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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 286 - 303
 Header Item Renewable Energy Generation Issues
 Header Item Ministerial Travel
 Header Item Ministerial Remuneration
 Header Item Job Initiatives
 Header Item Pyrite Issues
 Header Item Electoral Divisions Establishment
 Header Item Flood Prevention Measures
 Header Item Fire Service Issues
 Header Item Local Government Elections
 Header Item Mortgage to Rent Scheme Funding
 Header Item Air Pollution
 Header Item Waste Management Regulations
 Header Item Local Authority Housing Rents
 Header Item Public Services Provision
 Header Item Unfinished Housing Developments
 Header Item Anti-Social Behaviour
 Header Item Septic Tank Registration Scheme

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 786 No. 1

First Page Previous Page Page of 109 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 286 - 303

Renewable Energy Generation Issues

 286. Deputy Willie Penrose Information on Willie Penrose Zoom on Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Information on Pat Rabbitte Zoom on Pat Rabbitte the steps he will take to permit a full and comprehensive environmental assessment for the renewable action plan, which will allow for full public participation and which would examine all aspects of the said plan with a mechanism to facilitate appeal disputes to be heard by the courts; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [55611/12]

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Pat Rabbitte): Information on Pat Rabbitte Zoom on Pat Rabbitte The question raised by the Deputy is currently the subject matter of judicial review proceedings in the High Court. In light of this, I won’t be making further comment on the matter.

Ministerial Travel

 287. Deputy Thomas Pringle Information on Thomas Pringle Zoom on Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan if he will outline in tabular form the total cost to the Exchequer of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Summit in Doha including accommodation, cost per person and number of persons attending from the Irish delegation, flights, subsistence, visas and any other costs involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [55584/12]

 307. Deputy Thomas Pringle Information on Thomas Pringle Zoom on Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan further to Parliamentary Question No. 422 of 4 December 2012, if he will include Ministerial costs in the areas mentioned, as well as any other costs not listed including subsistence, visas, other travel costs involved for all Irish delegates including ministerial; and if he will state the total cost to the Exchequer with all costs included. [55587/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan I propose to take Questions Nos. 287 and 307 together. 

  My response to Parliamentary Question No. 422 of 4 December includes travel and accommodation costs for all members of my Department, including such costs incurred by me as Minister. In respect of my flight and accommodation costs, my economy return flight ticket to Doha cost €565, while the cost of my hotel accommodation is approximately €1,750.   

  I do not yet have details of aggregate subsistence costs related to attendance by my Department at the UNFCCC 18th conference of the Parties in Doha, as these have not yet been finalised. Full information in respect of costs incurred by Irish delegates from other Departments and Agencies is not available in my Department.   

Ministerial Remuneration

 288. Deputy Gerald Nash Information on Gerald Nash Zoom on Gerald Nash asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan if, following the decision to end the arrangements whereby Ministers and Ministers of State receive severance payments on stepping down from office, he will consider extending this arrangements to cover local authority members who are elected to either House of the Oireachtas [55656/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan Severance payments, of a type provided for in the ministerial and Parliamentary Offices Act 1938 (as amended), are not paid to any person who ceases to be an elected member of a local authority.

Section 142 of the Local Government Act 2001 and Local Authority Members (Gratuity) Regulations 2002 (S.I. No. 281 of 2002) (as amended) provide for the payment of a once-off gratuity subject to certain conditions in the event of retirement (whether voluntarily or due to not being successful in an election), death or ill-health, and there is no separate provision for councillors who cease to be members of local authorities by virtue of election to the Oireachtas.

The recently published Action Programme for Effective Local Government – Putting People First provides that the structures for, and levels of, all payments (including gratuities) will be reviewed, to reduce overall costs and levels of payments to individual councillors, while having regard to the reformed sub-county structure and regional governance, and the need to ensure sufficient incentive for high-quality representation of the community. 

Job Initiatives

 289. Deputy Paudie Coffey Information on Paudie Coffey Zoom on Paudie Coffey asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan his plans to establish territorial employment pact areas based on the NUTS 3 regions here, similar to that which was done in Austria in the late 1990s and early 2000s; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [55058/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan Territorial Employment Pacts (TEPs) originated in 1998 as an initiative of the EU aimed at developing local, participatory and coordinated actions targeting unemployment and new employment opportunities in regions, cities, towns, rural areas and employment catchment areas that share certain socioeconomic characteristics. I understand there were 85 TEPs established throughout the EU.   

  The Commission view was that Employment Pacts should encourage widespread regional or local partnership in high unemployment areas. At that time, Ireland had already put in place the Operational Programme for Local Urban and Rural Development (OPLURD) at local and district level, which encompassed much of what TEPs intended to address. Accordingly, four Irish TEPs were established, each with a different type of regional focus. In 2001, responsibility for the Employment Pacts was transferred from the Department of the Taoiseach to the then Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs and mainstreamed within the Local Development Social Inclusion Measure of the S&E and BMW Regional Operational Programmes of the National Development Plan, administered through Pobal.   

  I have no plans to establish Territorial Employment Pacts based on the NUTS 3 Regions. My Department currently operates the Local and Community Development Programme (LCDP), launched in January 2010 as a successor to two previous programmes – the Local Development Social Inclusion Programme and the Community Development Programme. The objective of the LCDP is to tackle poverty and social exclusion through partnership and constructive engagement between Government, its agencies, and people in disadvantaged communities. It is a key tool of Government in providing supports, including employment supports, to the ‘harder to reach’ in the most disadvantaged areas of the country.   

  In terms of future approaches, the Government is committed, following the adoption in October 2012 of Putting People First: Action Programme for Effective Local Government, to bringing greater alignment between local and community development and local government.

Pyrite Issues

 290. Deputy Terence Flanagan Information on Terence Flanagan Zoom on Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan his views on a query regarding pyrite (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [55102/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan Discussions with the stakeholders are at an advanced stage and I expect them to conclude very shortly with outcomes arrived at on the basis of the pyrite report. I have already announced my intention to establish a Resolution Board as recommended in the pyrite report. I have previously stated that I will not allow the discussions to drag on and I am anxious to finalise this phase of the process as quickly as possible in order to provide homeowners with clarity in relation to proposals for a remediation process where there are no alternative options for remediation available.

Structural defects warranties/insurance schemes are provided by private companies and operate on the basis of a contractual arrangement between the relevant parties. It is normal for such schemes to have terms and conditions and my Department understands that at least one of the companies involved requires the submission of certain supporting documentation to substantiate the claim being made.

Electoral Divisions Establishment

 291. Deputy Robert Troy Information on Robert Troy Zoom on Robert Troy asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan if the terms and conditions of the constituency boundaries are set; when persons will be able to make a submission on the matter; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [55176/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan I established a Local Electoral Area Boundary Committee on 15 November 2012. The press release announcing the establishment of the Committee, including its terms of reference, is available on the website of my Department at www.environ.ie.

I understand that the Committee has issued an invitation for submissions. The Committee’s website is www.boundarycommittee.ie.

Flood Prevention Measures

 292. Deputy Jim Daly Information on Jim Daly Zoom on Jim Daly asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan further to Parliamentary Question No. 121 of 27 September 2012 the progress made to date with the Department of Finance in relation to the establishment of an emergency fund for businesses in Clonakilty, County Cork, that were affected by recent flooding that have no flood insurance cover; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [55206/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan On 9 October 2012 I briefed the Government on matters relating to the Cork flooding of 29 June 2012. While my Department co-ordinates the response to several types of emergencies including flooding, it has no standing in relation to the development or operation of any compensation scheme for business.

The Government decided that the relevant Ministers would agree with the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform on a possible approach that would address the matter of compensation for uninsured business arising from the Cork flooding of 28 June 2012.

It is a matter for the Departments concerned to consider all relevant issues and make their position known in due course.

Fire Service Issues

 293. Deputy John Deasy Information on John Deasy Zoom on John Deasy asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan the number of call outs in each of the fire stations in Waterford City and county in each of the past five years. [55222/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan Based on Fire Statistics returns from Waterford City and Waterford County Fire and Rescue Services , the number of call-outs, which include responses to fires, other service incidents - such as road traffic accidents and flooding - and false alarms, in the past five years (2007 to 2011) were as follows:

 

2007


2008


2009


2010


2011
Waterford City 1,046 923 789 886 n/a
Dungarvan 334 306 265 202 168
Tramore 220 215 180 174 168
Kilmacthomas 127 108 104 97 71
Portlaw 87 74 77 62 52
Cappoquin 138 153 137 85 77
Lismore 76 108 87 72 52
Dunmore East 87 93 125 103 81
Ardmore 35 37 40 26 49
Tallow 65 61 50 45 29

Local Government Elections

 294. Deputy Robert Dowds Information on Robert Dowds Zoom on Robert Dowds asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan his plans to publish proposals on a directly elected mayor for Dublin; and the date on which he expects to publish same. [55226/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan The Government’s approach to the introduction of a directly elected mayor in Dublin is set out in the Action Programme for Effective Local Government- Putting People First. Part 5 of the document outlines some of the potential benefits and other issues associated with the concept and indicates that a special forum of the elected members of the four Dublin local authorities will be convened to consider the options for governance, including the introduction of a directly elected Mayor, which will be put for decision through a plebiscite in 2014. Terms of Reference for the forum will be published in due course.

Mortgage to Rent Scheme Funding

 295. Deputy Robert Dowds Information on Robert Dowds Zoom on Robert Dowds asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan if it will be possible to amend the mortgage-to-rent rules to include persons who bought under affordable housing schemes in cases in which the county council is the mortgage lender; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [55227/12]

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Jan O'Sullivan): Information on Jan O'Sullivan Zoom on Jan O'Sullivan On foot of the recommendations of the Keane Report on mortgage arrears, the Government launched a mortgage to rent scheme on a pilot basis in February 2012. This scheme was extended nationally in June 2012, targeting those low income families whose mortgage situation is unsustainable and where there is little or no prospect of a significant change in circumstances in the foreseeable future. The scheme ensures that the family remains in their home, while ownership is transferred to an approved housing body who in turn rent it to the original owners.   

  My Department has been involved in recent months in devising a mortgage to rent scheme for the local authority sector. The scheme for local authorities is currently being piloted in Westmeath County Council and Dublin City Council.

  Once this pilot scheme has been completed and reviewed it is the intention to extend it to all local authorities in 2013.   

Air Pollution

 296. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan the actions he will take following the revelations by the European Environmental Agency of the substantial cost of air pollution from a number of industrial facilities particularly ESB power plants amounting to the sum of €1 billion for 2009 [55235/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan All power plants in Ireland are subject to the licensing, monitoring and enforcement requirements of the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) regime. The activities of companies operating with an IPPC licence are monitored by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ensure that the terms of their licences are respected, including in relation to emissions.    

  In addition to the requirements of IPPC, the provisions of the Large Combustion Plant Directive (LCPD) 2001/80/EC also apply to combustion plants with a thermal output of 50MW or more. The LCPD aims to reduce acidification, ground-level ozone and particles by controlling emissions of sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) from power stations running on solid, liquid or gaseous fuel.

  Ireland developed a national emissions reduction plan (NERP) under Article 4 (6) of the 2001 LCPD, which is a mechanism that allows “existing plant”, as defined in the Directive, to achieve the environmental objectives of the Directive in a cost-effective manner through the installation of abatement at selected qualifying plants. The NERP option was chosen because it provided both an environmentally ambitious and a cost-effective compliance route for Ireland. The ESB and other national operators made a commitment to achieve emission limits for SO2 and NOx from existing plants that were significantly more ambitious than the minimum requirements of the LCPD. In the period from 2008 to 2016, emission reductions are 27% more ambitious for SO2 and 46% more ambitious for NOx  emissions.

  The EEA study referenced in the question did not assess whether the emissions of a given facility are consistent with its legal requirements. There has been no breach of IPPC licensing conditions by ESB or other power plants. Monitoring undertaken by the EPA has shown that total emissions from such plants are consistently below the levels prescribed to ensure adequate protection of human health and the environment.   

  The LCPD has now been recast by the Industrial Emissions Directive 2010/75/EU, in respect of which my Department is currently preparing Regulations to achieve transposition into national legislation. As part of the transposition process, my Department is assessing appropriate compliance options for older plants set out under the Directive to ensure that operators continue to commit to ambitious targets that strike the appropriate balance between protection of human health and the environment and cost effectiveness of the abatement solutions.

Waste Management Regulations

 297. Deputy Robert Dowds Information on Robert Dowds Zoom on Robert Dowds asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan further to Parliamentary Question No. 25158/11, if he will provide an update on the possibility of a glass bottle deposit scheme, which he has said would be considered as part of a review of packaging. [55300/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan The Programme for Government contains a commitment to drive a waste reduction programme as part of the overall policy in the area of sustainable waste management.

  A review of the Producer Responsibility Initiative model in Ireland is ongoing at present. The aim of the review is to assess the nature and level of the challenges which are currently facing the existing Producer Responsibility agreements, as well as the challenges that are expected to arise in the management of various waste streams in the future. It is anticipated that the findings and recommendations from the review will form the basis for the development of policy initiatives that will enable Ireland to operate successfully in meeting our domestic and EU obligations in the medium to long term.

  In respect of the review of the packaging module, specifically, the review will include, inter alia, an examination of initiatives such as deposit and refund and reverse vending for bottles or other beverage containers. It is expected that my Department will receive the final report on the review in the first quarter of 2013.   

Local Authority Housing Rents

 298. Deputy Catherine Murphy Information on Catherine Murphy Zoom on Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan if an assessment of staffing needs will be done in advance of the local authorities assuming responsibility for the housing assistance scheme; if such an assessment will be factored in advance of any redundancy scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [55358/12]

 315. Deputy Willie Penrose Information on Willie Penrose Zoom on Willie Penrose asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan when the transfer of long term rent supplements recipients and the payments associated therewith to local authorities and if the process of allowing rents to be deducted at source and paid over to local authorities has been examined and progressed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [55658/12]

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Jan O'Sullivan): Information on Jan O'Sullivan Zoom on Jan O'Sullivan I propose to take Questions Nos. 298 and 315 together.

  I refer to the reply to Question No. 108 of 4 December 2012. The County and City Managers Association (CCMA), who are represented on the project Steering Group, provide ongoing advice in relation to the resources required by housing authorities to implement the new Housing Assistance Payment (HAP). This input will continue as the detail of the scheme is developed in 2013.   

It is intended that the scheme will be piloted by a number of housing authorities in the second half of 2013, subject to the necessary housing and social welfare legislative provisions being in place including in regard to facilitating deduction of rents at source from welfare payments . After the pilot phase is complete, the scheme will be implemented generally, commencing in 2014.   

Public Services Provision

 299. Deputy Denis Naughten Information on Denis Naughten Zoom on Denis Naughten asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan his plans for the development of shared services at local authority level; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [55415/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan The local authority sector has delivered expenditure savings of €830 million and staff reductions of 8,600 (a reduction of 23%) whole time equivalents since 2008. Shared services have been identified in the Local Government Efficiency Review and the Public Service Reform Plan as an important opportunity to make further savings in administrative costs without impacting on front line services.

To drive the reform agenda, and in particular shared service initiatives, in the local government sector a dedicated Programme Management Office (PMO) has been established, which reports to a high level oversight group. The PMO has been staffed and resourced drawing from existing expertise and resources in the sector. Experienced staff from a number of authorities, with a range of appropriate skills, have been seconded to the PMO. In order to support the Department and the PMO further in our work on shared services a shared services advisor has been recruited through open competition by the Public Appointments Service.

Overall, thirty one operational areas are being examined for potential as a shared service or other collaborative approach that may provide efficiencies. Prioritised areas for consideration in the shared services programme include Treasury Management, Payroll, Transactional HR, ICT, Housing Assessment, Application and Allocation, Accounts Payable, Debt Collection, Legal Services and Procurement.

The PMO has adopted a comprehensive methodology for the development and evaluation of projects including peer review of business cases. In relation to each area under consideration a standard project initiation document has been prepared. At this point, business cases have been prepared for a number of business areas including Payroll, Treasury Management, ICT, Legal Services and Housing. The Payroll, Treasury Management and Legal Services business cases have undergone peer review. The business case for ICT is complete and the case for Transactional HR is nearing completion. It is expected that both business cases will undergo peer review before year end.

The process in respect of a joint approach to procurement is at a more advanced stage and Kerry County Council is now the lead in the Local Authority National Procurement Office.

Outside the shared services programme local authorities continue to pursue delivery of efficient services on a shared and collaborative basis. In this regard, recent initiatives include Dublin City Council managing controls on a national basis for the movement of hazardous waste, and Offaly County Council acting as the lead local authority in respect of waste collection permitting.

Unfinished Housing Developments

 300. Deputy Denis Naughten Information on Denis Naughten Zoom on Denis Naughten asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan his plans to review the current processes adopted by local authorities to address the problems associated with incomplete housing estates; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [55416/12]

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Jan O'Sullivan): Information on Jan O'Sullivan Zoom on Jan O'Sullivan I am chairing the National Co-ordination Committee (NCC) on Unfinished Housing Developments to oversee implementation of the Report of the Advisory Group on Unfinished Housing Developments, together with the Government’s response to the recommendations. The Committee includes representatives from the Irish Banking Federation, local authorities, the Housing and Sustainable Communities Agency, NAMA and the construction sector. Real progress is being made with regard to the public safety works required to improve the living conditions of existing residents on some unfinished estates and the Committee is meeting on a regular basis to oversee this effort.   

  Site Resolution Plans (SRP’s) have been identified by the NCC as a key tool in resolving issues associated with unfinished housing developments. Such plans enable stakeholders, including developers, local authorities, financial institutions, NAMA and residents to collaborate in determining how best to pursue resolution of problematic sites. The process also entails working with stakeholders in identifying the best long-term solution for developments in terms of their configuration, use of vacant buildings and ownership. Such solutions also take account of the best interests of residents. The NCC has produced a Guidance Manual on Resolving and Managing Unfinished Estates, a Key Stakeholders Code of Practice, and a Guide for Residents Living in Unfinished Housing Developments, all of which are available at www.housing.ie.     

  My Department launched the Public Safety Initiative in March 2011, which provided funding to address immediate public safety issues. The types of works that have been approved to date under the PSI include the fencing off of unsecured and hazardous areas, capping of pipes, installation of street lighting and other works to secure sites. Under the PSI, my Department has made allocations totalling some €3.75 million to 21 local authorities from the funding made available. A provision of €2m was made for 2012 and to date, a total of €2.3 million has been drawn down by local authorities.

  As outlined in the National Housing Development Survey 2012, the results of which I published in November, real progress has been made in tackling the issues faced by the residents of unfinished housing developments, with a 37% decrease in the number of unfinished developments since 2010 and nearly 300 developments effectively resolved in the last 12 months. I am satisfied that the work carried out through the NCC continues to tackle the problems associated with unfinished housing developments.   

Anti-Social Behaviour

 301. Deputy Denis Naughten Information on Denis Naughten Zoom on Denis Naughten asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan his plans to review the present measures to address anti social behaviour; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [55418/12]

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Jan O'Sullivan): Information on Jan O'Sullivan Zoom on Jan O'Sullivan My Department is currently developing Heads for a new Housing Bill that will, among other things, provide for a revised procedure to replace section 62 of the Housing Act, 1966, thus enabling housing authorities to recover possession of their dwellings from households engaged in anti-social behaviour. I am also examining the scope for strengthening, in the Bill, the excluding order powers of housing authorities in respect of such behaviour. Government approval of the drafting of the Bill will be sought as soon as possible.

Septic Tank Registration Scheme

 302. Deputy Denis Naughten Information on Denis Naughten Zoom on Denis Naughten asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan if he will provide grant aid for the upgrade of septic tanks; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [55421/12]

 303. Deputy Denis Naughten Information on Denis Naughten Zoom on Denis Naughten asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan his plans to cater for the handling of domestic sewerage sludge from septic tanks; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [55422/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan I propose to take Questions Nos. 302 and 303 together.

With reference to the issue of grant aid, I refer to the reply to Questions Nos. 172 and 173 on 29 November 2012. The position is unchanged.

The Water Services Acts 2007 and 2012 (Domestic Waste water Treatment Systems) Regulations 2012 , which I made on 26 June 2012 , set out the requirements for the desludging of domestic waste water treatment systems. A working group comprising the Environmental Protection Agency, the local authorities and my Department has been established to examine the management and disposal of sewage sludge from domestic wastewater treatment systems arising from implementation of the Water Services (Amendment) Act 2012. The working group will prepare a report to include recommendations regarding the development of a national approach to dealing with sewage sludge from domestic wastewater treatment systems.


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