Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Questions (450)

Luke 'Ming' Flanagan

Question:

450. Deputy Luke 'Ming' Flanagan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the reason an Irish company attempting to develop a concrete sceptic treatment tank has to send their product to Germany for EN standards approval at a cost of over €30,000 for tanks in their range of products; if he will consider setting up an accredited testing facility here as some universities are already in a position to support such a facility; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20884/14]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

There is an onus on the installers, manufacturers or suppliers of wastewater treatment systems , including septic tanks, to demonstrate that their systems are capable, having regard to operating conditions in Ireland, of meeting the required EU and Irish performance standards. All new septic tanks and other domestic wastewater treatment systems must comply with the standards set out in the Building Regulations (Part H Amendment) Regulations 2010 and the accompanying Technical Guidance Document (TGD H 2010). TGD H 2010, specifically requires, among other things, that septic tanks must conform to I.S. EN 12566 Part 1 or 4, including their national annexes.

Where a harmonised European standard, such as I.S. EN 12566, exists, all Member States must comply with its requirements and all relevant products must be tested in accordance with the requirements of that standard prior to being placed on the market. I have no discretion in relation to such matters. Neither I nor my Department has a direct role in relation to the testing or certification of construction products and there are no plans under consideration by my Department in relation to setting up an accredited testing facility along the lines suggested. A venture of this nature is most likely to stem from collaboration between industry stakeholders and a relevant third-level educational institution. I would welcome any developments in this regard that may lead to the provision of cost effective testing facilities in Ireland.