Thursday, 6 December 2018

Ceisteanna (217)

Brendan Griffin

Ceist:

217. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his plans to introduce a grant for the removal and disposal of asbestos from domestic houses which are carrying out renovations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51292/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

There is no funding available from my Department for the removal of asbestos from residential properties.

However, the Home Renovation Incentive (HRI) scheme lets homeowners, landlords and local authority tenants claim tax relief on repairs, renovations or improvement work that is carried out on their main home or rental property. The works must be completed by a tax-compliant contractor and be subject to 13.5% VAT. This includes extensions, garages and attic conversions; the supply and fitting of kitchens, bathrooms and built-in wardrobes; fitting of windows; garden landscaping; plumbing, tiling, rewiring, insulating, plastering and painting.

In general, the work must have been carried out and paid for between 25 October 2013 and 31 December 2018. Further information about the HRI is available from the Revenue Commissioners or on www.revenue.ie.

The prevention of exposure to the harmful effects of asbestos is the focus of occupational safety and health legislation concerning asbestos in the workplace. Specific Regulations regarding the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to asbestos fibres while at work have been in place since 1989. The current Regulations are the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Exposure to Asbestos) Regulations 2006, which are enforced by the Health and Safety Authority, which comes under the remit of the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation.

The primary responsibility for the management of any waste, including costs for removal or disposal, lies with the holder of the waste, i.e. the natural or legal person in possession of the waste, or the producer of the waste. The Waste Management Act 1996 imposes a general duty of care on holders of waste. A person may not hold, transport, recover or dispose of waste in a manner that causes or is likely to cause environmental pollution. In addition, in the case of hazardous waste, a holder of waste is required, without delay, to inform both the local authority concerned and the Environmental Protection Agency of any loss, spillage, accident or other development concerning that waste which causes or is likely to cause environmental pollution.

It is recommended that expert advice should be sought in dealing with asbestos materials and if removal is necessary it should only be done by a competent contractor with the required training and appropriate authorisations. Advice on the proper disposal of asbestos is available from the website of the Environmental Protection Agency http://www.epa.ie/waste/hazardous/asbestos/.