§ Mr. Dafis
To ask the President of the Board of Trade if she will place in the Library copies of the correspondence her Department has received in the last six months concerning the implementation of the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive as it affects the offshore oil and gas industry. 
§ Mr. Battle
Correspondence received by the Department in London and Aberdeen since December 1997 concerning the implementation of the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive as it applies to the offshore oil and gas industry covers a wide range of matters, including requests for and responses to the February draft of the Regulations which came into effect on 30 April and comments on Guidelines designed to help those involved in preparing or responding to environmental statements required under those Regulations. The consultation correspondence includes material from other government Departments, statutory advisers, local authorities, companies and industry representatives and environmental and other interest groups and, since neither of the consultation requests mentioned that responses would be copied for publication, it would be appropriate as a matter of courtesy to seek correspondents' permission before doing so. There is also some correspondence regarding the impact of the Regulations on future projects which may include commercially confidential material and, again, the correspondents' permission would be needed before such letters could be released. For these reasons, the copies requested could be provided only at disproportionate cost.