Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Questions (59)

Mick Wallace

Question:

59. Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government in view of the fact that the European Count of Justice has several cases against Ireland over non-implementation of environmental legislation, the way these will be addressed if the implementation of the capital programme is delayed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44819/13]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

There are currently two cases in which the Court of Justice of the European Union has delivered judgment in areas for which my Department has responsibility and which involve capital works. These cases relate to implementation of Directives on urban wastewater treatment and waste management.

Water and wastewater schemes and contracts included in my Department's Water Services Investment Programme 2010 – 2013, which are being promoted to ensure compliance with EU requirements, have been progressed as expeditiously as possible and continue to be progressed in that manner. From 1 January 2014, Irish Water will take over responsibility for the delivery of water services capital infrastructure and is currently preparing a Capital Investment Plan for 2014 - 2015. I expect that this Plan will include relevant projects from the current Water Services Investment Programme.

Capital expenditure and related efforts to address issues cited in the waste management case will continue in 2014 and no delay is envisaged. At its meeting of 24 April 2012, the Government approved a proposed programme of measures agreed with the European Commission to deal with outstanding issues and agreed to the provision of funds from voted expenditure, as it becomes necessary, to support the work of local authorities and the Environmental Protection Agency in bringing the case and associated matters to conclusion. Voted expenditure will supplement the funding that will continue to be provided from the Environment Fund.

I have prioritised the resolution of issues arising from environmental infringement cases and my Department is working hard to resolve these and other cases as soon as possible.