undisturbed seams, fracturing the coal and pumping can be used to produce methane. Using this gas would be similar to using natural gas, though not absolutely identical because the composition differs slightly. The emissions consequences of natural gas burning are well-understood.
Mr. Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will (a) make a statement on the mg/litre threshold for permissible nitrate levels contained in the Nitrate Vulnerable Zone Directive and (b) publish the Environment Agency's data on nitrate levels in rivers located in the Macclesfield parliamentary constituency. 
Mr. Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the Environment Agency's data on nitrate levels in rivers located in the Macclesfield parliamentary constituency; what comparison she has made of these data with the 50mg/litre threshold contained in the Nitrate Vulnerable Zone Directive; for what reason farmland located in the Macclesfield constituency is included in a nitrate vulnerable zone; and if she will make a statement. 
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The Nitrates Directive (91/676/EEC) requires action programmes for reduction of agricultural nitrate pollution to waters to be applied either throughout the whole territory (Option 1 in our recent consultation for England) or within specific NVZs (Option 2).
Under Option 2, an indicative map showing the location of possible new NVZ areas, as identified in an initial assessment, was published in the consultation document "How should England implement the 1991 Nitrates Directive", in December 2001. Parts of the Macclesfield parliamentary constituency were included in these areas because they were parts of river catchments which contained one or more monitoring points where nitrate levels have been shown, through statistical analysis of the data, to have exceeded the levels specified in the Nitrates Directive.
We are refining our assessment of these failing monitoring points to take account of data anomalies and long-term nitrate concentration trends. We are also carrying out more accurate mapping work to identify precisely which parts of each catchment would require designation as NVZs. As was explained in the consultation document, such refinements are expected to alter some of the possible NVZ boundaries illustrated in the consultation document.
Mr. Tyler: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the grid references are of locations in which T-25 genetically modified maize (a) has been and (b) is the subject of field crop trials; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Meacher [holding answer 2 May 2002]: Listed are the grid references of the locations in which T-25 maize (a) has been grown in the Farm Scale Evaluation (FSE) trials in 1999 (the pilot year of the trials), 2000 and 2001 and (b) is proposed for the FSE trials this year. This and further background information on the FSE trials is on our website at www.defra.gov.uk/environment/fse/ location/index.
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Mr. Meacher: The first Marine Stewardship ReportSafeguarding Our Seas: A Strategy for the Conservation and Sustainable Development of our Marine Environmentwas published on 1 May. Copies have been placed in the Library of the House.
Sue Doughty: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she (a) has made and (b) plans to make of the impact of the aggregates levy on (i) the development and use of alternative materials and (ii) efficiency in the use of virgin aggregate; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list the equipment leasing arrangements entered into by his Department in each of the last four years; and what the cost is to public funds in each case. 
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many (a) analogue and (b) integrated digital television sets his Department has purchased in each of the last 24 months; and if he will make a statement. 
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All officials in the Northern Ireland Office are aware that they are expected to find the most cost-effective solution to meet the desired needs in regards to the purchase of television sets as with all other procurements.
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many members of his staff in each of the past two years have been granted a day's paid leave to work as a volunteer; and if he will make a statement. 
Jane Kennedy: The Northern Ireland Office has a special leave policy that allows for paid leave for voluntary work. We do not record centrally the numbers of staff on this kind of leave, as it is a matter dealt with by local management.
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