IFA National Environment + Rural Affairs Committee Chairman Pat Farrell has called on Environment Minister Phil Hogan to immediately bring forward a plan to ensure the 400,000 families who have septic tank discharge systems are compliant with EU law, and Ireland avoids lump-sum and daily fines.
Mr Farrell made his comments after the EU Environment Commissioner, Janez Potočnik, today referred Ireland back to the EU Court of Justice and asked the Court to impose a lump-sum fine of €2.7m and a daily penalty payment of €26,173.
“In recent months IFA have made significant proposals to Minister Hogan which include the use of integrated constructed wetlands and the development of a retrofit scheme. It is now important that these proposals are acted on immediately.”
The Association has also rejected the draconian measures as outlined in a recently-published EPA Code of Practice, which would result in houses not being permitted to be built on vast areas of counties in the west of Ireland.
“An acceptable specification for a septic tank system must be introduced which will allow families to live and work in their local communities, particularly in counties Leitrim, Roscommon, Sligo and Kerry.”