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Volume 281: debated on Wednesday 17 July 1996

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the licences issued by his Department; for what purpose they are issued; and what are the administrative costs involved for each. [37626]

Licences are issued by, or on behalf of, my Department in respect of the following:

waste management—to ensure that waste is disposed of, recovered or kept without harming human health or the environment, in accordance with the EC framework directive on waste;
radioactive materials and waste—to control the retention and use of radioactive materials and waste, to safeguard workers, the public and the environment from the detrimental effects of radioactive materials and waste;
water abstraction—to provide for the proper management of water resources;
the control of discharges into water and sewers—to control water pollution;
the operation of potentially polluting processes—to control the emissions from these processes to the air, water and/or land.
the release or marketing of genetically modified organisms—to ensure proper consideration is given to human health and safety and to environmental protection, before GMOs are released into the environment or sold as products;
hazardous substances—to control, and minimise, the risk of accidents resulting from the keeping of hazardous substances at particular locations;
CITES—to control the import and export of endangered species;
birds—to control the killing, taking and sale of birds from the wild;
zoos—to ensure that the Secretary of State's standards of modern zoo practice are met in respect of animal welfare and public safety;
caravan and camping sites—to ensure that sites are properly equipped and run in the interests of occupiers and of general amenity;
navigation—to enable licence holders to use their boats on specified waterways;
asbestos—to control most work with asbestos insulation and/or coating, including stripping and removal;
petroleum—to ensure that petroleum is stored in a manner which minimises danger to workers and the public;
explosives—to help ensure explosives are manufactured and stored in a manner which minimises danger to workers and the public, and to ensure adequate security measures being taken to prevent theft or misuse.
In addition, the Department of the Environment has responsibility for arrangements relating to offshore oil and gas safety cases. To ensure public confidence in these areas of high hazard, safety arrangements must be accepted by the Health and Safety Executive before certain functions may be undertaken for the safe operation of offshore installations and gas transmission systems.HSE has administrative responsibility for nuclear licences and railway safety cases. Ministerial responsibility rests with my right hon. Friends the President of the Board of Trade and the Secretary of State for Transport, respectively.Central records are not maintained to record the administrative costs for the licensing regimes.