Agriculture Scheme Data

Questions (808)

Joe Carey

Question:

808. Deputy Joe Carey asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of designated agents per annum submitting a SFP or BPS on behalf of farmers since the reference years of 2000, 2001 and 2002, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44905/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

It is not possible to ascertain figures for paper applications submitted by agents during the years in question.

The facility to apply online for SPS/BPS was first introduced for the 2007 application year and the information requested by the Deputy is provided below for the years since then.

Year

No. of Agents that submitted online applications on behalf of Farmers

2007

208

2008

328

2009

415

2010

391

2011

394

2012

427

2013

423

2014

451

2015

517

2016

578

2017

607

2018

607

2019

612

Animal Disease Controls

Questions (809, 810)

Jackie Cahill

Question:

809. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the cost for BSE testing on fallen animals in knackeries in each of the years 2014 to 2018, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44962/19]

View answer

Jackie Cahill

Question:

810. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of cases of BSE discovered in each of the years 2014 to 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44963/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 809 and 810 together.

No cases of BSE were identified in Ireland in 2014, 2016, 2018 and so far in 2019, with just one case identified in both 2015 and 2017 respectively.

In 2015, a case of Classical BSE was confirmed following an official sampling of a fallen animal aged 48 months and older. This sampling is one element of a comprehensive multi-layered control programme which is systematically applied in Ireland.

The same control system enabled my Department, in 2017, to confirm a case of Atypical BSE in an 18-year-old cow, also through its surveillance of fallen animals at knackeries. There were no associated public health risks with this event. The disclosure of this case of Atypical BSE has no impact on Ireland’s current OIE BSE "controlled risk" status or trade status.

Human health continues to be protected by the ante-mortem inspection of animals by veterinarians before being allowed into the food chain, and the removal and destruction of tissues shown to be capable of transmitting infection. A diminishing number of such cases have been identified in Ireland and in other countries over the years. Animal health continues to be protected by the ban on the feeding of ruminant meat and bone meal to all farmed animal species. Associated controls are in place to ensure implementation, as well as a range of further control measures. Accessing emerging beef markets in Asia requires robust assurances on BSE and this surveillance provides these assurances.

The cost for BSE testing on fallen animals in knackeries from 2014 to 2018 is shown in the table below.

BSE Testing

Cost

2014

€518,080.90

2015

€577,121.43

2016

€655,853.22

2017

€648,901.26

2018

€807,998.26

Total

€3,207,955.07

Agri-Environment Options Scheme Appeals

Questions (811)

Robert Troy

Question:

811. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the status of an appeal to the agriculture appeals office (details supplied). [44989/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The Agriculture Appeals Office operates independently of my Department.

I am advised that the Appeals Office received an appeal on behalf of the person named on 31 July 2019 in relation to the Agri-Environment Options Scheme (AEOS). The Appeals Office requested the file and a statement on the grounds of appeal from my Department. All the relevant documents have recently been received by the Appeals Office.

I am advised that the appeal has now been assigned to an Appeals Officer and that the Office will be in contact with the appellant shortly to arrange an oral hearing of the appeal.

Forestry Sector

Questions (812)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

812. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his views on a series of matters regarding the forestry industry (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45007/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The forest estate is expanding and has reached 770,000 hectares, which is 11% of the total land area. This is as a result of significant State investment. We now have a new challenge, to meet 8,000 hectares of new planting each year as set out in the Climate Action Plan. I am very aware that this is in the face of declining planting rates and that this year has been disappointing in terms of hectares planted.

However, I believe that we can, through a concerted and collaborative effort from government, the private sector, public bodies and local communities, reverse this trend and meet the Climate Action targets so essential to delivering on our national climate change objectives.

Support for afforestation from Government is delivered through the generous grants and premiums available, across 12 different planting categories which offer real options to suit every landowner. Farmers can continue with livestock farming, while supplementing their income by planting trees, and we intend communicating this message widely. To this end, we are funding 15 promotion projects countrywide this year and next in the amount of €830,000 and Teagasc is actively promoting forestry through a substantial programme of educational and forestry events.

Communities can and have become involved through the NeighbourWood Scheme, funded by my Department, which supports the development of accessible woodlands for public use and enjoyment.

The Woodland Environmental Fund allows business to discharge their corporate responsibility and to support the national effort by paying a supplementary €1,000 a hectare to landowners for the planting of native woodlands. I am delighted that An Post is supporting this initiative through the establishment of a new native woodland in County Galway, and I know that other organisations have expressed interest in encouraging native woodland planting by means of the Fund.

Public bodies have a role to play too. In this regard, I very much welcome the recent announcement by Coillte and Bord na Mona of their plans to plant 4 million native trees on 1,500 hectares over the next three years. I will be encouraging others to follow suit.

In terms of the afforestation scheme, I acknowledge that changes made to internal Appropriate Assessment Procedures (AAP) has resulted in delays to many files. These are beyond my Department’s control as we are obliged to implement changes to AAP that were required following important Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) decisions and their subsequent interpretation by the Forestry Appeals Committee and others. All forestry licences issued by the Department undergo a legal consent process. Since 2017, all licence afforestation and forest road applications received have been subject to a statutory public notification system and all afforestation, forest roads and felling decisions issued are subject to a statutory appeal system operated by the Forestry Appeals Committee (FAC).

Most appeals have been in connection with our Appropriate Assessment (AA) procedure. The Habitat Directive (Article 6.3) requires that where a plan or project is likely to have a significant effect on a Natura site, either individually or in-combination with other plans or projects, it must undergo an appropriate assessment of its implications for that Natura site. In this regard, the introduction of the 15 km assessment buffer around potential forestry sites is necessary and is an industry norm.

Currently, we are amending the AA procedure in order to introduce a robust and workable system which will address the issues now faced. Introducing this system involves the recruitment of additional ecological expertise and changes in procedures for the forestry inspectorate. Last week, the Department advertised for additional ecologists and we also have access to external ecological support, which will be supplemented in due course. Inspectors have already undergone training and will receive appropriate support in delivering these new procedures; they are not on a work to rule. A categorisation of files affected by these requirements is also underway in order to best assess further action needed and by whom.

Notwithstanding that this has led to a temporary disruption in issuing afforestation licences, we know that the sector has approximately 3,200 hectares of approvals issued this year which are shovel-ready and yet to be planted.

I am fully aware of the concerns of the sector in relation to the AA process. My officials are in regular communication with stakeholders and they have been fully apprised of the issues involved and of my Department’s efforts to address them. They have also been advised of steps they can take to ensure that applications received are completed to an acceptable standard and to take account of any issues relating to sensitive habitats.

Furthermore, for my part, I have commissioned a consultant to review my Department's processes and procedures on forestry applications and approvals similar to an exercise undertaken in Scotland. I expect to receive this report by the end of November and that it will provide an opportunity to make our processes more effective and efficient going forward.

Public Procurement Contracts Data

Questions (813)

Mattie McGrath

Question:

813. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the details of contracts of €25,000 or more that have been awarded by his Department or bodies under his aegis that were found to be non-compliant with procurement guidelines in 2017, 2018 and to date in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45056/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

In line with the requirements of Department of Finance Circular 40/2002, each year my Department carries out an assessment of contracts with a value above €25,000 that were awarded in the preceding year without a competitive process, and submits a report to the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) by 31 March. Accordingly, the information sought in respect of 2019 is not yet available but I will make it available to the Deputy in due course. The position in relation to 2017 and 2018 is set out below.

In 2017, my Department procured just under €100 million worth of goods, services and works of which 38 contracts with a value of €5,697,117.74 was declared non-compliant, comprised as follows:

- 13 contracts with a value of €825,995.73 were undertaken in the area of food safety and animal/plant health & animal welfare and relate to the purchase of proprietary laboratory consumables across my Department's Laboratory Complex;

- 7 contracts with a value of €354,968.39 were undertaken in the area of food safety and animal welfare and relate to testing and the provision of relief staff;

- 3 contracts with a value of €182,980.83 relate to canteen service, printing of export certificates and conferencing facilities;

- 6 contracts with a value of €1,731,879.75 relate to the provision of datalinks, telephony, mobile voice and data services;

- 1 contract with a value of €2,196,207.82 relates to the provision of storage services for intervention stocks;

- 2 contracts with a value of €74,683.87 relate to the emergency removal of waste water in a Fishery Harbour Centre;

- 3 contracts with a value of €184,301.65 relate to the provision of electrical services, hardware supplies and equipment hire in Fishery Harbour Centres;

- 2 contracts with a value of €107,882.26 relate to local purchases of hardware supplies;

- 1 contract with a value of €38,217.44 relates to aggregate expenditure on fuel card services.

In 2018, my Department procured just over €105 million worth of goods, services and works of which 47 contracts with a value of €3,902,538.80 was declared non-compliant, comprised as follows:

- 4 contracts with a value of €301,590,43 relate to plant hire, equipment hire and consultancy services in the Fishery Harbour Centres;

- 37 contracts with a value of €3,226,454.96 relate to the procurement of proprietary laboratory supplies, proprietary maintenance and servicing of laboratory instruments, and laboratory testing undertaken across the areas of food safety and animal/plant health & animal welfare;

- 5 contracts with a value of €322,522.11 were undertaken in the area of IMT;

- 1 contract with a value of €51,971.30 relates to the provision of relief staff.

As regards the twelve State Bodies under the aegis of my Department, the information requested is an operational matter for the State Bodies themselves. I have referred the Deputy’s question to the Agencies and have requested that a response should issue within 10 days.

While my Department is making headway in addressing non-compliance with a reduction of €1.795 million evident between 2017 and 2018, it aims to redouble these efforts in the coming year to ensure there is an appropriate focus on good practice in procurement and that procedures are in place to improve compliance with relevant guidelines and legislation.

Brexit Supports

Questions (814)

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

814. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the breakdown of BEAM funding paid out to date by county in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45078/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The objective of the Beef Exceptional Aid Measure (BEAM) is to provide temporary exceptional adjustment aid to farmers in the beef sector in Ireland subject to the conditions set out in EU Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/1132. Applications for BEAM were accepted from the 19th August to the 20th September 2019.

Payments under the scheme are scheduled to commence in December 2019.

GLAS Payments

Questions (815)

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

815. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the breakdown of GLAS funding paid in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019, by county; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45079/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The table below shows the total payment for all GLAS schemes in respect of scheme years 2016 - 2018. GLAS payments continue to be processed on a weekly basis, as all requirements are fulfilled.

The 2019 Advance payments for GLAS are due to commence shortly.

County

2016

2017

2018

Carlow

€1,731,861.26

€2,247,954.33

€2,201,806.64

Cavan

€5,664,675.08

€7,825,695.00

€7,753,256.93

Clare

€10,277,605.55

€13,602,548.95

€13,443,869.98

Cork

€13,152,877.45

€16,688,073.61

€16,371,509.65

Donegal

€11,642,428.99

€16,692,110.93

€16,423,622.88

Dublin

€317,843.62

€380,609.60

€363,109.67

Galway

€18,148,614.84

€24,346,973.19

€23,986,123.26

Kerry

€11,622,885.16

€14,708,160.42

€14,482,715.06

Kildare

€1,373,515.27

€1,803,421.76

€1,773,483.03

Kilkenny

€2,728,481.46

€3,505,615.52

€3,410,644.81

Laois

€2,372,018.02

€3,313,906.17

€3,257,038.53

Leitrim

€6,183,062.52

€8,321,915.35

€8,252,414.61

Limerick

€5,963,983.92

€7,599,451.38

€7,525,864.24

Longford

€3,610,637.74

€4,966,325.69

€4,889,822.29

Louth

€942,214.29

€1,308,760.10

€1,298,699.23

Mayo

€15,955,805.29

€22,370,967.82

€22,014,682.53

Meath

€2,620,777.70

€3,569,818.72

€3,531,556.85

Monaghan

€2,783,990.33

€4,081,176.95

€4,025,105.65

Offaly

€3,232,666.23

€4,485,961.24

€4,424,032.15

Roscommon

€8,721,516.09

€11,638,570.29

€11,517,309.51

Sligo

€5,342,565.39

€7,304,125.92

€7,197,606.47

Tipperary

€7,159,457.04

€9,211,155.16

€9,105,887.32

Waterford

€2,066,963.15

€2,539,057.55

€2,521,809.68

Westmeath

€3,839,505.87

€5,014,732.46

€4,961,409.27

Wexford

€4,489,087.52

€5,742,119.29

€5,674,411.86

Wicklow

€2,142,350.52

€3,010,869.26

€2,961,577.78

Agriculture Scheme Administration

Questions (816)

Joe Carey

Question:

816. Deputy Joe Carey asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the procedures in his Department when dealing with invalid single and basic payment scheme applications; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45161/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

As required under EU legislation governing the implementation of schemes such as the Basic Payment Scheme and, prior to 2015, the Single Payment Scheme, applications are subject to comprehensive validation checks to ensure that only valid applications are processed for payment.

At the validation stage of processing, a variety of issues are identified which require examination and correspondence is entered into with the applicants concerned, as necessary.

Such issues include dual claims, insufficient commonage evidence, over claims and incomplete applications.

As replies to these queries are received, further processing may take place and cases are cleared for payment if the issue(s) identified have been sufficiently addressed to meet the criteria for payment.

If the Deputy has a specific case in mind, I will be happy to make further enquiries if he supplies the details to my office.

Basic Payment Scheme Administration

Questions (817)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

817. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the reason satellite inspections are not carried out earlier in the year (details supplied). [45317/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

EU regulations governing the administration of the Basic Payment Scheme, the Areas of Natural Constraints Scheme and other area-based schemes require that full and comprehensive administrative checks, including Ground or Remote Sensing (Satellite) inspections where applicable, are fully completed to ensure eligibility with the various schemes requirements before any payments issue. There are certain minimum numbers of inspections that must take place annually under the various schemes.

The method of selecting cases for inspection is set down in EU regulations and is undertaken by means of a risk analysis process with cases being selected on a risk and random basis. All cases to be selected for inspection must be in respect of eligible beneficiaries under the various schemes. Therefore, the selection of cases for inspection, while commencing after the closing date for receipt of applications, i.e. 15th May, is an on-going process so as to ensure this specific regulatory requirement is fulfilled..

This year, late applications were accepted up to 9th June, with a deduction. Furthermore, amendments to applications were accepted up to 9th June, and, allowing for the Preliminary Checks process whereby applicants could amend their application further up to 19th June as a result of issues notified to them by my Department, the final details of the land to be subject to the inspection process cannot be fully established until these periods have elapsed.

The process of a Remote Sensing inspection involves a comprehensive review of the satellite imagery received at two stages during the year, and also the assessment of additional imagery, where required, to ensure that the actual claimed area in the application corresponds to the area farmed by the applicant, that the crop types are as claimed and that ineligible land or features are not included for payment purposes. The governing regulations further prescribe that where it is not possible to make an accurate determination on the eligibility of a parcel or parcels of land by means of an assessment of the available imagery, a field visit must be undertaken to verify the position on the ground.

Some 6,840 applicants have been selected for a Remote Sensing inspection in respect of the various 2019 area-based schemes. As of 4th November, my Department had received inspection results in respect of 83% of these cases for final processing. Of these cases, over 95% have been finalised and advanced to payment stage processing, which ensures that any non-inspection related scheme criteria have been met. For example, an applicant under the Areas of Natural Constraints Scheme must meet scheme specific criteria relating to stocking density and stock retention periods before payment can issue.

Where an over-declaration in area, at scheme level, is identified as part of the inspection process, officials in my Department contact the applicant concerned giving them the opportunity to accept the inspection findings or to submit comments for examination. Currently, 2% of cases for which inspection results have been received are at this stage of the process and will be finalised when the applicant contacts my Department. The remaining cases are subject to final processing.

My Department continues to finalise the outcome of Remote Sensing inspections on a daily basis to ensure that ANC and BPS payments due are issued as quickly as possible.

Farm Costs

Questions (818)

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

818. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if his Department has studied the average price of rent paid per hectare in County Galway; if so, the average price; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45349/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

My Department’s “Annual Review and Outlook for Agriculture, Food and the Marine 2019” provides up to date information and statistical analysis on a wide variety of topics impacting the agri-food sector. It includes an overview of “Land Prices and Land Mobility”, including the “Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland/Teagasc Land Market Review & Outlook 2018”, which showed the following average rental prices per acre in Connaught/Ulster by land use:

Land usage

Average Rental 2018 €

Graze/Meadow/Silage

160

Grazing only

141

Cereal Crops

179

Roots/Maize/Pulses

183

Potatoes

252

The “Agri-taxation Review” identified increasing the mobility and the productive use of land as one of its key objectives. A number of measures to rebalance the rental sector in favour of long-term leasing have been introduced in recent years. Long-term leasing has a number of advantages over the short-term conacre system: it allows progressive farmers to enlarge their farm holdings and increase productivity; it provides young farmers and new entrants cheaper access to land as opposed to the relatively high cost of ownership; it provides security of tenure and the certainty required to encourage lessees to maintain and make an investment in improving land and is especially important in accessing bank credit. It also provides a route to retirement for older farmers, assisting in generation renewal.

Greyhound Industry

Questions (819)

James Browne

Question:

819. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the position regarding the support of the Irish greyhound industry; if his attention has been drawn to an ongoing report into greyhound tracks here; the position regarding the Greyhound Racing Act 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45353/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Bord na gCon is a commercial state body, established under the Greyhound Industry Act, 1958 chiefly to control greyhound racing and to improve and develop the greyhound industry. Bord na gCon is a body corporate and a separate legal entity to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

The provisions of the Greyhound Racing Act 2019 improve governance, regulation and control. The future of the sector depends on the adoption of best practice on animal welfare matters by all involved. My Department is conscious of the need for Bord na gCon to improve regulation and control and my officials and I have worked with the sector to introduce new and strengthened regulations in this regard.

The Board of Bord na gCon remains committed to the protection of the integrity of the greyhound industry and promotion of the welfare of greyhounds. With the new legislation in place, together with the maintenance of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund for Bord na gCon at €16.8m for 2020, the industry will have the tools to strengthen and reform.

I am aware that Bord na gCon has commissioned a full analysis of and recommendations on the industry footprint of the future by Indecon Economic Consultants. The publication of the report is expected at the end of November 2019.

Agriculture Scheme Payments

Questions (820)

Pat Breen

Question:

820. Deputy Pat Breen asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine further to Parliamentary Question No. 1430 of 6 September 2019 and the decision to increase the eligible area of land in November 2018 backdated to 2015, the reason balancing payments for AEOS, ANC and GLAS for the period 2015 to 2018 has not issued to a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45374/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The position in relation to AEOS, ANC and GLAS payments for the person named is as follows:

AEOS: The person named completed their AEOS contact on 31 December 2015. The position in relation to AEOS payments for the 2015 scheme year is currently under review. The applicant will be contacted directly if any balance is due.

ANC: Payments in respect of the person named are under review and my Department will contact the applicant when the review is complete.

GLAS: The GLAS payments for scheme years 2016, 2017 and 2018 have issued to the person named. Any outstanding payments identified from a review of land area eligibility will be processed in due course.

Protected Disclosures

Questions (821)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

821. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if his attention has been drawn to a case (details supplied); if the case has been assessed and conclusions made; the steps he has taken regarding the case and the information it has provided; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45379/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The protected disclosure referred to deals with operational fisheries control matters, responsibility for which rests with the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority. I am aware of the issues raised in this disclosure and I can assure the Deputy that it is being treated with the utmost seriousness.

The matter is being considered by the SFPA, which is the body legally assigned responsibility for fishery control matters. Given the nature of the issues raised, I have asked the SFPA to keep me informed of developments.

Brexit Supports

Questions (822)

Martin Heydon

Question:

822. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of partnerships with two or more herd numbers that will receive funding under the beef emergency aid measure; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45401/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The objective of the Beef Exceptional Aid Measure (BEAM) is to provide temporary exceptional adjustment aid to farmers in the beef sector in Ireland subject to the conditions set out in EU Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/1132. Applications for BEAM were accepted from the 19th of August to the 20th of September 2019.

There are 134 partnerships with two or more herd numbers that should receive a payment under BEAM.

Brexit Supports

Questions (823)

Martin Heydon

Question:

823. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of partnerships with one herd number that will be limited to just one payment under the beef emergency aid measure; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45402/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The objective of the Beef Exceptional Aid Measure (BEAM) is to provide temporary exceptional adjustment aid to farmers in the beef sector in Ireland subject to the conditions set out in EU Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/1132. Applications for BEAM were accepted from the 19th of August to the 20th of September 2019.

There are 492 partnerships with one herd number that should be limited to just one payment under BEAM.

Brexit Supports

Questions (824)

Brendan Smith

Question:

824. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if the criteria applicable to BEAM will be improved in view of the likely shortfall in drawing down the full funding available for the scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45464/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The objective of the Beef Exceptional Aid Measure (BEAM) is to provide temporary exceptional adjustment aid to farmers in the beef sector in Ireland subject to the conditions set out in EU Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/1132. BEAM is funded by a combination of EU aid and Exchequer support, provided in light of the difficult circumstances that Irish beef farmers have been facing as a result of market volatility and uncertainty.

The implementing regulation was within the competence of the European Commission and Member States were invited to comment on the contents of the draft regulation. However, it was not open for negotiation. Ireland subsequently published a formal notification of the scheme as required under the regulation.

The scheme was designed to target aid to those who had been most impacted by the market disturbance for which it was requested. The reduction/restructuring requirement was required by the Commission; it was also required to be at individual farm level.

As the scheme is voluntary, it is a decision for individual eligible farmers as to whether to participate or not. In response to requests from farm bodies, the period for receipt of applications was extended to 20 September and there was support and advice available to prospective applicants from my Department at the National Ploughing Championships.

In total 34,517 applications were received, representing a potential payment of €78,192,380. A further 560 applicants, who did not qualify for the support as they had failed to meet the eligibility criteria laid down in the scheme Terms and Conditions, submitted an application under appeal in order to have their eligibility for the scheme reviewed.

Under the implementing regulation, Ireland may grant additional national support for the measures taken under Article 1 of the regulation up to a maximum of 100% of EU funding. Therefore, undrawn funds cannot be used for other purposes outside of the measure.

In Budget 2020, I have provided almost €85 million in targeted schemes to support sustainable beef farming. This includes almost €45 million for the Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP), and a further €40 million for targeted supports. I intend to consult with stakeholders as to the use of these funds.

Areas of Natural Constraint Scheme Applications

Questions (825)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

825. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when a remote sensing inspection will take place for a person (details supplied) relating to the person's ANC application; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45491/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The person named submitted a 2019 Basic Payment/Areas of Natural Constraints Schemes application on the 8th May 2019. EU Regulations governing the administration of these schemes require that full and comprehensive administrative checks, including, in some cases, remote sensing (i.e. satellite) inspections, be completed before any payments issue.

The application of the person named was the subject of a Remote Sensing land eligibility inspection and he was notified by letter on 7th October 2019 of the initial inspection findings, which identified an over-declaration in area. This letter afforded the person named the opportunity to submit his comments on the inspection findings and comments were received on 11th October 2019. In order to address the concerns raised by the person named, a field visit was arranged to verify the position on the ground.

This field visit took place on 25th October and the outcome is now being processed. On completion of this process, the person named will be notified of the final inspection findings. Further processing of payments under both BPS and ANC will then be undertaken with the aim of issuing any payments due shortly thereafter.

In the event that the person named is dissatisfied with the findings of the final inspection, they can request a review of the decision, details on this will be set out in the final notification letter.

National Broadband Plan Funding

Questions (826, 827)

Barry Cowen

Question:

826. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the amount allocated to the national broadband plan in 2020; the amount of this which will be coming from the reserve fund of €200 million; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44183/19]

View answer

Catherine Murphy

Question:

827. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the amount required in each of the years 2019 to 2028 and from 2029 to 2043 under the headings of projected subsidy, conditional subsidy and contingent subsidy encroachment in the context of the level of funding required for the National Development Plan 2018-2027 and the national broadband plan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44239/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Communications)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 826 and 827 together.

The overall subsidy for the NBP State intervention over 25 years, as approved by Government, is €2.143 billion, excluding a contingency of €480 million and VAT of €354 million.

Based on the National Development Plan allocation, funding for the National Broadband Plan in my Department in the 2019 budget was €75 million.

The Government has allocated €119m in the 2020 budget, including an additional allocation of €30 million from the 2020 capital reserve, for the initial roll out of the National Broadband Plan State Intervention in 2020.

The multi-annual expenditure ceilings for Capital Expenditure for my Department are published in the Budget 2020 Expenditure Report. The total capital expenditure ceiling for my Department for 2021 is €517m and for 2022 is €611m.

The detailed allocations required for the NBP for 2021 and for subsequent years of the NBP, to deliver high speed broadband to over 1.1 million people in the intervention area, will be settled in the context of the annual Estimates process.

Climate Action Fund

Questions (828, 850)

Robert Troy

Question:

828. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the status of the provision of a grant for local authorities towards the replacement of street lighting with energy efficient LED bulbs; and the status of an application by Westmeath County Council to the scheme. [44296/19]

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Anne Rabbitte

Question:

850. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the status of the operation of the climate action fund; the date for the opening of the 2019 application process for the fund; the details of the scheme to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44547/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Communications)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 828 and 850 together.

The Climate Action Fund is one of four funds established under the National Development Plan 2018-2027 as part of Project Ireland 2040. The fund supports initiatives that contribute to the achievement of Ireland's climate and energy targets in a cost effective manner. It also offers the potential for innovative interventions which, in the absence of support from the fund, would not otherwise be developed.

Following the first call for applications, I announced the seven successful projects which will receive up to €77 million in support. Funding was allocated following a competitive process with public and private sector organisations eligible to apply.

The project validation process (which includes detailed due diligence) is on-going for six projects. The ESB ecars project has successfully completed the validation process and commenced delivery. The Local Authority Public Lighting Energy Efficiency Project is one of projects which is currently in the validation process. The Roads Management Office is the lead applicant for the project and Westmeath Count Council is one of the project partners.

The majority of funding for the Climate Action Fund will be provided by excess income from the petroleum products levy collected by the National Oil Reserves Agency. The legislation to enable this funding to be provided is currently being developed.

The Climate Action Plan sets out that the next round of the Climate Action Fund will commence by the end of this year.

Illegal Dumping

Questions (829, 830)

Gerry Adams

Question:

829. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the number of intermediate bulk containers containing diesel sludge waste dumped in County Louth in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019; the number of arrests and subsequent prosecutions made pertaining to each of the dumping incidents recorded; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44960/19]

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Gerry Adams

Question:

830. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the annual cost for clean-up and disposal of dumped intermediate bulk containers containing diesel sludge waste in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019 in County Louth; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44961/19]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 829 and 830 together.

Enforcement in relation to illegal diesel laundering activities is primarily a matter for the Revenue Commissioners from the point of view of avoiding loss of revenue to the Exchequer and my Department does not compile statistics in relation to arrests made or prosecutions taken.

My Department assists local authorities in carrying out their role as competent authorities under waste legislation, which is to take the necessary measures, on behalf of the State, to ensure that any waste generated and left abandoned by diesel launderers is disposed of without endangering human health and without harming the environment.

Over 1,000 incidents of diesel laundering waste dumping have been dealt with by local authorities to date and my Department has reimbursed the costs associated with such disposal in every instance. Details of the amount provided by my Department to Louth County Council for the period 2016-2019 are set out in the following table.

Louth County Council

Incidents

Costs

2019

26

€161,963.33

2018

26

€166,215.67

2017

37

€174,905.74

2016

48

€922,518.09