Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Anti-Pollution Law Violations.

Thursday, 19 July 1973

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 267 No. 9

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45.

Dr. O'Connell: Information on John F. O'Connell  Zoom on John F. O'Connell  asked the Minister for Local Government the number of prosecutions in the past year for violation of the laws on pollution.

Mr. Donegan: Information on Patrick S. Donegan  Zoom on Patrick S. Donegan  This information is not available in my Department.

Dr. O'Connell: Information on John F. O'Connell  Zoom on John F. 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: Information on Patrick S. Donegan  Zoom on Patrick S. 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 [1464] 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. Cunningham: Information on Liam Cunningham  Zoom on Liam Cunningham  In cases where Dublin Corporation are responsible for bringing legal proceedings, surely the Minister could inquire from them as to how many cases have been brought.

Mr. Donegan: Information on Patrick S. Donegan  Zoom on Patrick S. 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: Information on John F. O'Connell  Zoom on John F. 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.

Mr. Andrews: Information on David Andrews  Zoom on David Andrews  Can the Minister give the House one example of the nature of the penalties that can be imposed?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Denis Francis Jones  Zoom on Denis Francis Jones  That is a separate question.

Mr. Donegan: Information on Patrick S. Donegan  Zoom on Patrick S. Donegan  I have not got that information.

Mr. Andrews: Information on David Andrews  Zoom on David Andrews  Since the Minister had on his brief details of the various statutes and regulations under which prosecutions can be brought, I thought that he might have this information also.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Denis Francis Jones  Zoom on Denis Francis Jones  It is a separate question.

Mr. Donegan: Information on Patrick S. Donegan  Zoom on Patrick S. Donegan  Is it the Deputy's wish that that information be sent to him?

[1465]Mr. Andrews: Information on David Andrews  Zoom on David Andrews  Yes.

Mr. Donegan: Information on Patrick S. Donegan  Zoom on Patrick S. Donegan  I will ask the Department to forward it to the Deputy.


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