Thursday, 17 November 2022
Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government
188. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government if he can confirm that his Department, and by extension, the State is on track to achieve their legal obligations by the final European Union deadline of 2027 given Ireland's failure in 2015 to honour its legal obligations under the European Union Water Framework Directive by attaining good qualitative and quantitative status of all Irish water bodies particularly Lough Corrib SAC. [57126/22]
My Department is currently preparing the third River Basin Management Plan for Ireland, to cover the period up to 2027. This plan will build on the work of the second-cycle, and will again describe the main pressures and activities affecting water status, set out the environmental objectives to be achieved up to 2027 and identify the measures needed to achieve these objectives, including those highlighted by the EPA.
This plan is being prepared in response to the requirements of the EU Water Framework Directive (Directive 2000/60/EC of 23 October 2000 establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy) which establishes a common framework for the protection of inland surface waters, transitional waters, coastal waters and groundwater. The overall aim of the Directive is to maintain high and good status waters where they exist and to restore waters that do not currently reach these standards with varying deadlines from 2015 through to 2027. River Basin Management Plan (with its associated programme of measures) is the tool prescribed by the Directive for achieving these aims.
189. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government if he can confirm that Ireland's legal obligations under the EU Habitats Directive will be met regarding the presence and proliferation of non-native fish species, as defined under the EU Water Framework Directive, in Lough Corrib SAC, given his Department's introduction of the European Union Habitats (Lough Corrib Special Area of Conservation 000297) Regulations 2022 - S.I. No. 384 of 2022) on 27 July 2022. [57127/22]
The European Union’s Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC) (as amended) requires Member States to protect habitats and wildlife areas of European interest by, among other things, designating sites as Special Areas of Conservation.
The European Union Habitats (Lough Corrib Special Area of Conservation 000297) Regulations 2022 completes the formal designation of Lough Corrib site as a Special Area of Conservation in accordance with Article 4 of the Directive.
The natural habitat types and animal and plant species lists cited in Schedule 3 of the Regulations are specified, in accordance with the Directive, in order to ensure their conservation (i.e. the measures required to maintain or restore the natural habitats and the populations of species of wild fauna and flora at a favourable status).