Written Answers. - Waste Incineration.

Noel Dempsey

Ceist:

370 Mr. Dempsey asked the Minister for the Environment his position regarding incineration in view of the Government's decision to set up an inter-departmental committee to examine the feasibility of incineration for BSE infected animals; if incineration is part of the Government waste policy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16936/96]

Noel Dempsey

Ceist:

371 Mr. Dempsey asked the Minister for the Environment in view of the overall responsibility for waste management, if he will clarify the situation whereby he and other agencies have indicated that they do not favour incineration as a waste disposal option but an inter-Departmental committee has been established to examine the feasibility of a national incinerator to cope with BSE; if he will clarify the Government's intentions in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16940/96]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 370 and 371 together.

As I have previously stated (in reply to Questions Nos. 8, 18, 25, 36, 40, 54 and 146 of 7 November 1995), waste incineration is used extensively within the OECD countries and is regulated by a number of EU Directives. Irish environmental legislation, in particular the Environmental Protection Agency Act. 1992, provides for the licensing of waste incineration activities on the basis of best practicable standards, including relevant EU requirements. Licences for both industrial and hospital waste incineration have been granted by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Officials of my Department and the Environmental Protection Agency are at present participating in the interde partmental committee established by the Government to consider incineration as a possible option to deal with certain animals waste material from the meat industry and agriculture. The report of the committee will be presented to the Government in due course and a decision will then be made on the best disposal option for this waste stream.