- RTE – IFA calls for grants, relief over septic tanks;
- Irish Farmers’ Journal – IFA opposes additional charges for septic tanks: The process is likely to see some householders with poorly performing septic tanks having to install better systems at a cost of anywhere from €2,000 to €6,000 for a typical dwelling;
- Mayo Advertiser – IFA strongly opposes septic tank charges: “The 440,000 rural families who installed their septic tank systems over the years did so with the permission of county councils and in compliance with the various building regulations and EPA codes of practice,” Mr Farrell said. “IFA is opposed to the introduction of any charges or legislation which criminalises families for non-compliance with a new standard introduced in 2011, which places additional obligation on these families. If the standards are changed then there is a responsibility on Minister Hogan to put adequate finance in place to allow for the standard to be met and to ensure that engineering technologies are in place which will allow families to live in their local communities.“IFA will oppose the introduction of any army of septic tank inspectors.,” he added. “A risk-based approach to inspections is much more appropriate and is already accepted as an efficient delivery of public service. This targeted approach to inspections will ensure that rural families are not plagued by officials from county councils, demanding to walk into their gardens and look at the septic tanks. However no inspections must take place until solutions are identified by the Department of Environment that allow families to comply.”
- Irish Farmers’ Association – IFA Oppose Septic Tank Charges & Seek Retro-fit Scheme: The following is the latest IFA statement of its position, as of 9th/February, 2012;
- Brian Stanley TD – Public will not be fooled by government’s €5 registration charge for septic tanks: “The government must stop playing mind games with the registration cost. The registration fee, regardless of cost, is not the biggest concern for families. The key issue is the standard against which their tanks will be assessed and the cost of upgrading.
“The minister has moved the goal posts on several occasions. The appeals process was to cost €200 now it is reduced to €20 while the registration is now a once off €5. All these changes, while welcome, were brought about by public pressure. But the core issues for the public are the funding of upgrades and the standards.
“The current situation is farcical. We have legislation that demands the registration of septic tanks and the upgrading of these septic tanks but there are no standards to assess them by and no financial assistance for households to carry out the necessary work.
“The legislation as it stands is extremely punitive. It dictates that householders will be dragged through the courts and may be fined up to €5,000 if they cannot comply with these secret standards. This threatening behaviour by Minster Hogan is unacceptable and will be rejected by the public.”
- Brian Stanley TD – Government must make funds available to assist families in upgrading septic tanks: “The government must come out with a clear indication that any upgrading of household septic tanks will be fully funded by the Department of Environment. Anything less is unacceptable.
“By failing to comply with EEC/EU directives dating back to 1975, consecutive governments have failed both the public and the environment. It is only with the threat of EU fines that this government responded with bully boy legislation which is heavy on punishment but light on supports. It is grossly unfair to expect rural households to foot the bill for years of government incompetence.
“Sinn Féin fully supports protecting our water supply and the wider environment. But the government must announce, sooner rather than later, that proper funding will be made available to households. This funding must fully cover any upgrading required to comply with new septic tank standards.
- Léargas – Ravensdale Residents reject septic tank legislation: The meeting lasted just over a hour. It was clear from the outset that people are angry.
Angry that the government is foisting another charge on families already faced with a host of other stealth taxes from the household charge to the universal social charge to VAT increases and more.
Angry that urban communities have seen billions of euro put into improving or constructing new waste water systems – which rural taxpayers helped pay for – while rural dwellers are expected to carry the financial burden on septic tank improvements.
Angry that the EU Waste Directive (75/442/EEC) regarding domestic wastewater disposed of via onsite wastewater treatment systems, was imposed in 1975 and despite Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael and Labour all having been in power since then they did nothing about it.
Angry that the government, which was elected in part on a commitment to be more accountable, open and transparent, refused to listen to the concerns of rural dwellers, ignored the arguments and amendments put by the opposition parties and guillotined the Dáil debate and rushed through the Water Services legislation.
Everyone at Monday night’s meeting recognised the need to protect our environment, our water and the health and welfare of citizens. No one had any objection to registering septic tanks and inspecting and upgrading where necessary.
But to force rural households to bear the financial brunt of this when billions of public money was spent on urban systems and at a time when families are finding it difficult to make ends meet, was criticised by speakers as discriminatory and inequitable.
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