Air Pollution Bill, 1986: Second Stage (Resumed).

Question again proposed: "That the Bill be now read a Second Time."

I dealt with a number of points last evening before the adjournment and I welcome this opportunity to refer to more general areas of the Bill.

I realise that this Bill is primarily concerned with smoke and sulphur dioxide. Indeed it has been claimed that it could be regarded as a smoke screen from the point of view that nothing effective will follow from it, but I have taken it at a more serious level than that. Once again, I would like to emphasise that legislation is not enough in this area. As I mentioned yesterday evening a history of legislation in this regard would not convince anyone that the legislation will achieve what it sets out to do and I refer in particular to the Water Pollution Act, 1977, among many others, and I demonstrated the failure in this area. There is a well known song which has a section that goes like this:

As red as the rose

That in yonder valley grows

As fair as the lily of the valley

As pure as the water that flows in the Boyne

My love is fairer than any.

I have no doubt that the rose is still very red, the lily of the valley, I am sure, will always be fair, but unfortunately and sadly the water that flows in the Boyne is not as pure as it used to be or as pure as it should be. Thomas Hood in that lovely poem "I remember" said:

But 'tis little joy

To know I am further off from heav'n

Than when I was a boy.

It is little joy for me coming from the plains of royal Meath to realise that the waters that flow in the Boyne are not as pure as they might be. The river Black-water has been raped through drainage schemes, unfortunately. My point is that the Water Pollution Act of 1977, which was hailed as a very far-seeing important Act, did nothing as regards pollution of rivers and streams and I am afraid that this Bill will turn out to be the same.

I mentioned the same situation with regard to litter. There is a serious litter problem in the urban and rural areas of Ireland. Recently through regulations the fines for those who contravene the Litter Act were increased but that in itself will not cure the problem. The problem is in the hearts and souls of the people and legislation cannot solve that. It will take a long time to resolve this problem and it will have to be an educational process. I mentioned also the Factories Act and the fact that there has been an increase in serious accidents and indeed in all accidents every year despite the fact that we have these comprehensive Acts. Those who look to this legislation to cure all our ills in the area of air pollution will be very disappointed. There is no finance available for this and, as I said last night, local authorities are in no position to provide financial assistance in this area.

I referred last night to the deficiency in the Bill with regard to the control of traffic pollution. This is a very serious deficiency. With regard to domestic dwellings, terraced housing, densely populated areas, in the winter months and particularly when temperatures are very low, fires are lit and the problem is aggravated.

With regard to traffic pollution, there is emission at breathing level or below that level which is more drastic. We have it at all times of the year. We have it in the centre city area. Anybody who walks by College Green, over O'Connell Bridge into O'Connell Street is well aware of the situation. The traffic spews out poison into the faces of the people on the street. Yet there is no attempt in the Bill to deal with that problem. We will have an opportunity on Committee Stage to table amendments. I am glad that we will have considerable time during the recess to look at all the areas and to table amendments. We do not have the necessary back-up. We do not have the proper facilities. We are not in a position to get the proper briefing. Even with regard to secretarial help, there is only one secretary for every four Senators. Everybody will appreciate how overstretched a secretary would be trying to cope with all the work. It is unfortunate that we do not have sufficient help in this area. As I have already said, I belive that this is a Bill which we will have to deal with in great detail on Committee Stage. I will be tabling many motions and amendments in this regard.

On the question of noise, this was dealt with in that very comprehensive report by Dublin Corporation that I referred to so many times. It is proper that that should be regarded.

With specific regard to the control of traffic pollution, the Minister of State made the point that heretofore an attempt was made to deal with the situation by administrative means and that the Bill is going to change that situation by providing legislative means of complying with the EC Directive. Unfortunately, administrative means would not be adequate to deal with the traffic pollution problem. Therefore, the deficiency in the Bill is more to be deplored. Traffic pollution is not just a question of insisting on proper maintenance of engines, supervision in that area, although that is important. The whole feasibility of traffic diversion and traffic in relation to the central city area comes into question. This is a very complicated area and will not be easy to deal with through amendments on Committee Stage.

This Bill has been welcomed by many people. I pay tribute to Mr. John Reilly who is in the Environmental Health Section of Dublin Corporation and whose reports are so legible and understandable. I should like to quote his Comment in the March Monthly Bulletin:

It is fitting that a new monthly environmental pollution report should begin its life by greeting a new piece of legislation — the Clean Air Bill, 1986.

This will be an important enactment and is intended to form the basis of legal controls on atmospheric pollution for the foreseeable future.

It is comprehensive in that it will apply to all premises, including premises belonging to or occupied by the State.

It provides for controls applicable to both the industrial and domestic sectors; the first by way of licensing provisions and the second by powers to designate special control areas — or smoke free zones.

It is intended that progress will be made in a methodical manner by having air quality management plans and standards.

Its introduction and implementation will benefit every citizen.

It will be welcomed by all who seek to improve the environment and aspire to a better qualilty of life.

With regard to individuals and groups whom I have met and we in the Seanad have met and who had what I regard as a vested interest, they all welcomed the Bill. All are concerned to get a better environment and a better way of life. Nobody wants otherwise. I want to pay tribute to those I met by being so forthcoming and so helpful at all times. It is important to have on the record that everybody welcomes the Bill and welcomes any attempt to improve the environment and to tackle the problem of air pollution.

I should like to quote a small paragraph from Air Quality in Ireland, The Present Position by An Foras Forbartha, which I found very helpful and which was published in 1984. The continuation of this is included in The State of the Environment for the following year. Following is the paragraph:

The domestic sector was found to be the main source of smoke in the area, accounting for 81 per cent (12,900 tonnes/year) of the total with 75 per cent of these emissions originating from the combustion of household coal (Fig. 7). Road vehicles contributed a further 14 per cent, much of it derived from the use of diesel fuel. In regard to sulphur dioxide emissions the ESB power stations contributed about 65 per cent of the sulphur dioxide amount emitted during 1981 with 12 per cent from domestic sources and 20 per cent from commercial/industrial emitters. However, it should be emphasised that the 35,800 tonnes of sulphur dioxide emitted from the power stations are dispersed at a high level and so the 6,400 tonnes/year originating from domestic and also the quantities from the other sources will have a greater impact on ambient ground concentrations.

With regard to that, it is clear from all the reports that I read in this regard that the domestic sector was found to be the main problem in the area. Of course, this would not be the situation if the nettle had been grasped in time. I was very interested to listen to Senator McMahon's contribution on the previous motion. He spoke about the fireplace and the changes which took place in relation to the oil crisis. I was also very interested in what he had to say about double glazing and insulation, but, unfortunately, the Government have never done anything in this regard to change the situation — no Government. I feel that it would have been easy to encourage people through the educational process, through publicity and particularly through financial incentives by way of grants to install stoves or enclosed appliances. It would have been in their individual interests because, as we know, they have much higher efficiency than with the open fire and yet no Government have attempted to do that.

Even in the latest grant scheme in 1985 — the house improvement grant scheme which I have praised on many occasions as a very fine scheme, it has its drawbacks. By and large, it is a generous scheme and even there there is no attempt to influence people to install an enclosed appliance, a stove or a cooker. There is no grant for double glazing which is unfortunate. It would be in line with Senator McMahon's contribution. There is no attempt in any scheme of new house grants or house improvement grants to change that situation.

It is all very well to blame the domestic sector, but at the same time, we must remember that the Government must take a considerable portion of the blame. I have been reading reports from the Institute for Industrial Research and Standards over a very long time with regard to efficiency of fireplaces. I spoke last night about progress in this area where efficiency has increased many times, particularly where boilers are installed, the efficiency is far higher. But there are many areas where boilers are not needed. In this situation a stove or a proper appliance burning fossil fuel, with many of those it is possible to burn smokeless fuel, would not be nearly as bad. It is wrong to blame the domestic sector. This was allowed to get out of hand. If this had been done and if the Government had acted in time, it would not in my view be necessary at this stage to introduce a Bill of this kind.

With regard to what the Minister had to say, this would be strictly within the administrative level. Legislation would not have been necessary. It is interesting, too, that this section I read also dealt with road vehicles and the 14 per cent of pollution which I mentioned last night. In passing, also I could say that many people feel with regard to Moneypoint that it is Dublin and places far away from it that will suffer in the long term. When dealing with acid rain in my contribution I would like to refer briefly to that matter.

I agree with Senator McMahon that the question of energy is very important, apart from conservation which he mentioned and which is most important. It is something that we are only now beginning to grapple with. I could mention any areas in regard to conservation, but I do not think it would be appropriate. I agree with Senator McMahon on that.

I also feel that there is a potential input available from many other sources. The Government have failed to give financial encouragement in this area, for example, solar energy. I remember not too many years ago it was possible to go into a hardware or builders providers store in Dublin to get a package which provided a means of heating the water for domestic purposes by solar energy. It is no longer possible to do that, presumably because there was no demand for it. Yet we know that there is great potential in this area.

Wave energy, I am sure, has potential also and many of us in this House had representations made to us with regard to a particular scheme where experimentation was being carried out regarding wave energy. There was not much that could be done, although, again, I felt that finance should be available from the EC for this kind of experimentation, and particularly for an island nation surrounded by seas, wave energy in the future must have great potential.

Air energy is another area. I remember in the last World War we had many houses with propeller-type schemes to provide electricity. Indeed, near my own town of Kells one of them was in use up to three or four years ago. I feel there should be more research in this area. I know a certain amount has been done but there has been no great breakthrough. As regards water energy some of the small rivers we have have been harnessed satisfactorily. In the area of conservation to which Senator McMahon also referred no grants are available. There is no incentive. Only when the incentive is provided will we make any useful headway.

With regard to natural gas, I am not altogether clear about the position. I know from the reports that sulphur dioxide is decreasing because of the increased use of natural gas, which is a smokeless fuel. According to an editorial in today's Irish Press— and I am not going to quote it; I just simply want to refer to it — natural gas, in the way the Government have dealt with it, is costing the country a lot of money. Many people would be dissatisfied with the arrangements about natural gas.

There is no harm in saying, in passing, that a senior member of the Government resigned honourably in this regard. If some of the money which the country is losing in this area had been spent in the areas that I mentioned by way of grants for enclosed appliances, grants for conservation and for the other sources of energy and for experimentation in this area, it would have been better spent. Remembering, and I stand to be corrected on this, that the Kinsale gas field has a life span of less than 20 years. I am sure, when looking to the future, we will be very hopeful that there will be another gas find.

Also with regard to the situations in estates, I note from the 1976-83 report on private house building in Ireland by An Foras Forbartha that use of solid fuel for central heating increased to a very considerable extent between the years 1976 and 1983. Again, there were many reasons for this, the reasons which Senator McMahon has given and also the reason because the Government by reason of the influence they exercised with grants were determined to achieve this result. It seems strange that having set out deliberately to do that and having achieved the objective, now in relation to this Bill, we seem to be arriving at a situation where we will try to undo all of that. That is rather unfortunate and shows a lack of planning and a lack of foresight.

I found many treatises and books on this subject very helpful: those which had contributions from Professor Frank Convery, the booklet produced by An Foras Forbartha, which I have already referred to, the publications of Dublin Corporation and, indeed, the Department literature. I could also mention, and I will deal with it later on, the publication by the Coal Information Service towards a planned improvement in Dublin's air quality. I found that very helpful. One of the most helpful of these books was the State of the Environment, which was published by An Foras Forbartha. The editor was Mr. David Cabot. This was published last year and dealt with this matter in very great detail, as well as all the aspects of the environment.

I should just like to refer to a few areas covered in this book, The State of the Environment. Under the heading “Air”, it states

air polution is difficult to define.

In one definition air is described as being polluted when a constituent in the air is present to the extent that there is a significant hazard to present or future health, or to the environment.

Would the Senator give the reference?

Page 129. It continues:

The main implication of this definition is that an emission to the atmosphere is not air pollution per se; air pollution arises when the concentration of the emission in the atmosphere reaches a level which is harmful.

By that, I take it to mean that pollution in the sense of being harmful to the environment would not include simple emissions, which in an accumulative way, would involve pollution. The definition in the Bill is much fuller in that regard, where it states in section 4:

"Air pollution" in this Act means a condition of the atmosphere in which a pollutant is present in such a quantity as to be liable to —

(1) be injurious to public health, or

(ii) have a deleterious effect on flora or fauna or damage property, or

(iii) impair or interfere with amenities or with the environment.

That is a far fuller definition of air pollution.

On page 133 of The State of the Environment I quote the following:

While full information is not yet available on pollution emissions in Ireland, it is, nonetheless, apparent that the combustion of fuel is the major source of air pollution.

It is unfortunate that full information is not available. It is unfortunate and unwise to go ahead with a Bill of this kind without having full information. It illustrates that the push for the Bill comes from the EC Directive and is an attempt to show that we are conforming to this directive. As I have already said, if we had taken and if we still take some steps in the administrative area, it would equally be accepted that we are making an honest attempt to comply with the directive.

As I have said, overall, the picture as presented to me and as I understand it, is not a serious one. I realise that it is an emotive area. For some people it is very difficult to consider the situation objectively but those who would consider the graph which I have referred to on page 110 of last year's report from Dublin Corporation could not come to the conclusion that the situation is as serious as many people would want us to believe.

This report also stated on page 133 that in the case of smoke the major factor was the level of consumption of solid fuel in the domestic sector. I have already covered that and there is no point in going over it again. That was because of the failure of the Government to deal initially with the problem, as the time passed.

On page 134 it states:

It is important to note, firstly, that figures for emissions are estimates, not measurements...

Again, this is unfortunate. Estimates could be very much off the mark. Certainly in dealing with a problem of this kind we should have accurate measurements. That case is made by some of the parties concerned in this area. We should have accurate measurements. There is no excuse for not having accurate measurements. Estimates as a basis for an important Bill of this kind are not good enough.

Further on the report states:

The methods of estimating coal and other fuel consumption in Dublin, or any other estimates with regard to a basis for an important Bill of this kind is not good enough.

Further on it states that the methods of estimating coal and other fuel consumption in Dublin or any other estimates with regard to a basis for an important Bill of this kind is not good enough. Further on it states that the methods of estimating coal and other fuel in Dublin or any other area are not as satisfactory as one would like. The only satisfactory way to arrive at the actual consumption of fuel in Dublin is to know exactly what is burned in Dublin and where it is burned. The thrust of what is said here is that, by and large, in many areas we have nothing better than an educated guess. That is not a sound basis for an important Bill of this kind. On page 137 it states:

Although only about 12 per cent of the sulphur dioxide in Dublin originates from domestic sources, this source has a much greater impact on ground level concentrations because the height of emissions above ground level is an important factor.

I have already dealt with that. I pointed out that it is a far more important factor with regard to traffic pollution; the emission is at breathing level and is concentrated for the whole year, not just at the times when we may have what is regarded as an inversion situation, we have it right through the full year.

On page 138, it is stated:

In the short term it is unlikely that nuclear energy or alternative sources such as biomass, solar power and wind will have any significant effect on the consumption of fuels as mentioned.

I have dealt with those considerations and I feel that that should not preclude us from, even at this late hour, doing whatever is necessary to see what progress could be made with regard to energy from these areas. Clearly, the Government have made a mistake in not trying to come to grips with possibilities. We have the Institute for Industrial Research and Standards; we have An Foras Forbartha and we have many very highly qualified graduates. If an opportunity were given to those people, while possibly in the short term there would be no great progress made with alternative sources, it is important to investigate the possibilities even at this late stage.

On page 144 it states:

If the use of solid fuel for domestic and to a lesser extent commercial space heating purposes continues to increase, it will inevitably result in a further deterioration in the quality of the air, in which case the 1981-82 concentrations could be repeated and perhaps exceeded, given meteorological conditions similar to those experienced during that winter.

That needs to be qualified. Clearly, if we proceed haphazardly, without making some attempt to encourage people to provide enclosed appliances then we will have a problem. But if enclosed appliances, stoves and cookers, are installed clearly the situation will improve. This should have been stressed in this book; otherwise people reading it might come to the wrong conclusion. With regard to the directive the EC should be prepared to provide some finance for incentives in respect of these schemes. After all, it is their responsibility to see that the directive is complied with. In a situation where they have that responsibility I am sure that some finance should be made available to encourage the installation of appliances.

With regard to acid rain the report tells us that in 1979 a conventional long-term trans-boundary air pollution convention was signed by 32 countries, one of which was Ireland. Apparently the number fell eventually to 24 countries. I am glad that Ireland is one of 24 countries who have signed a convention to deal with acid rain. I will deal with this on a later section.

On page 152 it states that many members of the population may already have blood levels in excess of 4 per cent as a result of smoking, which is an important source. I came across this reference in all the books and articles I read in conjunction with this Air Pollution Bill. I suppose we are all familiar with the cliché that if God intended human beings to smoke he would have provided them with a chimney, a flue or an exhaust.

How would he design that?

If God had intended man to smoke he would have provided him with a couple of extra lungs and an extra heart or two because smoking is very hard on these organs. It is very hard to understand why or how intelligent people still continue with these suicidal tendencies. I suppose it is some defect in a person's character, perhaps related to the area of psychiatry, where human beings are under stress. It is something like a baby using a "dummy," the only difference is that the "dummy" does not harm anybody. But cigarette smoking, pipe smoking and cigar smoking harm the individual and many other people also. It is difficult to understand why people continue to harm themselves healthwise in this way. It would be unfair to expect that a Bill of this kind could have any input in that area. It is no harm to mention in passing that in all the reports I read there is a reference to the problem which is inherent in this country as a result of smoking.

The Health Education Bureau could possibly do more work in this area. I know that their funds are restricted but the bureau do very important work and this is one area where they could concentrate to good effect for the health of all the people in the country.

On page 153 there is a reference to a recently published European study, carried out in 19 geographical areas of the European Community. It lists those areas and it states, rather strangely, that the findings were contradictory. Further on it states:

The Report recommends that the now traditional epidemiological method for estimating the effects of air pollution, on experiencing different levels of air pollution — be abandoned. It is a methodology which, at current ambient smoke and SO2 levels, which have been achieved in many areas of the European Community by appropriate air pollution control measures, leads for the most part to confusing and arguable results even when all precautions are taken.

This is a rather strange, and I might even go as far as to say an alarming statement, that the current methods with regard to health, are more or less condemned with regard to consideration of epidemics in this area. That is strange, first to state that the findings were contradictory and then that the methods applied at present and heretofore should be abandoned and there is no further clarification with regard to that. On page 157 we are told: "As yet, the EEC has not adopted air quality standards for carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons or nitrogen oxides in general, although a draft Directive on air quality standards for nitrogen dioxide has recently been adopted in principle". We know that all these hazards and pollutants are also involved and I am sure there is provision in the Act to deal with them if the situation arises but by and large this Bill concentrates solely on smoke and carbon dioxide.

Those are the points I wanted to make with regard to that booklet which, as I say, I found very helpful. I found it very well presented in a simple way and of course it deals with the whole area of the environment. I want to compliment everybody concerned with the compilation of that booklet. One of the groups who made representations to us was the Irish Fireplace Manufacturers Association. They are very much involved with regard to the provision of fireplaces. In the letter which they sent me they stated that it is desired in every way to cooperate in the eradication of air pollution and to comply with any directives which will emanate from the introduction of the proposed Bill but the danger inherent in the introduction of schemes where chimneys are prohibited and open fires eliminated completely are causing concern to members. I do not believe there will ever be a situation where a chimney will be prohibited or where a fireplace will not be provided and in a sense it is fair to say in passing that I feel that some of the vested interests in this area have overreacted to the Bill. They see dangers which will never arise and certainly not in my view in the foreseeable future. I can never envisage a situation where a chimney would be prohibited and perhaps I am wrong in that regard. I spoke last night regard the place of the fire in Irish culture and Irish tradition and indeed I remember in my young days, a very popular programme was "Around the Fire". One of the stars of that programme was the late and great Albert Healy. The fire has always been central in Irish culture and I cannot see the situation changing. The group, the Irish Fireplace Manufacturers Association, point out that the open fire is the preferred option of householders for heating their homes, providing a focal point in most kitchen-livingroom areas around the country.

I do know, like every other Member of the House — and the case has been very well made — that for most people it is not possible to buy fuel in bulk; they are dependent on small quantitites of coal at periods when the weather gets very cold and, as far as I am concerned, that situation will continue. A situation where there may be some control as regards smokeless zones will I am sure be arrived at over a very long period. It will be arrived at by taking maybe 4,000 to 5,000 households. Again I cannot envisage a very large area involved. The point was also made in that presentation that solid fuel, be it smokeless fuel or bituminous coal can be bought in small quantities allowing the weekly family budget to be kept in balance thereby eliminating the worries of two monthly bills. I have already mentioned that. That is most important and would have to be considered with regard to any regulations the Minister might want to bring in.

They make the case that the open fire provides more than a method of heating a house. It also provides a natural ventilation system for a house. I am very conscious of this and I know of many areas where, because of a want of natural ventilation, there has been serious deterioration in the building. This is most important. It is unfortunate that at a time when there has been considerable progress with regard to the design of fireplaces, their efficiency, the method of providing underfloor air for combustion, proper throats for chimneys, proper size of flues, that the fireplace does seem to some to be under threat.

I do not accept that situation: I do not believe that time will come. As I say, importance of the contribution they in the area where controls by way of regulation will come into operation there will be the alternative of the enclosed appliance. I know that in the United Kingdom grants of up to 70 per cent of the cost were provided and in the case of disabled persons or where there was hardship of any kind, grants of 100 per cent were provided. I am sure the same will have to apply here in the same situation.

Extensive research and development work is currently under way in such bodies as Bord na Móna, Coal Distributors and the manufacturers of fireplaces. Raised hearths and fireplace fittings will result in the reduction of smoke because smoke, by and large, I believe is the result of incomplete combustion and the development of ways to increase efficiency will reduce the smoke. The Irish Fireplace Manufacturers Association also point out that their industry is a labour intensive industry producing a product of high added value. The industry employs people both directly and indirectly. Directly 350 people approximately are employed in the manufacture of the product which is a guaranteed Irish product. I would say from my experience that many more people are employed because I know in my own area, small factories in nearly all of the towns and in quite a few rural areas where fireplaces of a very high standard are produced so that the figure of 350 is a very conservative one. If the situation does arise where the enclosed appliance or a stove will be mandatory this will not interfere with the fireplace manufacturers. This in time will become incorporated as part of the fireplace, maybe not as attractive as the open fire, but when I see some of the appliances with the glass fronts and the possibility of opening in front I personally would not be too worried in this regard.

I would say to the Irish Fireplace Manufacturers Association that I understand their concern and their concern indeed would be my concern. They have understated the importance of their association; they have understated the make to the building industry and the building situation both in terms of the product that is manufactured, the aesthetic quality of it and the functional design of it. In all those areas they have seriously underestimated the importance of their association. I want to assure them that I have their concern very much at heart.

We had representations made to us by the Coal Information Services and I want to say that I found their booklet called "Towards a Planned Improvement in Dublin's Air Quality" very readable, helpful and, by and large, I would have to say that it helped me to come to a conclusion in certain areas with regard to this Bill. I would like to refer to a few of them.

The first point that is made in the literature which we received from the Coal Information Services is that a serious problem does not exist. I would have to agree with that. It is an emotive issue and there are people who have taken on messianic roles in this regard — I suppose there are people who do this in many areas and I am not denigrating them for that in any way — but to leave aside the emotive issue and to look at the facts as presented to us by Dublin Corporation in the environmental reports, as I have already said, I would have to agree that a serious problem does not exist. Even if it does exist, in my view, it is in relation to the emission from traffic in the centre city area, an area which is not taken care of in this Bill. In my view the serious problem is in that area if a serious problem exists at all.

That statement by the Coal Information Services is factual and it is borne out by the reports of Dublin Corporation and again it is rather unfortunate that we do not have the latest annual report from Dublin Corporation. The one I have mentioned dealt with 1984-85 and the 1985-86 report is not yet available. It is a pity that the report is held up for the sake of being printed. It reminds me of the very many areas where the ship is spoiled for a ha'port of tar. I remember a few years back in the Ordinance Survey Office in Dublin, in dealings with the chief place names officer — indeed a very helpful individual — he was held up because he did not have a secretary. Here was an important, erudite, experienced man in the area of Irish place names and he was inhibited by reason of the fact that he did not have somebody to do his typing. I thought that was unfortunate.

The booklet which we got from the Coal Information Services went into some detail with regard to the present situation in Dublin. In that regard, the latest report for the past winter shows a less serious situation than that which was dealt with by the Coal Information Services.

I should like to mention some of the points made and with which I would concur. One is that the home should be inviolate. That is important. Personal liberty is the great privilege of a democracy and there is provision in this Bill to enter a person's home to get certain information. I recall with regard to legislation related to the health tax, which I think was inflicted on this country some 30 years before the battle of the Boyne and continued as far as I can recall until about 1822, that there was provision to enter a person's home to get certain information. At the present time this is unacceptable and this is an area in which we will be tabling amendments.

Certain sections of the city had particular problems — Ballyfermot is one — with regard to measurement of air pollution. I believe that the Semperit factory which manufactures rubber tyres has an industrial process which is intended to deal with the colour of the products and the point has been made, rightly or wrongly, that the problem there has nothing to do with the burning of fuels. This is something that should be investigated; it should be measurable. It is important with regard to this Bill and certainly before the building controls would be made for any area that there should be a very serious attempt to assess the situation exactly. This is one problem area and an attempt should be made to look at the situation in Ballyfermot. Rathmines I believe has also proved a serious problem. First there was suspicion of a smelter and then it was discovered, I understand, that the measuring device was located close to the corporation yard where diesel engines are started. This is a contention. It may not be true but again we do not know conclusively; there is no scientific research and this also is important.

The great polluter is industry. Everybody realises that. One cause of the decline in air pollution in England is the decline in industrial production. The same applies to Dublin. Dublin Port is almost free of pollution, simply because there is no industry there. Last week I took the trouble of going down to examine the Dublin port area in relation to the Bill which we were considering at that time regarding the development of the port and docks area and it is easy for anybody who walks over that area to see that there could be no pollution precisely because there is no production, no activity, unfortunately. That is the simple reason. No fuel is free of pollution.

It is unrealistic to argue that you can have absolutely clean air. You can, of course, if there is no industry, no transport, no fireplaces because all of these pollute. It is necessary to have a very balanced approach to this matter.

As I said, with regard to the Bill there is no money to back it up. In my view the most important aspect is the financial aspect. In one sense, the Government, by not providing finance with regard to this problem demonstrate that the problem is not out of control, that the Government do not regard it as very serious. In fairness to the Minister, in her introductory speech that was the main thrust of her contribution as I understood it.

Debate adjourned.
The Seanad adjourned at 10 p.m. until 10.30 a.m. on Thursday, 3 July 1986.