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Written Answers. - Waste Management Plan.

Wednesday, 6 February 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 547 No. 4

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 155. Ms Clune Information on Deirdre Clune Zoom on Deirdre Clune  asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government Information on Noel Dempsey Zoom on Noel Dempsey  the progress made in implementing the national hazardous waste management plan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3698/02]

[1623]Minister for the Environment and Local Government (Mr. Dempsey): Information on Noel Dempsey Zoom on Noel Dempsey The national hazardous waste management plan – NHWMP – makes recommendations in respect of four main areas: the implementation of a national hazardous waste prevention programme; improved measures for the collection of hazardous wastes from households, small and medium enterprises, agriculture and other sources of “unreported” hazardous wastes; provision of requisite infrastructure in order to attain national self-sufficiency in relation to the recovery and disposal of hazardous wastes; and identification, risk assessment and, where necessary, remediation of sites where hazardous wastes were disposed of in the past.

Under section 26 of the Waste Management Act, 1996, relevant public authorities are required to have regard to the plan and, where they consider it appropriate to do so, to take measures to implement or otherwise give effect to, recommendations contained in the plan.

The NHWMP recommended the establishment of an implementation committee to co-ordinate the overall implementation of the plan and, as indicated in the replies to previous questions on this matter, the establishment of this committee is in hands. I will shortly publish a policy statement on preventing and recycling waste, which will include a major national waste prevention programme, encompassing both hazardous and non-hazardous wastes.

Improved collection and reception services for hazardous waste from household and commercial sources are already being put in place by local authorities.

With regard to infrastructure, the NHWMP identifies a requirement for landfill and thermal treatment capacity for hazardous waste requiring disposal, so as to achieve self-sufficiency and reduce reliance on export outlets. A private company has announced proposals to develop a hazardous waste incineration facility at Ringaskiddy, County Cork. As an exceptional measure, having regard to the polluter pays principle, it is intended that grant assistance will be available under the NDP to support the provision of landfill capacity for hazardous wastes.

The NHWMP outlined a methodology for the identification and risk assessment of closed waste disposal sites. This methodology has since been developed further by the Environmental Protection Agency – EPA – and is currently being applied as a pilot project undertaken by Laois County Council. This pilot project will conclude shortly, and is expected to facilitate the development by the EPA of more detailed guidance for local authorities in this matter.

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