IFA National Environment + Rural Affairs Chairman Pat Farrell has acknowledged that progress has been made by the Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan on the issue of septic tanks, especially relating to the charge and its recurring nature.
However, he said farmers and rural householders maintain their position that there should be no charge.
Pat Farrell has also called for the immediate introduction of a retro-fit scheme to assist rural dwellers who may be compelled to upgrade septic tanks systems. “A retrofit scheme similar to the <i>Warmer Home Scheme</i>, must be introduced, which provides tax relief and grant support, where new or upgraded waste water installations are required. This will stimulate job creation and provide the necessary supports to allow people comply with the requirements. The Department of Environment have an urban wastewater budget of almost €2billion and if the Government are serious about tackling the septic tank issue then some of this budget must be diverted to a retrofit scheme for septic tanks.”
Mr Farrell said, “Before Minister Hogan introduces any legislation, the Department of Environment and the EPA must revise the percolation criteria or introduce a waste water treatment specification that will allow farm families to live and work in their local communities, particularly addressing the issue in counties Leitrim, Roscommon and Sligo.”