Friday, 6 September 2019

Questions (1908)

Catherine Connolly


1908. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government his views on whether the system applied here under Directive 2011/92/EU adequately minimises damage to the environment from public and private projects; if he will undertake a review of the system in order to address gaps in the implementation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35113/19]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

The objective of Directive 2011/92/EU, the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Directive, is to ensure a high level of protection of the environment and of human health through the establishment of minimum requirements for the environmental impact assessment of projects. The EIA Directive therefore ensures that certain public and private projects that are likely to have significant effects on the environment may only be granted consent after an assessment with regard to their effects on the environment has been carried out.

Directive 2011/92/EU has been amended by Directive 2014/52/EU in order to strengthen the quality of the EIA procedures. There are numerous consent systems in Ireland which incorporate EIA and which are governed by separate pieces of legislation that are the responsibility of different Government Departments. In this context, transposing legislation implementing the changes required by Directive 2014/52/EU in respect of a number of these consent systems has already been completed while the remaining legislative amendments required are being progressed as a priority across the relevant Government Departments. In respect of the consent systems governed by legislation which falls under the remit of my Department, the 2014 Directive has been fully transposed into planning legislation by way of the European Union (Planning and Development) (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2018, which entered into force 1 September 2018 and I consider that the planning system fully implements the EIA Directive, as amended. My Department is working to finalise transposing legislation as a matter of priority in relation to the foreshore licensing, dumping at sea permit and waste water discharge authorisation systems.

Having regard to the significant work both completed and underway by the relevant Departments to transpose Directive 2014/52/EU into Irish law, involving extensive review of the legislation underpinning the various consent systems which incorporate EIA, these systems will fully implement the EIA Directive, as amended, once the transposition of Directive 2014/52/EU has been finalised across all relevant consent systems in Ireland which incorporate EIA.