Business of Joint Committee

The first item on our agenda is the draft minutes of the meeting of 6 July which have been circulated. Are they agreed? Agreed.

Two items of correspondence were held over from the last meeting. The Irish Tyre Industry Association requests a meeting to discuss a producer responsibility initiative for the disposal of tyres. We will send a copy to the Department and receive a response therefrom. We will hold the correspondence on our work programme in case we decide to invite the association to attend.

The second item of correspondence is from Mr. Cian Ó Lionáin of the private rented housing and building standards section of the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government. It concerns the pyrite issue which was raised in previous correspondence. We will postpone consideration of the correspondence until our next meeting. Some of the Fine Gael members raised this matter, but I have not had an opportunity to study it.

The next item of correspondence from Mr. Gerry Mongey of the Canadian Embassy concerns various environmental sites in Canada. Is it agreed that we note this correspondence? Agreed.

No. 926A relates to the water conservation and waste management seminars. Is it agreed that we note this correspondence? Agreed.

No. 927 concerns the Joint Committee on European Scrutiny. Is it agreed that we note this correspondence? Agreed.

No. 928 is the Globe Europe newsletter. Is it agreed that we note this correspondence? Agreed.

The next item is an e-mail to Deputy Bannon from the EIPA. It is a reminder about upcoming events on environmental policy and climate change. Is it agreed to note this correspondence?

The IFA is anxious to have a meeting with the committee on the changes to the nitrates directive.

If the IFA writes to us, we will be happy to consider its request.

I was talking to the president of the IFA today. He referred to this matter and intends to go through the Joint Committee on Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. It is possible that he will write to this committee also.

If he does, we will deal with the matter.

I told him there would be no problem with the Chairman.

The next item includes a news alert from the EIPA and an invitation to attend a seminar in Luxembourg on EU environmental issues and legislation. We will note the correspondence. We do not have a travel budget at present.

No. 2010/926 concerns two local events on important issues. What is the committee's view on this?

If any member is interested in attending, we can process an application to the higher authorities.

The disposal of waste tyres is a topical subject.

We have had correspondence on this issue. If one member from each side is interested in attending, he or she can contact the clerk. Travel arrangements will be subject to approval from higher levels. This is a specific issue to this committee.

It is a burning issue, to coin a phrase.

The next item is a reply to the committee's letter requesting an explanatory memorandum be provided to assist members in considering amendments. For example, during the Planning and Development (Amendment) Bill, the select committee received 100 pages of amendments with no explanatory memorandum. The committee complained in writing. The Ceann Comhairle has officially responded, stating that he brought this letter to the Committee on Procedures and Privilege on 30 June. The committee has agreed to write to each Minister requesting, where Bills are proposed to be substantially amended on Committee or Report Stage, that the Department must provide a revised explanatory memorandum to assist Members in their consideration of the amendments. The rule will also be contained in Standing Orders, a draft of which will be put before the House next week.

The Chairman did a good day's work in this regard.

No. 931 is a newsletter, which will be noted.

No. 932 concerns the EPA code of practice on single dwellings and wastewater. The Joint Committee on European Scrutiny has issued a report on legislation in this area. It has referred the legislation to this committee for its consideration. I propose to note it.

I propose to note the next items concerning theEurope’s World newsletter and the annual international policy summit of Friends of the Earth.

The next item concerns replies to members' questions about the Building Control Act 2007 on 18 May. Further submissions will be forwarded before the committee's next meeting. This is an e-mail from the Architects Alliance which has come up before. I propose to note it.

The next item concerns a request from the Civil Engineering Contractors Association to meet the committee about small enterprises and access to public contracts. I think we will hold this. I propose that we could put that in our work programme for early in the autumn.

Since the last meeting, a circular from the Pensions Ombudsman on return of internal resolution of disputes was issued. There was a second statutory instrument on the related issue. A third statutory instrument and draft guidelines for planning authorities in relation to spatial plans and national roads was issued.

The next item is a financial emergencies measure relating to annual allowances for chairs of regional authorities and assemblies. The next circular is relating to the general government balance in respect of each local authority. Finally, the last circular is in relation to allocations under the national disability strategy 2010. That concludes the correspondence.

I am sorry I was late but can we go back to No. 908, the recycling and disposal of tyres by the Irish Tyre Industry Association?

We will seek specifically a briefing from the Department and hold it on our work programme because we decided to invite the tyre industry association after the summer.

The countryside is polluted with waste tyres. If people are being charged for the disposal of their tyres when buying new tyres, there should be some follow-up with some mark indicating where the tyres were sold. It is just unreal what is happening out there. Members in rural areas will know they are dumped everywhere.

It is a disgrace.

It is just not good enough

We are getting a briefing note and we are considering inviting in the group in question.

Has the committee received any requests from the IFA about the nitrates directive?

No. We said if it does write, we will consider it.

I am sorry I might have missed it earlier on. This is a decision that will be made before 1 September. We must consider what the Department, Teagasc and the IFA are prepared to do about the phosphorus element in this. I would hope that we could facilitate them for an hour in July.

I said to Deputy Bannon earlier that the agriculture committee met the IFA president and general secretary last week to discuss the CAP after 2013. The president said he will be in contact with the clerk of this committee.

Will that be facilitated in July?

Yes, providing the IFA requests to come before the committee. We will not go trawling for requests, however.

Is there a request in?

No, we have not received anything. They have written to us individually. I am meeting my lads in the midlands region at the weekend. If they do write to the committee, we will deal with it immediately.

I think it would be better to defer visits to Bord na Móna facilities until September. Bord na Móna has said next week and the following week is a bit tight between the holidays and other activities. We will revisit this in early September for those members who wish to visit.

I am proposing, if we get agreement today, that we launch the report on severe weather conditions and flooding next Tuesday at 2.30 p.m. We would have a short committee meeting at 2.15 p.m. just to finalise correspondence and agree our work programme.

Could the Chairman note my apologies for next week because I will be at a meeting in Brussels?

We will record that.