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Agriculture: Waste Disposal

Volume 482: debated on Tuesday 11 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the sum received from farmers by the Environment Agency for (a) disposal of agricultural waste, (b) groundwater authorisation for disposal of sheep dip and pesticides and (c) integrated pollution prevention control for pig and poultry units above the specified thresholds in each of the last three years; what estimate he has made of the proportion of farm income paid in such fees in each year; and if he will make a statement. (232989)

The Environment Agency has registered more than 600,000 agricultural waste exemptions at an estimated 91,000 farms which are not subject to a fee.

Groundwater authorisations relate to agricultural activities such as the disposal of used sheep dip or pesticide washings. The number of authorisations is decreasing due to changes in farmers’ practice. The Environment Agency received the following in each of the last three years in England:

£

2006-07

775,387.21

2007-08

733,547.87

2008-09

709,735.73

Intensive livestock installations over the relevant size thresholds were required to apply for permits for the first time in the period December 2006 to February 2007. The majority of these applications were made in 2006-07, but the Environment Agency estimates that 25 per cent. of the applications were late and the application charges paid in 2007-08. Subsistence charges become due when permits have been issued and are charged pro rata for the period of the first financial year after issue.

Estimated charges for the last three years in England and Wales are as follows:

£

Application fees

Subsistence fees

Total

2006-07

2,500

48,650.86

2,548,650.80

2007-08

850,000

1,098,490.51

2,798,490.51

2008-091

0

2,411,609.15

2,411,609.15

1 Figures for 2008-09 are to date