Fine Gael South Tipperary TD, Tom Hayes, has criticised what he has described as misleading statements made surrounding the introduction of septic tank charges. Deputy Hayes has said that although he welcomes debate on the matter, those speaking publicly on the issue need to get the facts straight.
“There have been a number of false and misleading statements made relating to the proposed septic tank charges to be introduced by the Minister for the Environment, Phil Hogan. While I believe debate is important, I also think it’s important to get our facts straight.
“What the Minister is proposing is a one off €50 charge for the registration of all septic tanks in the country. An interval of five years is envisaged between registrations and the Minister has no intention of charging members of the public to re-register after that five years is up.
“It’s also important to note the context within which this legislation is being introduced. This Bill is required to address a European Court of Justice ruling against Ireland. We are currently facing a potential lump sum fine of €2.6 million as well as daily fines of €26,000 for as long as non-compliance continues. That amounts to approximately €9.5 million per year. Inaction is simply not an option for this Government.
“While the majority of septic tanks may be working well, and the vast majority of householders have nothing to worry about, those tanks that are not working properly may be polluting groundwater and contaminating our drinking water supplies. The key objective of the new legislation is to enhance and protect public health and the environment which will, in turn, benefit rural dwellers in terms of a better water quality and a better quality of life.”