HC Deb 03 December 1980 vol 995 cc132-4W
Mr. Skeet

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what he estimates would be the volume of (a) sulphur dioxide, (b) fluorine and (c) mercaptans produced in the manufacture of 1 million fletton bricks in the counties of Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire.

Mr. Fox

During the manufacture of 1 million bricks the volume of pollutants emitted would be of the order:—

(a) Sulphur dioxide 15,000 m3
(b) Fluorine 500 m3
(c) Mercaptans 500 m3

The emissions do not contain free fluorine as such but in a combined form as fluorides. The volume above should be interpreted as an emission of fluorides expressed as fluorine. The figure for mercaptans includes those organic sulphur compounds thought to be responsible for the odorous content of the chimney gases.

There would be no significant difference between the volumes of gases emitted from production of 1 million bricks in Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire.

Mr. Skeet

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many countries to his knowledge have legislation providing for the removal of sulphur dioxide from flue gases.

Mr. Fox

To the best of my knowledge only the United States of America, West Germany and Japan have legislation directly limiting the emission of sulphur dioxide in flue gases. Several countries, including the United Kingdom, have limits of various kinds on the sulphur contents of certain fuels.

Financial year Fees and other income, excluding grant (b) Grant-in-aid Total expenditure (f) Staff in post at 1 April (excluding Board members) (g)
£ £ £
1963–64(a) 5,000
1964–65 3,157 196,000 210,771
1965–66 92,783 495,600 457,474 77
1966–67 281.498 500,000(d) 754,324 175
1967–68 210,802 500,000 770,324 215
1968–69 286,304 475,000 758,735 204
1969–70 292,886 450,000 740,003 191
1970–71 459,571 420,000(d) 934,780 188
1971–72 433,986 450,000 884,468 166
1972–73 598,709 200,000 791,510 104
1973–74 740,359 199,000 875,455 137
1974–75 927,316 230,000 1,079,218 164
1975–76 l,409,003(c) 275,000 1,626,273 215
1976–77 1,651,850 330,000 1,914,751 231
1977–78 1,634,120 360,000 1,933,539 218
1978–79 1,988,236 406,000 2,412,470 237
1979–80 2,639,798 479,000 3,117,802 251
1980–81 [564,000](e) 235

Notes:(a) There are no figures for fee income, expenditure or staff numbers for 1963–64 because the agency was registered as a company on 16 March 1964.

(b) In addition to the figures shown in this column, from 1969–70 to 1973–74 inclusive the agency received a deficiency grant of about £4,000 a year from the Ministry of Finance, Northern Ireland, to support the establishment of an NBA office in Belfast. The figures in this column for 1964–65 to 1966–67 differ from figures given in past answers because previously the agency presented fee income differently.

(c) This corrects the figure of £1,532,675 given in a written answer to the hon. Member for Aberdeen, South (Mr. Sproat) on 19 May 1980. It also differs from the figure of –1,360,178 given in a written answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Melton (Mr. Latham) on 1 February 1977 because that figure represented fee income only.

(d) These figures correct figures of –330,000 and –450,000 respectively given in a written answer to the hon. Member on 20 February 1975.

Mr. Skeet

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many commercial processes are available to his knowledge for the removal of up to 90 per cent. of sulphur dioxide in flue gases.

Mr. Fox

There are many commercialy offered processes for the removal of sulphur dioxide from flue gases but these are generally variants of 12 basic types. These 12 types have recently been studied by an expert group, including United Kingdom participants, under the auspices of the NATO Committee on the Challenges to Modern Society. A report (NATO-CCMS No. 95) was published in January 1979.