§ Mr. Paul Murphy
Grant-in-aid to the Environment Agency in Wales is unhypothecated, and it is a matter for the Environment Agency to determine its own priorities for expenditure within the context of such high level objectives as the sponsoring body may set. Over the last two years, no grant-in-aid has been provided to the Environment Agency in Wales specifically to fund emergency works arising from leaks from underground fuel tanks. However, a small sum from general grant-in-aid has been spent on investigation and advice, and in responding to major incidents including those at Bontddu and Llanrwst.
Prior to 1 April 1999, grant-in-aid to the Environment Agency was paid on an England and Wales basis by the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. With effect from 1 April 1999, grant-in-aid has been paid separately toward the Environment Agency's activities in Wales, initially by the Secretary of State for Wales and, since the transfer of functions on 1 July 1999, by the National Assembly for Wales.
I would also refer the hon. Member to the reply given to him by my right hon. Friend the Minister for the Environment on 17 January 2000, Official Report, columns 247–48W.