Written Answers — Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Moorland: Fire Prevention (16 Nov 2018)
Therese Coffey: The UK has responded to the European Commission’s reasoned opinion of April 2017. A short press release on the reasoned opinion is available on the Commission website. We do not comment on on-going infraction procedures and as such are unable to provide further detail at this time.

Written Answers — Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Floods: Risk Assessment (15 Nov 2018)
Therese Coffey: The Environment Agency estimates there are 2.7 million properties at risk of river and coastal flooding, 3 million properties at risk of surface water flooding and some 660,000 properties at risk from all sources: river, coastal and surface water. The report can be found online at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/flood-and-coastal -risk-management-national-report As set out in...

Written Answers — Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Paper: Waste Disposal (15 Nov 2018)
Therese Coffey: We have no plans to ban “non-recyclable” wrapping paper. Retailers are encouraged to provide information on whether their wrapping paper can be recycled or whether it should be disposed of in residual waste. Packaging materials, including wrapping paper sold with the product, are covered by the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations which place a...

Written Answers — Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Squirrels: Conservation (14 Nov 2018)
Therese Coffey: The Government is committed to protecting and expanding red squirrel populations and tackling the threats that grey squirrels pose to them. This is a devolved matter. In England, the Forestry Commission works with Natural England and other conservation organisations and projects to help protect red squirrel enclaves and to allow the populations to expand. The Forestry Commission also...

Written Answers — Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Air Pollution: Children (14 Nov 2018)
Therese Coffey: Defra provides funds to Local Authorities via the air quality grant fund for projects in local communities to tackle air pollution and reduce emissions affecting schools, businesses and residents. For example, in 2016/17, the London Borough of Islington were awarded £50,000 to run a local school focussed awareness and engagement campaign through the air quality grant, and in 2017/18,...

Plastic-free Packaging (Fruit and Vegetables) — [Mr David Hanson in the Chair] (12 Nov 2018)
Therese Coffey: It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Hanson. I thank my hon. Friend the Member for St Austell and Newquay (Steve Double) for presenting the debate. I repeat his congratulations to Edmund Pendrous on tabling the petition. I welcome the hon. Member for Ipswich (Sandy Martin) to his place. I believe it is his first contribution to a debate from the Front Bench. I am sure he...

Plastic-free Packaging (Fruit and Vegetables) — [Mr David Hanson in the Chair] (12 Nov 2018)
Therese Coffey: I know my hon. Friend feels passionately about this subject. It is important not to demonise plastic entirely, but we need to consider taking the holistic approach to the environment to which hon. Members have referred. I understand what he says, but at the moment there is not a huge market for some of the products that are technically recyclable. That is what we are trying to change and to...

Written Answers — Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Fracking: Air Pollution (12 Nov 2018)
Therese Coffey: The Environment Agency requires monitoring of the environmental conditions at shale gas sites before operations can start in accordance with the environmental permit granted. This provides a valuable evidence base to compare against monitoring results taken during and after operations. The type and period of monitoring required after decommissioning is determined on a site by site basis. It...

Written Answers — Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Fly-tipping (12 Nov 2018)
Therese Coffey: The Government is committed to tackling fly-tipping. We have given local authorities the power to issue fixed penalty notices for small scale fly-tipping and enhanced local authorities’ and the Environment Agency’s ability to search and seize the vehicles of suspected fly-tippers. Earlier this year we consulted on giving local authorities and the Environment Agency the power to...

Written Answers — Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Fracking: Air Pollution (12 Nov 2018)
Therese Coffey: The report, “Potential Air Quality Impacts of Shale Gas Extraction in the UK”, prepared by the Air Quality Expert Group (AQEG) was published on 27 July and no further assessment of air quality impacts from this activity has been carried out. However, in line with the AQEG recommendations, the Environment Agency (EA) continues to monitor air quality around identified exploration...

Written Answers — Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Fracking: Lancashire (12 Nov 2018)
Therese Coffey: The Environment Agency has been carrying out regular inspections, audits and unannounced spot checks to ensure that Cuadrilla is compliant with the legally binding conditions in the environmental permit. Cuadrilla had a small number of non-compliances with their environmental permit in 2017, mostly for procedural matters. This is not uncommon for industrial sites after site inspections and...

Written Answers — Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Birds of Prey: Conservation (12 Nov 2018)
Therese Coffey: All wild birds are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, which provides a powerful framework for the conservation of wild birds, their eggs, nests and habitats. There are no plans to introduce vicarious liability in England for offences related to wildlife crime.


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