Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Questions (140)

Dara Calleary


140. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources with regard to the data and report of the expert monitoring panel on electromagnetic field, EMF, emissions in respect of the east-west interconnector, if he considers that a similar report on potential EMF emissions from the Grid West project is necessary; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45055/13]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

My Department has no function in respect of any aspect of the matter of potential health effects of EMF. Responsibilities previously held by the then Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources in relation to such effects of EMF became the responsibility of the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government from 1 May 2007, with a view to non-ionising radiation becoming part of the remit of the Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland (RPII).

I am, however, aware that Ireland has taken a precautionary approach on this issue and adopted international guidelines for exposure to electromagnetic radiation developed by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection. These guidelines are set at levels which are many times less than the experimental levels at which no adverse effects have been established. Ireland has also participated in the work of the International Committee on Electromagnetic Safety, which sets standards in this area. I have full confidence in the State energy companies' commitment to complete the Gridwest project and other projects under the Grid25 programme to the highest safety standards and without risk to the health and safety of local communities.