Electric Vehicles

Questions (572)

Kevin O'Keeffe

Question:

572. Deputy Kevin O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the provisions which will be made for owners of electric cars who reside in estates when charging their cars and have to park on the public road (details supplied). [29174/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Communications)

The Climate Action Plan sets out a range of actions to support the delivery of charging infrastructure. This includes introducing a capital support that will be provided to Local Authorities for the development of up to 200 on-street chargers per annum. My Department is currently working with the SEAI to develop this scheme which is expected to be in place later this year. This will cater mainly for electric vehicle owners who rely on on-street parking as their primary means of parking near their homes.

Waste Tyre Disposal

Questions (573, 575)

Kevin O'Keeffe

Question:

573. Deputy Kevin O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if the scheme being administered by a company (details supplied) complies with the Waste Management (Tyres and Waste Tyres) Regulations 2007, is operating successfully, that is, that a 90% compliance rate is achieved under the structures put in place. [29202/19]

View answer

Kevin O'Keeffe

Question:

575. Deputy Kevin O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his plans for a reduction of the environmental management charge to the tyre industry retailers. [29243/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Communications)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 573 and 575 together.

Under the Waste Management (Tyres and Waste Tyres) Regulations, 2017 a new scheme for tyres and waste tyres was introduced and is operated by Repak ELT, supported by the Producer Register Limited.

All tyre producers and retailers are statutorily obliged to be members of the scheme. Under the regulations, all operators are obliged to provide data on the numbers of tyres coming on and off the Irish market. The scheme carries out all regulatory functions on behalf of its members and is funded by a visible Environmental Management Charge (vEMC) as established in the Regulations.

There are no targets in relation to the overall recovery and recycling of waste tyres contained in the Regulations, however in accordance with the terms of the scheme’s Ministerial approval, Repak ELT are obliged to work towards minimum targets by the end of 2018 and each subsequent year of the approval:

- a recovery rate of 70% of all tyres collected, and

- a recycling rate of 30% of all tyres collected.

Repak ELT, published their Annual Report for 2018, which can be accessed at the following link https://repakelt.ie/wp-content-uploads-2019-06-relt-annual-report-2018-pdf/ and it shows that the scheme exceeded these targets.

In establishing the scheme, it was agreed that a review of the data flow and scheme operation would be undertaken at 6 and 12 months after its introduction. The scheme was kept under close review for the initial six months and three amendments were carried out to the Regulations. My Department engaged an independent body, RPS Group, to carry out a review of year 1 of the operation of the scheme.

The review is scheduled to be completed in quarter 3 of this year and the conclusions of this review will inform my decisions in relation to the Regulations supporting the Scheme.

Television Licence Fee Collection

Question No. 575 answered with Question No. 573.

Questions (574)

John Brassil

Question:

574. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his plans to address an anomaly regarding the selling of television licences (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29237/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Communications)

A Television Licence is granted under section 143 of the Broadcasting Act 2009 to a person to keep and have possession of a television set in a premises or specified place in the State. In accordance with the television licence regulations made under Section 144 of the 2009 Act, every television licence issued is valid for a twelve month period. The timing of the commencement of this period varies depending on whether the licence issued is new or a renewal of a previous licence.

Every new licence comes into force on the day on which it was granted and continues in force until the end of the eleventh month after the month in which it was granted.

A licence, granted by way of renewal of a previous licence, comes into force at whichever of the following times is the later, the expiration of the previous licence or the grant of the renewal licence. This licence continues in force from the time at which it commences until the end of one year from the expiration of the previous licence.

Question No. 575 answered with Question No. 573.

Medical Waste Disposal

Questions (576)

Noel Rock

Question:

576. Deputy Noel Rock asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the status of the proposed introduction of a waste compensation scheme for persons that need to dispose of medical related domestic waste such as incontinence pads; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29266/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Communications)

Since mid-2017, a range of charging options have been operated, which encourage householders to reduce and separate their waste, and provides flexibility to waste collectors to develop various service-price offerings that suit different household circumstances. Mandatory per kilogramme 'pay by weight' charging was not introduced. A Price Monitoring Group (PMG) was established in mid-2017 to monitor the on-going cost of residential waste collection to homeowners across Ireland as the ‘flat-rate structure’ was being phased out. While fluctuations in prices and service offerings have been observed, the overall trend has been relative price stability. My Department has engaged with relevant stakeholders, including representative organisations and public bodies, in an effort to see how best to provide a financial support to persons with long-term incontinence with respect to the disposal of medical incontinence wear.

Notwithstanding the complex issues at play, which are understandable given the sensitive nature of the medical data in question, I would like assure the Deputy that I continue to be committed to addressing this issue.

Broadband Service Provision

Questions (577)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

577. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his plans to extend high speed fibre broadband to a household (details supplied) in County Donegal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29330/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Communications)

Every home, farm, school and business in Ireland will have access to high speed broadband – no matter where they are located – following the Government’s decision to approve the appointment of a preferred bidder to the National Broadband Plan. Under this plan, Ireland will becomes one of the first countries in the world to ensure that those in rural areas have the same digital opportunities as those in urban areas.

The premises referenced by the Deputy is in the AMBER area on the National Broadband Plan (NBP) High Speed Broadband Map, which is available on my Department's website at www.broadband.gov.ie.

The AMBER areas represent the target areas for the proposed State led Intervention under the NBP.

This intervention is the subject of the procurement process to engage a company to build, operate and maintain the NBP State intervention network. I recently brought a recommendation to Government to confer Preferred Bidder status on Granahan McCourt, the remaining bidder in the NBP procurement process and Government agreed to this.

The Government Decision of 7 May 2019 means that it is intended to award the State Intervention contract to the Bidder. This award is subject to contract close, including finalisation of financial and legal documents. Deployment of the NBP State Intervention network will commence shortly after that.

The Bidder has indicated that the NBP State intervention will take an estimated 7 years from the beginning of deployment.

In the first year of this roll out, the Bidder will deploy approximately 300 Broadband Connection Points (BCPs) across all counties. It is anticipated that between 7 and 23 BCPs will be deployed in each county.

BCPs will provide a community based high speed broadband service, enhancing online participation and allowing for the establishment of digital work hubs in these locations. A deployment plan will be made available by the Bidder once the contract is signed.

The Bidder is aiming to pass 133,000 premises by end of the second year of the overall deployment, with 70-100,000 passed each year thereafter until roll out is completed.

Departmental Advertising Expenditure

Questions (578)

Peadar Tóibín

Question:

578. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the amount spent on digital marketing in each of the past eight years; the items on which funds were spent; the criteria by which target audiences were selected; the amount of the digital spend targeted here; the amount targeted abroad; the amount that related to private companies; the amount that related to policy initiatives; and the purpose of the digital advertisements. [29387/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Communications)

The information sought is outlined in the following table and relates to the period after the establishment of the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment in 2016.

-

Type of advice/campaign

Company engaged

Year

Cost

Trading Online Voucher (TOV) Awareness

Digital Newspaper Advertisement

2016

€3,075

The target audience was Irish Independent readers with all expenditure targeted in Ireland and related to a policy initiative.

TOV Awareness

Facebook and Google Adwords

2018

€4,743

Facebook - targeted at small business owners and those interested in e-commerce. Google Adwords – keywords associated with e-commerce and growing your business online and small business grants. All expenditure was targeted in Ireland and related to a policy initiative.

TOV Awareness

Google Adwords

2018

€2,649

Keywords associated with e-commerce and growing your business online and small business grants. All expenditure was targeted in Ireland and related to a policy initiative.

Regional Gathering Athlone

Facebook

2018

€560

Regional Gathering Tralee

Facebook

2018

€185

Regional Gathering Tralee

Facebook

2018

€349

TidyTowns Awards

Facebook

2019

€528

Audiences were selected by locality and related interests. All of the spend was targeted to audiences in Ireland with €1094 spent for the Regional Gatherings -a Government initiative to attract a local audience to attend locally held events.

Tidy Towns – to advertise and attract entrants to enter DCCAE Tidy Towns Special Awards.

ObSERVE Promotion

Facebook

2018

€369

Promotion of the programme during the launch of the final reports & data being made available to the public. Targeted Audiences were selected on the following: location in Ireland; 3rd Level Education; industries or interest groups who may have an interest in Biodiversity data. Relates to a policy Initiative.

Broadcasting

Regulating Harmful Content

Facebook

2019

€301

Broadcasting

Regulating Harmful Content

Twitter

2019

€307

Public consultation on the regulation of harmful online content and the implementation of the revised Audiovisual Media Services Directive. All spend was targeted in Ireland and related to a policy initiative. Twitter was targeted at Male & Female; All Ages and those who have previously interacted with DCCAE tweets.

Facebook was targeted at Male & Female and 18-65.

Phasing Out Flat Fees

Facebook / Instagram

2018

€265

Phasing Out Flat Fees

Focus Advertising in respect of advertising campaign on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram

2018

€12,300

The spend was in support of a policy initiative to phase out flat rate fees and encourage greater segregation of waste. The target audience was anyone with a household bin. All spend was targeted in Ireland.

Ploughing Championships

Facebook/ Instagram

2018

€369

The spend was targeted in Ireland, Northern Ireland, UK (excluding urban zones) Male & Female; 18-65 and the following areas: Dairy farming Agricultural machinery, Local food, Rural tourism, Sustainable development, Poultry farming, Agricultural show, Local news, Community development, Farm, Tillage, Agriculture or Rural development, Farming, Fishing and Forestry, Community issues, Tidy Towns (Ireland), Sustainable living, Local Business, Online Home Business, Sustainable energy, Rural development or Environmentalism, Small business owners.

National Broadband Plan

Questions (579)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

579. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment further to Parliamentary Question No. 210 of 12 June 2019, the fees paid to a company (details supplied) since 2015 regarding the National Broadband Plan; the companies, advisers and consultants engaged on the plan over the period; the fees paid to each to date in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29421/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Communications)

The overall NBP procurement process is supported by a specialist team including external expertise and advisors. These include a range of national and international experts with commercial, economic, environmental, financial, insurance, legal, procurement, state aid, tax and technical expertise and experience. This includes KPMG who were appointed by my Department to provide specialist advice and services in relation to the NBP following a competitive tender process in 2015.

KPMG continues to provide advice and services to my Department in relation to the NBP. This include specialist commercial and financial advice; review of commercial operator plans, the procurement process and supporting documents, and preparation of commercial/financial provisions of the NBP Contract.

With reference to the Deputy's question on companies, advisers and consultants, the details of fees paid by my Department in each year from 2015 to 2019 in relation to the NBP are set out in the following table. The table sets out in tabular form the fees paid to each since 2015.

Total Fees

Total fees from 2015 to 2019 on advisory services €24,744,244.05 (incl VAT).

Year

Payments

2015

€2,870,430.16

2016

€2,306,365.91

2017

€9,914,150.32

2018

€8,227,358.43

2019

€1,425,939.68

TOTAL

€24,744,244.5

Departmental Expenditure

Questions (580, 581)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

580. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the costs paid to companies (details supplied) for projects each was engaged forby his Department in each of the years 2015 to 2018 and to date in 2019, in tabular form; the reason each was engaged; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29438/19]

View answer

Catherine Murphy

Question:

581. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the costs paid to a company (details supplied) for projects each was engaged by his Department in each of the years 2015 to 2018 and to date in 2019, in tabular form; the reason it was engaged; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29547/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Communications)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 580 and 581 together.

My Department administers a very diverse, complex and technical brief across critical and strategic sectors of the Irish economy. The technical, commercial, legal complexity and evolving nature of sectors with which the Department deals at times requires access to external professional expertise to assist in discharging its functions. In procuring these specialised services, my Department always seeks to ensure value for money and that these services contribute to project delivery and informed, robust and evidence based policy making.

Details of costs paid to the specific companies referred to for services provided to my Department in each year from 2015 to date in 2019 are set out in the following table.

Mazers, A&L Goodbody and Davy were not engaged by my Department in the period concerned.

Name of Company

Reason for engagement

Costs incurred each year

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019 (to date)

KPMG

Study of the wider economic costs and benefits of potential extensions of the Irish natural gas network

-

-

-

€208,879

-

KPMG

Specialist support - National Broadband Plan

€729,831

€1,098,615

€4,777,775

€4,726,924

€778,907

PWC

Specialist support - National Broadband Plan

€1,040,440

€143,145

€759,927

€467,508

-

Deloitte

Specialist support - National Broadband Plan

-

€5,412

€16,236

€52,767

€8,456

Arthur Cox

Legal Advice on Shell’s Divestment from Corrib Gas Field

-

-

-

€124,608

€4,142

Arthur Cox

Legal Fees re Corrib Consent Process

€359,376

-

€39,276

€7,334

-

Deloitte

Support on National Cyber Security Strategy

-

-

-

-

€7,804

Air Pollution

Questions (582)

John Lahart

Question:

582. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the steps being taken to mitigate air pollution along the M50 corridor; and the steps being taken to mitigate significant noise pollution in residential areas between junctions ten and thirteen of the M50. [29589/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Communications)

Recent scientific evidence indicates that air pollution is more damaging at lower concentrations than was previously understood. In relation to pollution from traffic sources, the pollutant of greatest concern is Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2). A report from the Environmental Protection Agency, released this week, indicates areas around certain heavily trafficked roads in the Dublin area, including the M50, may have higher levels of NO2 than previously indicated. The report indicates that away from busy roads, levels of NO2 drop significantly and are well beneath the recommended EU limits in many residential areas. Around the M50, the highest concentrations are within 10 metres of the motorway edge, with levels falling to background levels at a distance of 50 to 75 metres.

Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is an air pollutant associated with urban areas, strongly linked with traffic emissions and which is known to have detrimental impacts on human health. Diesel vehicles have historically far higher nitrogen dioxide emissions than other combustion engines, especially for older vehicles.

This report underlines the need to implement the Climate Action Plan. The Plan includes a number of actions which will have a significant impact on reducing emissions and improving air quality, including targets for electric vehicle numbers. This work will complement the work already underway in developing a Clean Air Strategy which will provide an overarching policy framework within which clean air policies can be formulated and given effect in a manner consistent with national, EU and international policy considerations and priorities. The Clean Air Strategy will address priority air pollutants in Ireland, including vehicle emissions, in an integrated manner. I intend to publish the Strategy in the coming months.

The European Communities (Environmental Noise) Regulations 2018 provide a common framework to avoid, prevent or reduce, the harmful effects of exposure to environmental noise, including noise emitted by means of road, rail and air traffic.

The Regulations set out a two-stage process for addressing environmental noise. Firstly, noise must be assessed through the preparation of strategic noise maps for areas and infrastructure falling within defined criteria, such as large agglomerations, major roads, railways and airports. Secondly, based on the results of the mapping process, the Regulations require the preparation of noise action plans for each area concerned. The Regulations provide for strategic noise maps and action plans to be made available to the general public.The fundamental objective of action plans is the prevention and reduction of environmental noise.

Primary responsibility for both noise mapping and action planning is assigned to Local Authorities. The Regulations designate the Environmental Protection Agency as the National Authority for the purposes of the Regulations. The Agency's role includes supervisory, advisory and coordination functions in relation to both noise mapping and action planning, as well as reporting requirements for the purpose of the Directive.

Further information on strategic noise maps and action plans is available at the following links:

South Dublin County Council

https://www.sdcc.ie/en/services/business/permits-and-licensing/noise/noise.html

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council

https://www.dlrcoco.ie/en/environment/environmental-health/environmental-noise

EPA

https://gis.epa.ie/EPAMaps/

Prospecting Licences

Questions (583)

Seán Fleming

Question:

583. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if a prospecting or mining licence will be granted to a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29591/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Communications)

In light of current legal proceedings, I am not at liberty to discuss this matter further than my previous replies to Questions Nos. 551, 203 and 1204. This applies to both Prospecting Licence areas (PLA areas 3891 and 3931).

National Broadband Plan Implementation

Questions (584)

Marcella Corcoran Kennedy

Question:

584. Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the status of the roll out of the national broadband plan at a location (details supplied); if broadband will be connected in view of the number of houses in the area that have already been connected; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29634/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Communications)

Every home, farm, school and business in Ireland will have access to high speed broadband – no matter where they are located – following the Government’s decision to approve the appointment of a preferred bidder to the National Broadband Plan. Under this plan, Ireland will become one of the first countries in the world to ensure that those in rural areas have the same digital opportunities as those in urban areas. The school referenced by the Deputy is in the AMBER area on the National Broadband Plan (NBP) High Speed Broadband Map, which is available on my Department's website at www.broadband.gov.ie .

The AMBER areas represent the target areas for the proposed State led Intervention under the NBP.

The State led intervention is the subject of the procurement process to engage a company to build, operate and maintain the NBP State intervention network. I recently brought a recommendation to Government to confer Preferred Bidder status on Granahan McCourt, the remaining bidder in the NBP procurement process and Government agreed to this.

The Government Decision of 7 May 2019 means that it is intended to award the State Intervention contract to the Bidder. This award is subject to contract close, including finalisation of financial and legal documents. Deployment of the NBP State Intervention network will commence shortly after that.

The Bidder has indicated that the NBP State intervention will take an estimated 7 years from the beginning of deployment

In the first year of this roll out, the Bidder will deploy approximately 300 Broadband Connection Points (BCPs) across all counties. It is anticipated that between 7 and 23 BCPs will be deployed in each county. BCPs will provide a community based high speed broadband service, enhancing online participation and allowing for the establishment of digital work hubs in these locations.

A deployment plan will be made available by the bidder once the contract is signed. The Bidder is aiming to pass 133,000 premises by end of the second year of the overall deployment, with 70-100,000 passed each year thereafter until roll out is completed.

The Deputy makes reference to houses in the area that have been connected. I note that these premises are likely part of eir’s rural deployment of high speed broadband. This deployment is part of eir's commercial roll out of high speed broadband to 300,000 predominantly rural premises, in line with a Commitment Agreement signed with my Department in April 2017.

eir’s rural investment in high speed broadband is an entirely commercial undertaking, and not part of the planned State Intervention network. Although the deployment is monitored under the terms of the Commitment Agreement, it is not funded by the State and it is not planned, designed or directed by my Department in any capacity.

Decisions made by private telecommunication operators relating to the roll out and siting of infrastructure to provide high speed broadband services throughout Ireland are undertaken on a commercial basis. I have no statutory role or function in such commercial decisions of private operators, and therefore cannot direct operators regarding infrastructure installation or delivery of services.

National Broadband Plan Implementation

Questions (585, 586)

Robert Troy

Question:

585. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his plans to ensure broadband is provided to a property (details supplied) through the roll out by Eir; and the timeframe for same. [29704/19]

View answer

Robert Troy

Question:

586. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his plans to ensure broadband is provided to a property (details supplied) through the roll out by Eir; and the timeframe for same. [29706/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Communications)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 585 and 586 together.

Both premises referenced by the Deputy are in the LIGHT BLUE area on the National Broadband Plan (NBP) High Speed Broadband Map, which is available on my Department's website at www.broadband.gov.ie . The LIGHT BLUE areas are where eir is in the process of deploying high speed broadband to 300,000 premises on a commercial basis. This means that both premises will receive access to a high speed broadband service through eir's current deployment.

Under a Commitment Agreement signed with my Department in April 2017, eir is in the process of passing 300,000 predominantly rural homes with high speed broadband. According to data for Q1 2019 the company has passed almost 250,000 premises nationwide as part of its ongoing deployment. According to information provided by eir to my Department, it plans to complete the vast majority of the deployment by the mid-year completion target with the remaining premises to be completed soon afterwards.

Information on eir's rural deployment is available on that company’s website, http://fibrerollout.ie/Eircode-lookup/. A copy of the Commitment Agreement is available on my Department’s website, www.dccae.gov.ie .

Waste Management

Questions (587)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

587. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he will address a matter regarding the recycling and reuse of rubble (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29731/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Communications)

Article 28 of the European Communities (Waste Directive) Regulations, S.I. No. 126 of 2011, sets out the grounds by which a material which is recovered or recycled from waste, such as rubble or crushed concrete, can be deemed to be no longer a waste. As the designated competent authority, decisions regarding applications for end-of-waste status are the responsibility of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In June 2018, my Department established a Construction Waste Resource Group comprising key Construction and Demolition sector and Waste sector stakeholders, including policy, regulatory and industry representatives to provide a valuable platform to discuss and monitor construction and demolition (C&D) waste issues arising, including the capacity of the sector to manage C&D waste.

The issue of end-of-waste status for certain materials, including crushed concrete, has been discussed at each of the three meetings of this Resource Group, including the most recent meeting which took place on 19 June 2019. My officials, in conjunction with representatives of the EPA, have reminded those present that end-of-waste decisions can only be made once industry has submitted comprehensive applications to the EPA and satisfied the EPA that a decision to grant end-of waste status is appropriate. End of waste decisions have been made when the application and supporting materials allows for positive decisions to be made. If the industry wish to co-ordinate a national application for end of waste status for crushed concrete they are welcome to do so.

Broadband Service Provision

Questions (588)

Michael Lowry

Question:

588. Deputy Michael Lowry asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the status of the provision of e-fibre broadband to a location (details supplied) which is subject to the provision of the State led intervention under the National Broadband Plan; when e-fibre roll out is envisaged at the location; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29754/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Communications)

Every home, farm, school and business in Ireland will have access to high speed broadband – no matter where they are located – following the Government’s decision to approve the appointment of a preferred bidder to the National Broadband Plan. Under this plan, Ireland will become one of the first countries in the world to ensure that those in rural areas have the same digital opportunities as those in urban areas. The premises referenced by the Deputy is in the AMBER area on the National Broadband Plan (NBP) High Speed Broadband Map, which is available on my Department's website at www.broadband.gov.ie .

The AMBER areas represent the target areas for the proposed State led Intervention under the NBP.

This intervention is the subject of the procurement process to engage a company to build, operate and maintain the NBP State intervention network. I recently brought a recommendation to Government to confer Preferred Bidder status on Granahan McCourt, the remaining bidder in the NBP procurement process and Government agreed to this.

The Government Decision of 7 May 2019 means that it is intended to award the State Intervention contract to the Bidder. This award is subject to contract close, including finalisation of financial and legal documents. Deployment of the NBP State Intervention network will commence shortly after that.

The Bidder has indicated that the NBP State intervention will take an estimated 7 years from the beginning of deployment

In the first year of this roll out, the Bidder will deploy approximately 300 Broadband Connection Points (BCPs) across all counties. It is anticipated that between 7 and 23 BCPs will be deployed in each county.

BCPs will provide a community based high speed broadband service, enhancing online participation and allowing for the establishment of digital work hubs in these locations. A deployment plan will be made available by the Bidder once the contract is signed.

The Bidder is aiming to pass 133,000 premises by end of the second year of the overall deployment, with 70-100,000 passed each year thereafter until roll out is completed.

Waste Management

Questions (589)

John Curran

Question:

589. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the number of householders in each local authority not signed up to a waste service provider; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29805/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Communications)

Local authorities do not record or register the number of households signed up or not signed up to a residential waste collection service. Such a record would not reflect the households who do not have a collection service available or who arrange the disposal of their waste at a civic amenity site and home compost. However, a report prepared by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) in September 2018 on the household waste collection industry provided an initial estimate that suggested a initial non-participation rate of 23% of households in relation to waste collection services.

Departmental Expenditure

Questions (590)

David Cullinane

Question:

590. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the amount spent on tribunals, commissions of investigation and statutory inquiries in each of the years 2009 to 2018 and to date in 2019, by inquiry, tribunal or commission; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29829/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Communications)

The information requested is currently being compiled. I will forward this information to the Deputy as soon as it is available.

Radiation Monitoring Systems

Questions (591)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

591. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his views on the potential health impacts of the roll out of 5G; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29853/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Communications)

As Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, I have policy responsibility for matters pertaining to public exposure to non-ionising radiation. Irish policy in this area is informed by a substantial volume of internationally recognised scientific research and evidence. This includes the guidelines set down by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection, ICNIRP. These guidelines provide scientifically-based exposure limits that are applicable to both public and occupational exposure from electromagnetic fields (EMF), including 5G. ICNIRP guidelines apply up to a frequency of 300 gigahertz (GHz), well above the maximum frequencies being considered for 5G. ComReg, the independent telecoms regulatory authority, ensures that licensed mobile operators comply with their licence conditions and do not exceed ICNIRP guidelines.

In 2015, the Irish Government commissioned a report by the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment of the Netherlands (RIVM). This was published in 2016 and is entitled “Electromagnetic Fields in the Irish Context”. It examined and synthesised existing peer-reviewed research into clear findings, with particular focus on the potential health effects of electric and magnetic fields arising from high voltage power lines, and electromagnetic fields from base stations for mobile communication. This report reaffirms the overall conclusion of an earlier 2007 report, “Health Effects of Electromagnetic Fields” , that there is insufficient evidence to establish a causal relationship between exposure to low-frequency electromagnetic fields and adverse health effects.

This is an area that is kept under review, and in this regard, I have recently assigned a new statutory function to the Environmental Protection Agency to provide general information to the public on matters pertaining to public exposure to non-ionising radiation, to monitor international scientific developments and provide independent advice to my Department in this area.

Prospecting Licences

Questions (592, 593)

Noel Grealish

Question:

592. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the status of an application for a prospecting licence by a company (details supplied) that want to prospect for base metals in County Galway; his plans to grant the licence; if so, the timeframe for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29887/19]

View answer

Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

593. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the reason he plans to issue a licence to prospect for minerals in townlands in the barony of Ballinahinch, Connemara, County Galway in view of the possible damage mining in the area would do to the environment and in further view of the fact that a major part of the area is designated as Natura 2000 sites; the consultations he has had with the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht in relation to the planned prospecting licence in view of the high natural heritage value of the area; the consultations he has had with the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport in relation to the matter in view of the possible effect of the licence on the local tourist industry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29972/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Communications)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 592 and 593 together.

A Prospecting Licence application from MOAG Copper Gold Resources has been received. The application requests consent to prospect in a number of townlands in County Galway. This application was published in the Connacht Tribune on 6 June 2019 and has been open for consultation since then.

A Prospecting Licence was held for this area between 2006 and 2018.

A Prospecting Licence (PL) relates to prospecting only and does not confer any permission to mine.

In the event that an economically viable mineral deposit is discovered, a completely new process is required in advance of permission being granted to mine. A State Mining Facility is only granted once Planning Permission has been obtained from the Local Authority (incorporating full environmental impact assessment) and an Integrated Pollution Control Licence (IPC) has been received from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

All prospecting activities proposed to be undertaken under a Prospecting Licence are subject to environmental screening by my Department (including screening for Appropriate Assessment and, in the case of drilling, Environmental Impact Assessment). Connemara National Park is more than 10 kilometres from the proposed licence area, and there is long standing policy in place that prohibits prospecting in a National Park.

There has been no specific consultation with the Minister for Culture Heritage and the Gaeltacht or the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport in relation to this application. However, should any future licensee propose to undertake prospecting activities within a designated Natura 2000 site, the normal protocol is for the Department to seek observations from the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

My Department is not in receipt of an application to mine in Connemara, Co Galway.

Climate Change Policy

Questions (594)

Denis Naughten

Question:

594. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if his Department has ceased the purchase and use of single-use plastics; the public bodies and agencies under his remit to which he has issued an instruction to cease the purchase and use of single-use plastics; when the instruction issued; the bodies which have confirmed that they no longer purchase and use single-use plastics, respectively; the bodies which have not provided such confirmation to date; when they will confirm; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29980/19]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

On 3 January 2019, the Government decided that Government Departments and public bodies will show leadership in reducing generation of single use plastics and waste. In line with that Decision, my Department has ceased purchasing single-use plastic beverage cups, cutlery and drinking straws. On 19 February 2019, my Department wrote to each of the 17 public bodies (listed below) under its aegis advising of the Government Decision and their obligations arising from this. This includes a requirement to provide a statement to me regarding the steps being taken to minimise waste and maximise recycling by 30 November 2019.

Since January, my Department has been very active in providing support materials and workshops to Government Departments and the wider public sector to enable them to comply with the decision. Feedback has been extremely positive and I am very encouraged by the interest and initiative being shown across the public service for this activity.

Action 140 of the Climate Action Plan 2019 commits Government to maintaining leadership in taking responsibility for own resource consumption, particularly single use plastics, energy waste and water. Under that Action, Government Departments must publish a Resource Efficiency Action Plan by end September and Public Bodies must report on sustainability measures by end of the year. In 2020, my Department is committed to extending this initiative further.

· Eirgrid;

· Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU);

· An Post;

· Broadcasting Authority of Ireland;

· Bórd na Móna

· Digital Hub Development Agency;

· Environmental Protection Agency;

· ESB;

· Inland Fisheries Ireland;

· Irish National Petroleum Agency;

· Loughs Agency;

· National Oil Reserves Agency (NORA);

· RTÉ;

· Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland (SEAI);

· TG4;

· ComReg;

· Mining Board.

Fáilte Ireland Staff

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A

Questions (595)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

595. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if a person working for Fáilte Ireland can work beyond pension age; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29109/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

I have no direct role in the management of staffing resources within Fáilte Ireland.  This is a matter for the board and management of Fáilte Ireland.  Accordingly, I have referred the Deputy's question to the agency for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within ten working days. 

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A

Road Projects Status

Questions (596)

Brendan Ryan

Question:

596. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of progress on the acquisition of land on the Hearse Road, Donabate, County Dublin (details supplied); the timeline for delivery of the project; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29669/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads (RLR) is the statutory responsibility of each local authority, in accordance with the provisions of Section 13 of the Roads Act 1993. In this case the responsible local authority is Fingal County Council.

Works on RLR, including footpaths, are funded from local authorities' own resources supplemented by State road grants, where applicable.  Arising from the introduction of the local property tax and its retention by local authorities, Fingal County Council has become self-funding for roads under the main road grant categories.

Accordingly, I have no information on the status of progress on the acquisition of land for the works referred to by the Deputy. 

Sports Capital Programme Applications

Questions (597)

Thomas Pringle

Question:

597. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if funding will be considered for a school (details supplied) in County Donegal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29765/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The 2018 round of the Sports Capital Programme closed for applications on Friday 19th October last.  By that deadline, a record 2,337 applications were submitted seeking a total of €162m in funding. 

186 of these applications were for projects that were deemed invalid under the 2017 round of the programme that subsequently submitted corrected documents.  These applications were assessed first and approximately €7m in allocations to 170 projects were announced on the 17th January. 

619 equipment only applications were assessed next and 466 allocations with a value of €9.8m were announced in May.

Work is now underway in assessing the remaining applications for capital works, including an application from the school and organisation referred to by the Deputy. It should be noted that under the terms and conditions of the SCP, elements of projects that have already commenced are not eligible for funding but applicants may complete projects on a phased basis.   

For the first time applicants who submitted incorrect documentation under this round are being given the opportunity to correct their application during the assessment period and my officials will be in touch with applicants if clarification is required. While there will be no undue delay in completing the assessment process, in view of the opportunity to correct documentation, the record number of applications received and the detailed information contained in each application, it is likely to take a number of months to have all applications assessed. Accordingly, I expect that it will be towards the end of the third quarter before the full set of allocations under this current round of the programme are announced.

Road Safety

Questions (598)

James Lawless

Question:

598. Deputy James Lawless asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the regulations or national guidelines being used for compliance with road safety issues in the construction of the Sallins bypass; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29074/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The R407 Sallins Bypass is amongst a number of regional and local road schemes identified to be progressed in Project Ireland 2040.  The construction contract was awarded by Kildare County Council to the successful contractor, SIAC Colas JV, in Q4 2017. 

The Contractor, as Project Supervisor for the Construction Stage, is responsible for compliance with national standards and guidelines used for compliance with road safety issues.  The most relevant of these in this case is the Traffic Signs Manual as published by my Department. This Manual sets out the type of traffic signs which should be used on public roads. In particular chapter 8 of the Manual identifies the type of traffic signs which should be used where construction works are undertaken on public roads.

Noise Pollution Legislation

Questions (599)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

599. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his views on the lacuna in legislation regarding transport noise pollution; the measures he will introduce to mitigate noise pollution from aircraft, road vehicles and other forms of transport; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29132/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

The Deputy will be aware that legislation exists, both EU and domestic, that limits the noise levels that can be emitted from vehicles.

With regard to Aircraft Noise, the Aircraft Noise (Dublin Airport) Regulation Act 2019 was signed into law in May this year.  This Act designates Fingal County Council as the Competent Authority (aircraft noise regulator) tasked with assessing the noise situation at Dublin Airport and to ensure that measures are put in place to address any noise problem caused by aircraft.  This assessment process will ensure the sustainable development of Dublin Airport while mitigating the impact of aircraft noise on local residents and businesses.  Dublin is the only airport in the State that reaches the volume of civil aircraft movements to warrant the introduction of such a noise regulator.

The European Communities (Environmental Noise) Regulations 2018 transpose Directive 2002/49/EC on the assessment and management of environmental noise, as amended by Directive (EU) 2015/996.   Those Regulations provide for the implementation in Ireland of a common approach within the European Union intended to avoid, prevent or reduce on a prioritised basis the harmful effects, including annoyance, due to exposure to environmental noise. It also designates the noise mapping and action planning bodies with supervisory oversight from the Environmental Protection Agency.

This legislation requires Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) and local authorities to undertake strategic noise mapping every five years for all major roads carrying in excess of 8,250 annual average daily traffic (AADT).

In terms of vehicle manufacturing (type approval) standards, the legislation pertaining to new vehicle manufacturing standards in the EU is Regulation (EU) No. 540/2014.  This regulation establishes administrative and technical requirements for new vehicles with regard to their sound level and replacement of silencing systems. The regulation became effective from 1 July 2016. 

Cycling Policy

Questions (600)

Jan O'Sullivan

Question:

600. Deputy Jan O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he is preparing a new national cycle policy framework in view of the fact that the current policy finishes in 2020; if there will be consultation with various interests in the area; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29134/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

As the Deputy may be aware, in the coming weeks and in line with a Programme for a Partnership Government commitment, I will seek the public's views on public transport and active travel policy.  This review will allow all stakeholders to reflect on what has been achieved, what remains to be done and how our policy frameworks can support the realisation of a more sustainable transport system.

The review is premised on the concept of integrated and sustainable transport, in keeping with the objectives of Smarter Travel – A Sustainable Transport Future which formed the overarching policy backdrop to the development of the National Cycling Policy Framework. As part of the overall review therefore, analysis of the implementation status of the National Cycling Policy Framework's actions will be published as part of the overall review.

Last year, as part of this review I hosted a Round-Table Dialogue on Public Transport Policy in the Mansion House at which representatives from a broad spectrum of interest groups in the wider public and sustainable transport sector attended, including those representing cyclists.

I look forward to engagement by the general public and all stakeholders with the forthcoming consultation process as we look to review and refresh our policy frameworks in these important areas of public policy.