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Flood Control: Standards

Volume 496: debated on Thursday 16 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of BSI Kitemark-approved products in reducing flood risk; and what the cost to the Environment Agency was of sponsorship of the Kitemark; (285992)

(2) what assessment his Department has made of the merits of BSI Kitemark for products to promote flood defence and flood resilience; and if he will make a statement.

The kitemark scheme is a British Standards (BSi) accreditation scheme for products meeting specified standards. In the case of flood protection products, accreditation is given to those that comply with publicly available specification (PAS) 1188. To gain the BSi kitemark, products must undergo rigorous testing to demonstrate that they are able to provide effective property level flood protection.

A working group with representatives from the flood resilience product manufacturers, the flood protection association, the Association of British Insurers, insurance companies, DEFRA and HR Wallingford has recently assessed the current BSi kitemark scheme for flood protection products. It was agreed that the scheme is necessary to ensure product quality compliance, and as a result it was re-issued in April this year.

The cost to the Environment Agency of the working group assessment and revising and re-issuing a test scheme was £72,000.