Wednesday, 21 April 2021
Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government
782. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government the amount of fines imposed on Ireland by the EU in each of the past ten years due to raw sewage being released into coastal waters at various wastewater treatment plants nationally; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19955/21]
783. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government the amount of fines imposed on Ireland by the EU in each of the past ten years due to raw sewage being released into Dublin Bay by the Ringsend wastewater treatment plant; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19958/21]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 783 and 782 together.
There have been no fines or costs payable by Ireland as a result of the judgment in March 2019 by the Court of Justice of the European Union on Ireland's non-compliance with the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive, including in relation to the Ringsend plant. Following the judgment my Department, accompanied by Irish Water, met Commission officials and proposed a programme of measures to ensure this case is resolved. My Department wrote to the European Commission in January this year to outline progress on the programme of measures and will continue to update the Commission on progress on this case on a regular basis. Works have been completed at 16 of the 28 agglomerations identified in the judgment to bring them into compliance with the Directive.
Irish Water continues to develop and implement a long-term investment perspective in order to strategically address the deficiencies in the public water and waste water system. Building water and waste water treatment plants, as well as upgrading or building new water and waste water networks, requires significant and sustained investment. The National Development Plan 2018-2027 provides for significant investment in public water and wastewater infrastructure over the course of the plan to ensure the continued operation, repair and upgrading of Ireland’s water and waste water infrastructure to support social and economic development across the State and ensure compliance with EU Directives.