Waste Management Issues

Questions (196)

John Deasy

Question:

196. Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government about the regulations and control systems that are in place to ensure Ireland complies with current, and proposed European Commission legislation, on national inspections of waste shipments; if he will detail the location from which waste shipments leave here; the frequency at which they depart Irish shores; and the location of their first port of call and ultimate destination in each case. [35829/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

The legislative framework for the import and export of waste in the European Union is set out in Regulation (EC) No. 1013/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council. Under the Waste Management (Shipments of Waste) Regulations 2007, Dublin City Council was designated as the National Competent Authority for all waste exports and imports and the National Transfrontier Waste Shipment Office (NTFSO) was established under the auspices of Dublin City Council. The primary aim of the Regulations is to prevent the illegal shipment of waste abroad, and to assist businesses engaged in legitimate waste export activities.

In 2008, Dublin City Council was also designated as the competent authority for the Waste Management (Registration of Brokers and Dealers) Regulations 2008. The purpose of the Regulations is to provide for a registration system of waste brokers and dealers who arrange for the shipment of waste to and from Ireland and also the passage of waste through the State.

The NTFSO’s dedicated enforcement team bases its enforcement activities on an annual risk-based Recommended minimum Criteria for Environmental Inspections Plan. The team ensures that enforcement of the Regulations is consistent and proportional, while facilitating exports of waste for re-use in Europe and Asia. The enforcement team has developed working links with An Garda Síochána, Revenue’s Customs Service, the EU Network for the Implementation of Environmental Law (IMPEL), and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency.

Statistics and information on shipments of waste to and from Ireland, including ports used, are not kept by my Department. Such information is available from the NTFSO, which compiles an annual register for movement of both Amber and Green list waste. Amber list waste refers to hazardous waste. All Amber listed waste destined for recovery, and all shipments of Amber-listed waste destined for disposal, are subject to prior notification and consent procedures in accordance with Articles 3 and 4 of EU Regulation 1013/2006. Green Listed waste refers to shipments of non-hazardous waste for recovery within and from the EU.

The latest registers compiled by the NTFSO deal with 2012. Information can also be obtained on historical shipments from the National Waste Reports published annually by the EPA and which are available on its website at www.epa.ie.

With regard to proposed EU amendments to the EU legislation, these will be examined in due course by my Department in accordance with normal negotiating procedures in such matters.

Departmental Staff Rehiring

Questions (197)

Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

197. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government to set out the number of retired civil or public servants who have been retained by his Department, since January 2013, on a short-term contract or consultancy basis where normal abatement rules do not apply. [35843/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

No retired civil or public servants have been retained in my Department since January 2013 on short term contracts or on a consultancy basis where normal abatement principles did not apply.

Haddington Road Agreement Savings

Questions (198)

Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

198. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will provide a yearly detailed breakdown of the sectoral measures, and accompanying savings, for the duration of the Haddington Road agreement applicable in his Department and non-commercial state-sponsored bodies under the aegis of his Department. [35860/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

The measures applying to my Department and agencies under the aegis of my Department are set out in the Haddington Road Agreement.

As stated by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, the Haddington Road Agreement (HRA) will facilitate a reduction of €1 billion in the public service pay and pensions bill by 2016. In relation to my Department, the savings arising under HRA have been incorporated in the Department’s revised estimate for 2013 and appropriate provision in this regard will be incorporated in the vote allocations for 2014 and 2015 in the context of the overall estimates processes for these years.

Irish Water Establishment

Questions (199, 200)

Niall Collins

Question:

199. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government his views on whether the work of Irish Water should be entirely transparent and accountable and if he will extend the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act to the organisation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35903/13]

View answer

Niall Collins

Question:

200. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if the employee share ownership scheme in Bord Gáis Éireann will be extended to the newly established Irish Water; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35904/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 199 and 200 together.

The Water Services Act 2013 provides for the establishment of Irish Water as a subsidiary of Bord Gáis Éireann, conforming to the conditions contained in the Act and registered under the Companies Acts. The Act provides that Irish Water will be required to submit an annual report on the performance of its functions each year to the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government and the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources. Irish Water will also be required to submit its annual accounts to the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government each year.

The 2013 Act also provides that the annual report and accounts will be laid before each House of the Oireachtas. The extension of the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act to included Irish Water is a matter for the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform. The Water Services Act 2013 also sets out the share structure of Irish Water and provides for the allocation of shares to Bord Gáis Éireann, the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government and the Minister for Finance. The employee share ownership scheme in Bord Gáis will not be extended to Irish Water.

Consultancy Contracts Expenditure

Questions (201)

Niall Collins

Question:

201. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will provide details of all consultancy spend, within his Department and Irish Water, in respect of the establishment of Irish Water; the transfer of responsibilities from local authorities to the new organisation; the implementation of new work practices within the new organisation; the roll-out of a national metering programme; the employment of consultants in a part-time capacity and all other consultancy spend; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35905/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

The Water Sector Reform Implementation Strategy, which is published on my Department’s website, is focused on ensuring that appropriate policy and legal frameworks are put in place for Irish Water and the water sector. A key objective is to rationalise the cost of the current service delivery and ensure more efficient operation of water services by moving from 34 water services authorities to a single body; following enactment of comprehensive legislation later this year, Irish Water will, therefore, become the water services authority from 1 January 2014.

Just under €180,000 has been spent to date by my Department on consultancy support which relates to work undertaken by PriceWaterhouseCoopers on the independent assessment of the establishment of a State owned national water utility and assistance in developing the implementation strategy. The implementation strategy is being rolled out under a range of work-streams and is based on ensuring that the available skills within the sector are deployed in creating the new utility and the roll-out of the domestic metering programme. In addition to utilising expertise within the Bord Gáis Group, staff have been seconded from the Department and local authorities to assist in the Irish Water Programme in Bord Gáis. Bord Gáis have also engaged in a process of direct recruitment of external service providers for various aspects of the programme including company establishment, customer service and billing and the water metering programme. This expenditure is an operational matter for Irish Water/Bord Gáis and is not being funded from the Exchequer.

The costs involved are critical to developing the capacity to deliver cost savings and efficiencies in the delivery of water services. It will be a matter for the Commission for Energy Regulation in due course to satisfy itself in relation to the appropriateness of costs incurred in the operation of Irish Water as part of the process of setting the tariffs for both the domestic and non-domestic sectors in the future. It is envisaged that the Commission will engage in public consultation as part of this process.

Planning Issues

Questions (202)

Tom Fleming

Question:

202. Deputy Tom Fleming asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will examine documents (details supplied) regarding the requirement for subsequent consent currently under review by An Bord Pleanála; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35925/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

As Minister, I am precluded, under section 30 of the Planning and Development Act, 2000, from involvement in relation to any individual planning application or appeal with which a planning authority or An Bord Pleanála is or may be concerned.

Naturalisation Applications

Questions (203)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

203. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the position regarding naturalisation in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35564/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I can inform the Deputy that the application has entered the final stage of processing and I intend to grant citizenship. A letter has issued to the person referred to by the Deputy asking him to submit the prescribed fee and other documents. Upon receipt of the fee and documentation, the case will be finalised.

The person concerned will be invited in due course to attend a citizenship ceremony, at which he will make a declaration of fidelity to the Irish Nation and loyalty to the State and receive his certificate of naturalisation.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to INIS by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from INIS is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Garda Vetting of Personnel

Questions (204)

Pádraig MacLochlainn

Question:

204. Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if his attention has been drawn to the fact that for a second time the Garda vetting unit has sent incorrect information on a person (details supplied) in County Tipperary to a potential employer; if he will investigate how it occurred again; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35566/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

Garda Vetting disclosures are made to registered organisations following the signed authorisation of a vetting subject permitting the Garda Central Vetting Unit (GCVU) to disclose to the registered organisation "details of all prosecutions, successful or not, pending or completed, and/or convictions which may be recorded in respect of them in the State or elsewhere"; or alternatively that there are "no prosecutions or convictions recorded in respect of them".

An Garda Síochána are not aware of any basis for the assertion contained in the Deputy's question.