Fianna Fáil has formally requested that environmental and engineering experts and representatives of local authorities and community groups be called before Oireachtas Environment Committee to discuss the impact of the Government’s Septic Tank Bill (Water Services Amendment Bill 2011)
Deputy Collins explained, “The main problem with this Bill as it stands is that we do not know what standards will apply for the inspection of septic tanks around the country. The legislation does not specify what standard will be applied and Minister Hogan has refused to be drawn on the issue. He has also refused to allow the EPA come before the Oireachtas Environment Committee to answer questions about the inspection standards.
“The result is a real fear that any septic tank built before 2009 will fail the inspections under Minister Hogan’s legislation. It is this uncertainty and the fear of expensive upgrades that is worrying septic tank owners. The Oireachtas Environment Committee provides a suitable forum to get expert opinion on how this legislation will impact on the 400,000 septic tank owners across the country. It is time for the Committee to be given the opportunity to question the EPA about the inspection standards and seek representations from other relevant parties such as An Taisce, Engineers Ireland, Friends of the Irish Environment and the Rural Dwellers Association.
Fianna Fail fully supports reasonable legislation to protect and enhance ground water quality, including an inspection system. What we remain vehemently against is the Government’s moves to push the entire cost of registration and upgrades directly onto septic tank owners. We are seeking clarity on behalf of concerned homeowners about how this legislation will affect them and what standards will be used when their tanks are inspected.”