Thursday, 11 March 2021
Ceisteanna ar Reachtaíocht a Gealladh - Questions on Promised Legislation
I thank the Deputy for raising this important matter. There should be no tolerance of illegal dumping which is an attack on our environment, communities and landscape. Penalties for illegal dumping are significant. People who are found responsible for unauthorised disposal of waste are liable to a maximum fine of €5,000 on summary conviction and-or imprisonment of up to 12 months, and to a maximum fine of €15 million on conviction on indictment and-or imprisonment for up to ten years. The upcoming circular economy Bill will also consider further changes to the fixed penalty notice system.
The Data Protection Commissioner provides guidance concerning statutory obligations placed on those using CCTV systems to collect personal data, and the rights and redress mechanisms available. My understanding is that the Data Protection Commissioner has written to the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications concerning data protection issues with the use of CCTV cameras for litter and waste enforcement processes. Her view is that the legislation provides local authorities with the power to prevent and investigate, and protect and prosecute littering and dumping, but do not provide for the processing of images taken by CCTV. That is currently being considered by the Minister and his Department.