Mick Wallace Would be good if #mainstreammedia held #FiannaFail + #FineGael to account for voting for a terrible #CAP that aband… https://t.co/RFUXVmKnea
Mick Wallace The #EU needs to do more to stop the Collective Punishment of the people of #Tigray - This is a form of Genocide b… https://t.co/G5c6hiCa2q
Mick Wallace RT @wallacemick: The lack of concern shown by the #EU for the people of #Venezuela has been shocking and says much about their so called 'E…
Mick Wallace RT @wallacemick: #EU says they're interested in Dialogue - So why don't they talk to #Syria ..? They say they're interested in Rule of Law…

PQ - Environment

To ask the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government in view of the fact that the European Court of Justice has several cases against Ireland over non-implementation of environmental legislation, the way these will be addressed if the implementation of the capital programme is delayed; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

- Mick Wallace.

For ORAL answer on Wednesday, 23rd October, 2013

REPLY

There are currently two cases in which the Court of Justice of the European Union has delivered judgment in areas for which my Department has responsibility and which involve capital works. These cases relate to implementation of Directives on urban wastewater treatment and wastemanagement.

Water and wastewater schemes and contracts included in my Department’s Water Services Investment Programme 2010 – 2013, which are being promoted to ensure compliance with EU requirements, have been progressed as expeditiously as possible and continue to be progressed in that manner. From 1 January 2014, Irish Water will take over responsibilityfor the delivery of water services capital infrastructure and is currently preparing a Capital Investment Plan for 2014 - 2015. I expect that this Plan will includerelevant projects fromthe current Water Services Investment Programme.

Capital expenditure and related efforts to address issues cited in the wastemanagement case will continue in 2014 and no delay is envisaged.At its meeting of 24 April 2012, the Government approved aproposed programme of measures agreed with the European Commission to deal with outstanding issues and agreed to the provision of funds from voted expenditure, as it becomes necessary, to support the work of local authorities and the Environmental Protection Agency in bringing the caseand associated matters to conclusion.  Voted expenditure will supplement the funding that will continue to be provided from the Environment Fund.

I have prioritised the resolution of issues arising from environmental infringement cases and my Department is working hard to resolve these and other cases as soon as possible.

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To ask the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if planned upgrades for waste water treatment are likely to be delayed due to the establishment of Irish Water.

- Mick Wallace.

For ORAL answer on Wednesday, 23rd October, 2013.

REPLY

Wastewater schemes and contracts included in my Department’s Water Services Investment Programme 2010 – 2013 (WSIP) have been progressed as expeditiously as possible over the period of the programme.  From 1 January 2014 Irish Water will be responsible for the delivery of water services capital infrastructure and is currently preparing a Capital Investment Plan for 2014 - 2015.  I expect that this Plan will provide for the transition of relevant projects currently included in the WSIP.

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To ask the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the criteria that will be used to decide who will carry out remedial works on houses damaged by pyrite; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

-Mick Wallace

For ORAL answer on Wednesday, 12th June, 2013.

REPLY

HomeBond is one of the construction stakeholders who have agreed to set up a not-for-profit entity to implement a programme of remediation in accordance with the pyrite remediation scheme drawn up and published by the Pyrite Remediation Board (PRB) on its recently launched website.

Work is progressing on the establishment of the entity and it is intended that this will be completed shortly. The stakeholders are finalising nominations for the Board of Directors and are agreeing the appropriate legal format for the entity, including the Articles and Memorandum of Association. HomeBond will nominate two of the six directors propopsed.

The PRB is in discussions with representatives of the stakeholders, including HomeBond, with a view to finalising its contribution to the pyrite remediation process. HomeBonsd's contribution will take the folm of providing management, administration and technical services towards the implementation of a pyrite remediation programme and it will also contribute towards the cost of establishing laboratory facilities for the testing for pyrite.

Detailed modalities that will provide for open and transparent processes, including the procurement of building services, are being discussed between the PRB and the representatives of the construction stakeholders but are not yet finalised. The remediation programme for homeowners who have no other viable option to have remediation works undertaken will be carried out under the direction and supervision of the PRB. I am confident that the PRB will ensure that the procedures put in place will adhere to best practice in terms of fair competition and will require compliance with standard procurement procedures.The PRB will have oversight of the various stages of the remediation process and will ensure that all works will be carried out in accordance with Irish Standard 398 – 2: 2013 – Reactive pyrite in sub-floor hardcore material - Methodology for remediation works.

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To ask the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the approximate cost of remedial works on septic tanks; the percentage of tanks that he intends to inspect; the timescale for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. - Mick Wallace. For ORAL answer on Tuesday, 5th February, 2013.   REPLY The Water Services (Amendment) Act 2012 requires householders whose properties are served by on-site wastewater treatment systems to register their system with their local authority. The deadline for householders to register was 1 February. At the passing of that deadline,applications in respect of the on-site wastewater treatment systems of 373,954 owners, who have registered on-line, by post or in person at their local authority offices, had been processed and approximately 25 ,000 additional registration applications were awaiting processing by the bureau operated by the Local Government Management Agency.   I propose to circulate with the Official Report a tabular statement setting out d etails of the number of processed registrations for each County and City Council by 1 Febr uary 2013.   The 2012 Act also provides that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will make a National Inspection Plan for domestic wastewater treatment systems. I expect that the National Inspection Plan will be published shortly , and that inspections will commence in the middle of this year. Inspections will be carried out by appropriately qualified local authority staff who will be appointed as inspectors. A training course for inspectors is currently being finalised and it will be rolled out to all local authorities in the coming weeks.   The extent and cost of the remediation works that may be required will depend on the condition of the individual system and the extent of the risk to public health and the environment. Inspections carried out by Cavan County Council, based on bye-laws adopted by that authority in 2004, revealed an initial failure rate of approximately 25% of on-site systems, with remediation costs averaging €2,500. However, the enactment of the bye-laws and the related public information campaigns by Cavan County Council have increased householders awareness of the necessity to operate and maintain their systems correctly and the failure rate has, over the intervening years, decreased to approximately 15%. At this stage it is not possible to indicate how many systems will require remediation. However, t he remedial action required on foot of an inspection of a septic tank will, in many cases, only involve householders having to de-sludge their tanks more frequently.   I recently announced my intention to introduce a grant scheme to provide financial assistance to households whose septic tanks and other domestic wastewater treatment systems require remediation or upgrading following inspection. The scheme will apply to treatment systems which have been registered by the due date of 1 February 2013 and which are deemed to require remediation having failed an inspection carried out under the 2012 Act. The grant payable will depend on the cost of the work necessary and the income of the household concerned , and t he scheme will provide a higher level of support to households on lower incomes. Full details of the scheme will be defined in regulations which I will make in advance of inspections commencing this year.

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