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Tables B1.3 to X1.3 of that document indicates that there are estimated to be 133,000 people in England, who are exposed to a noise level greater than or equal to 75 dB (LA10,18h), generated by road traffic noise within agglomerations.
DEFRA does not hold data on the assessment of the effects of exposure to such levels of noise from such sources. However, reports(3) have been published this year, which consider the links between transportation noise and health effects and these noted that further research is required to validate the key findings, and that any future research development in this field should be monitored.
(1) Major roads are as described in Regulation 3(7) of the Environmental Noise (England) Regulations 2006 (as amended):
(2) Agglomerations (First Round) are areas having a population in excess of 250,000 persons and a population density equal to or greater than 500 people per km(2) and which the DEFRA Secretary of State considers to be urbanised.
(3) Environmental Noise and Health in the UK (2009):
Estimating Dose-Response Relationships Between Noise Exposure and Human Health in the UK:
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his estimate is of the annual cost to the public purse of cleaning up used cooking oil which has been inappropriately disposed of. 
Dan Norris: Water and sewerage companies deal with some 200,000 blockages in the public sewers every year, of which up to 75 per cent. are estimated to be caused by fat, oil and grease. Water UK estimated in 2007 that approximately £15 million is spent annually on reactive blockage clearance by the water and sewerage industry in total, and recovered from their customers through sewerage charges.
Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which draft national policy statements under the Planning Act 2008 for which his Department is responsible he expects to publish before March 2010. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: The Department for Communities and Local Government published an update to the route map for the implementation of the Infrastructure Planning Commission regime, including the timetable for preparation of National Policy Statements, on its website on 14 July. Copies are available in the House Library.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many licences were issued under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 in each local authority area in each of the last three years. [R] 
Natural England has issued all licences under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 since it was formed in October 2006. This information is not recorded by local authority area but has been recorded by Government office area since mid-2007. This information is set out below for each year since 2007.
|Government office area||2007||2008||2009 (January-end September)|
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in what circumstances a licence under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 may be issued; and if he will make a statement. [R] 
The purposes for which a licence can be issued are set out in the Protection of Badgers Act 1992. All applications are determined on a case-by-case basis and would normally be expected to meet the following criteria:
There is a genuine problem to resolve or there is a need to satisfy for which a licensing purpose is applicable;
There are no satisfactory alternatives;
The licensed action will contribute to resolving the problem or meeting the need;
The action to be licensed is proportionate to the scale of the problem or need, and;
The licensed action will not have an adverse effect on the favourable conservation status of any habitat type or species within its natural range.
The Government's policy remains that licences will not be issued for culling badgers to prevent the spread of bovine TB in England-we remain open to revisiting this policy in exceptional circumstances or if new scientific evidence becomes available.
Mr. Bailey: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the effect on local metal recycling capacity of metal recycling operators having to demonstrate relevant planning permission to obtain an environmental permit from the Environment Agency. [R] 
Dan Norris: No such assessment has been made. However, we are working with officials from the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Environment Agency to assess how to reduce the impact on existing exempt waste management sites which would, in future, be required to obtain a permit and, therefore, would need to demonstrate planning consent.
Rob Marris: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much funding his Department provided for research into the recycling of plastics in each year from 2004-05 to date. 
Dan Norris: DEFRA's Waste and Resources Evidence Programme (WREP) first commissioned research projects in the summer of 2005. Since then, funding for research into the recycling of plastics has been as follows:
Jim Fitzpatrick: In updating the Rural Land Register the Rural Payments Agency has sent map packs to some 97,000 or 85 per cent. of farmers in England with the remainder being sent over the next few weeks.
RPA is encouraging farmers to reply as soon as possible and ideally within a 28 day timescale. To this end, the agency is running seminars and is attending more than 90 locations at auction markets in order to supply face-to-face advice and support.
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of trends in the number of disconnections by water companies in the last 20 years; and if he will encourage water companies to establish charitable trusts or hardship funds. 
A prohibition on the disconnection of domestic premises for non-payment of bills was introduced on 1 July 1999; therefore figures for household disconnections are only given from 1 April 1989 to 30 June 1999. Figures do not include those premises disconnected for reasons such as health and safety, or leakage and repair.
|(1) Non-household figures for 1989-90 to 1991-92 were not obtainable.|
Most companies offer some form of charitable trust or restart scheme. These are advertised in various ways and frequently involve referrals from advice agencies. Ofwat supports this form of assistance as part of an overall package of debt prevention and management. Feedback from the water companies suggests that most customers benefiting from such schemes maintain regular payment habits.
Ofwat offers guidance to companies on charitable trusts. The guidance specifies that where a charitable trust or a restart scheme is in place, companies should, where appropriate, tell customers about them or refer customers to a relevant contact. Companies which do not have such schemes should consider the value of establishing them independently or jointly with other companies or utilities.
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