Departmental Contracts Data

Ceisteanna (477)

Bríd Smith

Ceist:

477. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the value of contracts for goods or services from companies (details supplied) since 2010. [20848/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

My Department has not awarded contracts for goods or services to any of the companies referred to in the Question.

Waste Management

Ceisteanna (478)

John Deasy

Ceist:

478. Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the capacity constraints with regard to handling Ireland’s waste volumes; and the way in which future municipal and industrial waste streams will be managed in the short and medium term to match the projected rise in population. [20970/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

Waste management planning is the responsibility of local authorities under Part II of the Waste Management Act 1996 (as amended). In this regard, waste management plans for the Connacht-Ulster, Eastern Midlands and Southern Regions were made in May 2015. The plans comprehensively set out clear strategies, policies and actions to address the prevention, generation, collection and management of waste in the State for the period 2015 to 2021. The development and implementation of the plans will give effect to national and EU waste management policies and legislation. The plans are available at: http://southernwasteregion.ie/content/southern-region-waste-management-plan-2015-2021-associated-reports ;

http://emwr.ie/about-the-eastern-midlands-regional-waste-management-plan ; and

http://www.curwmo.ie/publications/ .

Under section 60(3) of that Act, I am precluded from exercising any power or control in relation to the performance, in specific cases, by a local authority of their 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 ensure that we continue to live in healthy communities and that protection is afforded to our environment.

Waste Management

Ceisteanna (479)

John Deasy

Ceist:

479. Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the licensed waste disposal facilities located in each county, local authority area or region; and the estimated remaining capacity of each. [20971/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

Waste management planning, including with regard to 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 relation to the performance, in specific cases, by a local authority or the Environmental Protection Agency of their statutory functions under the Act.

The Waste Management Act 1996 and the Waste Management (Licensing) Regulations 2004 govern the process under which waste licences are applied for and maintained. Once granted, each waste licence defines the nature of environmentally acceptable activities that can take place at a waste facility, including the acceptable types of waste that can be received. This is done by the conditions of the licence which are set by the Environmental Protection Agency. I have no function in relation either to the setting of operating conditions or to their enforcement. It is a key aspect of the legislation, passed by the Oireachtas, to establish the EPA, that the Agency is entirely independent of the Minister in the exercise of its functions.

Comprehensive detail on EPA licences is available on the EPA’s website at http://www.epa.ie/licensing/ and further information is also available from the EPA’s Office of Environmental Sustainability at Licensing@epa.ie.

Warmer Homes Scheme

Ceisteanna (480)

John Brassil

Ceist:

480. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if details have been finalised regarding changes to the warmer homes scheme; if so, the details of these changes; when applications for the new measures will be available; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21014/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

The Warmer Homes scheme is the Government’s energy efficiency support scheme for people in or at risk of energy poverty. The scheme is funded by my Department and administered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland. To date over 130,000 homes have received free upgrades under the scheme, leaving the occupants better able to afford heat their homes to an adequate level.

Under the scheme home energy efficiency upgrades are provided free of charge to eligible homeowners. The average cost per home upgraded in 2017 was €3,000.

Eligibility for the scheme is determined by being in receipt of one of the following payments:

- Fuel Allowance

- One Parent Family Payment

- Working Family Payment

- Jobseekers’ Allowance for more than 6 months with children under 7

- Domiciliary Care Allowance

In addition homes must be owned by the applicant and must have been owned and occupied before 2006.

While homes that previously received works under the scheme are not currently eligible for a second visit consideration will be given to revisiting these properties in mid 2019, where feasible and appropriate.

In March I announced the expansion of the Warmer Homes scheme to cover all types of wall insulation. Previously only cavity wall insulation was provided as standard. This will mean that more homes can receive upgrades as not all homes were suitable for cavity wall insulation. In certain cases homes may also receive heating system and window upgrades –the measures a home receives under the scheme depend on a technical survey of the home, carried out by SEAI. This survey will indicate what measures are appropriate for the home, from the measures available under the scheme.  

This expansion will also increase the average cost per home and waiting times for the scheme as surveyors and contractors will need additional time per home to carry out the new measures.

Applications are open on an on-going basis, and these changes will be operational as of June 1 2018. Eligible homeowners can apply via email or through the post using the application form available on SEAI’s website. https://www.seai.ie/grants/home-grants/warmer-homes-scheme/

Landfill Sites

Ceisteanna (481, 482)

John Lahart

Ceist:

481. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the landfills accepting construction waste by capacity and location in tabular form. [21077/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

John Lahart

Ceist:

482. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the proposed locations and capacity of planned landfill sites for the disposal of construction waste. [21078/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 481 and 482 together.  

Waste management planning, including with regard to 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 relation to the performance, in specific cases, by a local authority of their 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 managing construction and demolition (C&D) waste. It is also intended to shortly convene a Construction Waste Resource Group . This Group will comprise of the key construction and demolition waste stakeholders, which will provide a useful platform to discuss and monitor C&D waste issues arising, including the capacity of the sector to manage its construction and demolition waste.

In terms of the detail of landfill capacity for C&D waste, including for inert and non-inert non-hazardous C&D waste, comprehensive detail on EPA licences is available on the EPA’s website at http://www.epa.ie/licensing/ and further information is also available from the EPA’s Office of Environmental Sustainability at Licensing@epa.ie. Similarly, information on planning permissions or applications for planning permissions should be available from the relevant Planning Authority or An Bord Pleanála.

Waste Management

Ceisteanna (483)

Michael Lowry

Ceist:

483. Deputy Michael Lowry asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment when the allowance of €75 for households with medical waste will come into effect; the way in which persons will apply for the allowance; the documentation that will be required; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21131/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

In line with the commitments set out in A Resource Opportunity - Waste Management Policy in Ireland, published in 2012, and in the interest of encouraging further waste prevention and greater recycling, flat-rate fees for kerbside household waste collection are being phased out over the period autumn 2017 to autumn 2018, as customers contracts come up for renewal. The necessary regulatory steps have been put in place to give effect to this measure.

It is worth noting that this measure is not ‘new’ for about half of kerbside household waste customers, who are already on an incentivised usage pricing plan, i.e., a plan which contains a per lift or a weight related fee.

As announced in mid-2017, mandatory per kilogramme 'pay by weight' charging is not being introduced. Allowing for a range of charging options, which encourage householders to reduce and separate their waste, provides flexibility to waste collectors to develop various service-price offerings that suit different household circumstances.

The Price Monitoring Group has considered seven months of data to date. While fluctuations in prices and service offerings have been observed, the overall trend is relative price stability. The Price Monitoring Group has reported that there are currently 9 different types of price models on the market. The main price examples include a service charge plus charge per bin lift, with an excess per kg charge, and a service charge plus per kg weight charge. The most popular service offering now is the ‘service charge including weight allowance, plus per kg charge for excess above allowance’.

An annual support of €75 per person is being made available for persons with lifelong or long-term medical incontinence. This will help people meet the average annual cost for the disposal of medical incontinence products. My Department is currently in discussion with the Department of Health and the Health Service Executive to finalise the administrative details and arrangements of the support, as well as engaging with the relevant patient stakeholders. I can assure the Deputy that I am committed to finalising the details for this support as soon as possible.

Departmental Staff Data

Ceisteanna (484)

Micheál Martin

Ceist:

484. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the number of staff in his Department assigned solely or primarily to work on North-South issues; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21259/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

As the Deputy is aware, the energy sector is a diverse one and so the energy units of my Department are configured based on specific areas of  activity, e.g. regulation, efficiency, etc. Departments are configured differently in different jurisdictions and officials engage with Northern Ireland  officials on a case by case basis, having regard to the matter at hand. This means having a specific North-South division or official would not be the most efficient use of resources and so each unit liaises directly with their Northern Irish counterparts as required.

Departmental Expenditure

Ceisteanna (485)

Timmy Dooley

Ceist:

485. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if his Department commissioned a video (details supplied); and if so, the cost of producing the video. [21357/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

Capita Business Support Services Ireland, trading as Eircode, was awarded a 10 year contract in December 2013 to develop, implement, maintain and promote the use of the National Postcode System "Eircode".

As part of this contract Capita are required to promote and market the use of Eircode to increase uptake and usage of the Eircode system amongst members of the public and businesses.

I have been informed by Capita that the cost of the video they commissioned to promote Eircodes and the National Ambulance Service’s use of Mobile Data Terminal (MDT) Units was €1,000. The in-ambulance mobile terminals use Eircodes to display a caller’s location and address on a map, which helps the ambulance crew to quickly and accurately be routed to someone in need of medical help.

Brexit Issues

Ceisteanna (486)

Lisa Chambers

Ceist:

486. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the contingency planning that has been done in relation to the aviation sector to plan and prepare for a potential hard Brexit in view of the fact that there are no equivalent World Trade Organisation, WTO, rules to fall back on. [21067/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

Contingency planning in relation to Brexit at both a national and an EU level is focused on three areas: preparing for a no-deal scenario or so-called “disorderly Brexit”; preparing for a transition period based on the “status quo”; and preparing for the future EU-UK relationship.

The European Commission is also contingency planning on this basis and in the context of contingency planning for a "disorderly Brexit" has put forward the possibility of a so-called 'bare-bones' EU-UK air services agreement (traffic rights & safety) and/or the possibility of unilateral EU measures. Ireland is liaising closely with the Commission on such matters and strongly favours an EU level solution to these issues.

The Government has been clear that its approach to preparing for Brexit is aimed at minimising the impact of Brexit on our trade and economy and an orderly withdrawal of the UK from the EU. This is certainly the case in aviation, given the importance of the sector for Ireland and the fact that the UK is by far the most important origin and destination for aviation traffic in and out of Ireland.

Motor Tax Rates

Ceisteanna (487, 488, 489, 490)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

487. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the estimated cost of abolishing the charge of an excess in circumstances in which a vehicle is taxed for less than 12 months, that is, motor tax being more expensive when charged for six months as opposed to 12 months. [21220/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

488. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the estimated cost of changing the rates applicable for the half-yearly and quarterly options for motor tax renewal from 55.5% to 51% for a half and 26.25% for a quarter of the annual charge. [21221/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

489. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the estimated cost of changing the rates applicable for the half-yearly and quarterly options for motor tax renewal from 55.5% to 50.5% for a half and 26% for a quarter of the annual charge. [21222/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

490. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the estimated cost of changing the rates applicable for the half-yearly and quarterly options for motor tax renewal from 55.5% to 50.25% for a half and 25.5% for a quarter of the annual charge. [21223/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 487 to 490 together.

Motor tax taken out on a half-yearly and quarterly basis is charged at 55.5% and 28.25% of the annual rate respectively.

Each half-yearly and quarterly renewal of motor tax requires the same administrative procedure as the annual renewal process. Any consideration of abolition or re-balancing of the charge for non-annual discs must take account of the fact that overheads, both direct and indirect, would increase exponentially if this were to result in increased volumes of transactions.

Aside from these costs, the estimated annual cost to the Exchequer of abolishing the excess charge for the half-yearly and quarterly options is €52.7m.

The estimated cost of changing the additional charge applicable to the half-yearly and quarterly options to 51% and 26.25% respectively is €36m annually. Changing to 50.5% and 26% respectively would cost €41.6m. Changing to 50.25% and 25.5% respectively would cost €46.4m.

All estimates are based on the number of half-yearly and quarterly transactions in 2017.

Tourism Ireland Expenditure

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A.

Ceisteanna (491)

Dara Calleary

Ceist:

491. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the expenditure to date by Fáilte Ireland on each of the 24 projects named in 2017 as a stage 1 pass project via the grant scheme for large tourism projects; if each project is within budget and continues to meet the qualifying criteria; if any of the projects have failed to meet targets set by Fáilte Ireland; if there is a reserve list of projects that could be funded in the event of one of the 24 not proceeding; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20828/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

My Department's role in relation to tourism lies in the area of national tourism policy. It is not directly involved in the management or development of individual tourism projects. These are operational matters for the Board and Management of Fáilte Ireland. While the Department provides funding to Fáilte Ireland to invest in tourism offerings, it has no role in the administration of Fáilte Ireland's tourism capital programmes.

I have accordingly referred the Deputy's question to Fáilte Ireland for direct reply to the Deputy. Please contact my private office if you have not received a reply within ten working days.

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A.

Tourism Funding

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A.

Ceisteanna (492)

Dara Calleary

Ceist:

492. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport when Fáilte Ireland will announce details of the small grant scheme for the Wild Atlantic Way; the criteria that will be used to assess applications; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20829/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

My Department's role in relation to tourism lies in the area of national tourism policy. It is not directly involved in the management or development of individual tourism projects. These are operational matters for the Board and Management of Fáilte Ireland. While the Department provides funding to Fáilte Ireland to invest in tourism offerings, it has no role in the administration of Fáilte Ireland's individual grants schemes or for the formulation of evaluation criteria for those schemes.

I have accordingly referred the Deputy's question to Fáilte Ireland for direct reply to the Deputy. Please contact my private office if you have not received a reply within ten working days.

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A.

Departmental Contracts Data

Ceisteanna (493)

Bríd Smith

Ceist:

493. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the value of contracts for goods or services from companies (details supplied) since 2010. [20861/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The information requested by the Deputy is available on my Department's website at the following link: http://www.dttas.ie/corporate/english/expenditure-external-services

The information is updated twice yearly.

The first six months of 2018 will be published later in the year.

Rail Network Expansion

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A.

Ceisteanna (494)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

494. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if in the planning for the capital improvement works in preparation for the proposed electrification of the Maynooth commuter train service, the previously proposed flyover or bridge at the site of the Coolmine Road level crossing, Dublin 15 is envisaged as part of the works. [20872/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The National Transport Authority (NTA) has statutory responsibility for the planning and development of public transport infrastructure in the Greater Dublin Area. This includes the planned works in preparation for the proposed electrification of the Maynooth commuter train service.

Noting the NTA's responsibility in the matter, I have referred your question to the NTA for reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A.