Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Questions (506)

Nicky McFadden


506. Deputy Nicky McFadden asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the period of time he envisages it will take to inspect all of the approximately 12,000 septic tanks in County Westmeath; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31596/13]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

The Water Services (Amendment) Act 2012 assigns responsibility to the Environmental Protection Agency to make a National Inspection Plan for domestic wastewater treatment systems. The National Inspection Plan 2013: Domestic Waste Water Treatment Systems was adopted and published by the EPA in February 2013 . The Plan has been drawn up to best international standards and will underpin the risk-based inspection of septic tanks and other on-site treatment systems. It also has regard to the European Parliament and Council’s recommendations regarding the minimum criteria for environmental inspections in the Member States.

The Plan requires that a minimum of 1,000 inspections nationally are carried out by the Water Services Authorities over the twelve-month period commencing in July 20 13 and the EPA will review the Plan at that stage . The numbers of inspections for each county are included in the Plan. The number of inspections in subsequent years will be a matter for the EPA and I have no direct role in these matters.