Thursday, 19 July 1973
Dáil Eireann Debate
Dr. O'Connell: I did not address the question specifically to the Department of Local Government but to whichever Minister would take it. There should be some information in some Department as to the number of prosecutions in respect of the violation of anti-pollution laws.
Mr. Donegan: Statistics are not supplied to the Department as to the number of prosecutions brought by local authorities under the anti-pollution laws. Local authorities may prosecute for pollution offences under a number of statutes. For example, they may prosecute for breaches of the Control of Atmospheric Regulations, 1970, for non-compliance with pollution control conditions attached to planning permission under the Local Government (Planning and Development) Act, 1963 and in respect of nuisances under the Public Health Acts.
The Alkali, etc. Works Regulation Act, 1906 under which emission from chemicals and other specified works are controlled, is administered by this Department but no prosecutions have been taken. Other Departments and  bodies such as the Department of Transport and Power and the Board of Fishery Conservators are also empowered to prosecute for certain pollution offences.
Mr. Donegan: If one were to get in touch with all the people who are empowered to bring prosecutions, one would have to get in touch with the Department of Transport and Power, with the boards of conservators, with all the local authorities and the various other bodies concerned.
Dr. O'Connell: If the Department of Local Government acted as a central agency to which this type of information could be fed, we might be able to get some idea as to who are the people who are violating the anti-pollution laws and, then, decide on what action could be taken on a national scale to deal with the problem. The passing of power to various Departments dissipates this matter and acts against the whole campaign in regard to pollution.
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