I thank Deputy Lahart but I did not think he was going to ask the question.
Waste management planning, including that regarding infrastructure provision, is the responsibility of local authorities under Part II of the Waste Management Act 1996, as amended. Under section 60(3) of that Act, I am precluded from exercising any power or control in the performance, in specific cases, by a local authority of its statutory functions under the Act. However, my Department has and will continue to engage with the three regional waste management planning lead authorities and other environmental regulatory bodies on the issue of having sufficient capacity and systems in place to manage construction and demolition waste.
Soil and stone waste management capacity challenges were raised by the Construction Industry Federation in 2016. In December 2016, the regional waste management planning offices jointly published a report on national construction and demolition soil and stone recovery and disposal capacity. Meetings were held in 2017 between my Department, the Environmental Protection Agency, the County and City Management Association, the regional waste management planning offices and the Construction Industry Federation to discuss construction and demolition waste issues arising, primarily the capacity of the sector's arrangements to manage its soil and stone. It has been acknowledged that the granting of a number of waste licences by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2017 for clean soil and stone facilities has addressed this issue.
Additional options for clean soil and stone capacity are being considered. In January 2018, my Department issued a short consultation paper to stakeholders on the tonnage thresholds for waste management facilities for the recovery of soil and stone. My Department is currently considering approximately a dozen submissions received in that regard. Finally, it is also intended shortly to convene a construction waste resource group, which will comprise the key construction and demolition waste stakeholders. It will provide a useful platform to discuss and monitor construction and demolition waste issues, including the capacity of the sector to manage its construction and demolition waste.