Barry rubbishes claims on septic tanks

Barry rubbishes claims on septic tanks

Fine Gael TD for Cork East, Tom Barry, has today (Wednesday) said that details published by the Minister for the Environment, Phil Hogan, on the new inspection regime for septic tanks prove that claims made by the Opposition and interest groups in recent months were scare mongering and completely wide of the mark.“The Environment Minister, Phil Hogan, has today announced a risk-based approach to the inspection of septic tanks, which will see owners pay a registration fee of about €50 – a fraction of the ludicrous sums being touted by some members of the Opposition in recent months.

“Under the new system, everyone who owns a septic tank will have to register their system with their local authority, starting next year. An inspection regime is then expected to start in 2013 and, crucially, there will be no charge for inspections. The inspections will focus on areas with higher risk to the environment and public health.

“This is yet another example of an issue that the previous Fianna Fáil Green Government chose to ignore. A European court ruling dating back to October 2009 means that we will soon be liable for fines in the tens of millions of euro if we fail to put an appropriate inspection regime in place. This Government is not willing to let that happen.

“The risk-based approach being adopted by the Minister mirrors international best practice. It will help us to protect the environment and ground water supplies; something that is of huge importance to agricultural and rural communities around the country.

“I think it’s time that those groups and individuals who went out on the airwaves in recent months, using inflammatory language to scare the public on the issue now come clean and apologise. I expect that many of these people, including former Minister and Fianna Fail TD Eamon O’Cuiv, will welcome the fact that Minister Hogan has acted responsibly and promptly on this issue which Deputy O’Cuiv’s Government failed so badly to address.”