Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Questions (501)

John Lahart

Question:

501. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the reason Inland Fisheries Ireland is doing nothing to prevent raw sewage continually running into the waterways that it is responsible for protecting during high water events (details supplied). [21827/19]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

The Environmental Protection Agency is the statutory authority which licences Irish Water waste water facilities and would be the primary agency to address and enforce non-compliance issues. IFI have prosecuted Irish Water on a number of occasions for the discharge of sewage to rivers around the country, where incidents involve issues for fisheries, most recently in the case of the river Tolka in Dublin.

If specific instances of raw sewage being discharged are known these should be reported to IFI immediately through the 24 hour hotline number, 1890 347424. IFI’s Environmental Officers fully investigate any such report as regards any impact on fisheries and, if sufficient evidence is obtained, may proceed to prosecute.

Separately I can confirm that where fish kills occur as a result of pollution it is the stated policy of IFI that it takes a prosecution where the cause of the fish kill is identified.

IFI separately makes submissions on infrastructure development through both the planning and licensing systems in order to proactively protect the fishery resource.