Fine Gael Waterford Deputy, Paudie Coffey, has welcomed news from the Minister of State at the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government, Jan O’Sullivan TD, that where remediation works need to be carried out on septic tanks, no planning permission will be necessary. Deputy Coffey said this is a sensible move that will allay the fears of many people around the country and will put to bed the scaremongering that has gone on in recent months by opportunistic Opposition politicians.
“The septic tank charge was initiated by this Government in response to a European Court of Justice Ruling of October 2009, which meant that Ireland was liable for a once off lump-sum fine of€2.6 million followed by daily fines of€26,000. This was a prime example of the mess that the previous Government left this country in, and it has fallen to this administration to clean up the mess.
“The charge was initially€5 but, despite this, many populist politicians advised people not to register their tanks. These politicians are directly to blame for people having to pay an extra€45 in registering their tanks at a later date. We heard from the same cohort of politicians that the replacement of these tanks would cost thousands of euro and that there could be a long planning process involved in replacing tanks.
“This charge was never a revenue raising exercise and the Ministers at every turn have lifted red-tape and tried to make the entire process as easy as possible for septic tank owners. Septic tank owners whose tanks have fallen into a state of disrepair and require remediation works will not have to apply for planning permission. This is to be welcomed as it makes the procedure of protecting our water even easier.
“Yet again, the scaremongers have been proven wrong, and, in the very worst type of political bile, these politicians have ended up costing people more money than they should have ever had to pay. Many people have registered their tanks and I would encourage people who haven’t, to do so, so that we can ensure a better quality of water right across the country. This will hopefully mean we will not have a repeat performance of cryptosporidiosis outbreaks that have affected many parts of the country over the years, which have done untold damage to households and businesses in those areas.”
Published in Waterford Today – 19th June 2013