IFA National Environment & Rural Affairs Chairman Pat Farrell has rejected the proposal from Environment Minister Hogan that rural households will be required to pay a recurring registration charge for septic tanks.
Pat Farrell said the imposition of a recurring registration charge is no different from the inspection charge that Minister Hogan had been considering, and IFA maintains its position that there should be no charge.
Mr. Farrell said, “There is no basis for Minister Hogan imposing a recurring registration charge on the 440,000 rural households that have a septic tank system. All the information the County Councils require is available in the Councils themselves because these same councils granted planning permissions and in additional all rural households are now visible by using mapping technology such as Google Maps. Minister Hogan must reconsider his proposed recurring registration charge and make better use of the information and technology available.”
Pat Farrell has also called for the immediate introduction of a retro-fit scheme to assist rural dwellers who may be compelled to upgrade septic tanks systems. “A retrofit scheme similar to the Warmer Home Scheme, must be introduced, which provides tax relief and grant support, where new or upgraded waste water installations are required. This will stimulate job creation and provide the necessary supports to allow people comply with the requirements. The Department of Environment have an urban wastewater budget of almost E2billion and if the Government are serious about tackling the septic tank issue then some of this budget must be diverted to a retrofit scheme for septic tanks.”
“Before Minister Hogan introduces any legislation, the Department of Environment and the EPA must revise the percolation criteria or introduce a waste water treatment specification that will allow farm families to live and work in their local communities, particularly addressing the issue in counties Leitrim, Roscommon and Sligo.”