Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Thursday, 5 November 2020

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government

General Scheme of the Water Environment (Abstractions) Bill 2020: Discussion (Resumed)

Photo of Rebecca MoynihanRebecca Moynihan (Labour) | Oireachtas source

I thank the witnesses for the presentations this morning. I apologise if my questions are going to sound a little bit stupid, I am very new to this topic, and I would like the representatives of the various organisations to talk me through some baby information, if that is okay.

I have a couple of questions for the EPA representatives. Is it proposed that the agency would keep a record of who is abstracting water from a particular water source to gain a cumulative effect, even including smaller operators? Do the representatives think it would be helpful if the cubic metre threshold was lowered so they could get an idea of who was drawing on a particular water source?

On revoking licences, there is a definition of "significant risk" in there. How would the witnesses define significant risk and what process do they go through for that? Is there a mechanism for public participation or complaints about the giving of licences but also the revoking of licences if people are constantly breaking it? On head 8, the risk is significant abstraction and damage. If the organisations are looking at that, are they looking at one particular person abstracting water or, as in my first question, is there a proposal that they keep a record of smaller abstractions and the cumulative effect of abstractions from one particular water source?


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