Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Environmental Council.

49.

asked the Minister for the Environment the number of times the Environmental Council have met, the recommendations, if any, made to him, and the action he has taken on these recommendations.

The Environment Council have met on 16 occasions since I established it in June, 1978.

At the inaugural meeting of the council I asked them to give priority in their work to the question of the development of environment policy. Last year the council prepared a report Towards an Environment Policy in which they reviewed the major pressures on the environment and their effects. The report was published to encourage public interest and debate. Comments received were brought to the attention of the council.

I have asked the council to proceed with the next stage and to provide more specific advice on policy. I hope to have their further report later in the year.

At my request, the council have also prepared recommendations about the problem of litter. This report was received recently and is at present being considered in my Department.

I am grateful to the Minister of State for his reply. I know the first report of the Environmental Council was circulated to Deputies. Might I ask the Minister of State if it is proposed to circulate the most recent one on litter to Deputies and if he is satisfied with the work of the council to date?

I am happy with the report. In regard to the one on litter it is under consideration and I hope to be able to issue that one in due course.

Question No. 50 has been postponed. The remaining questions will appear on next Tuesday's Order Paper.