Environment Minister Phil Hogan has announced that a registration charge of no more than €E50 is to be introduced for septic tanks across the country.
The announcement was made as part of an effort to address a European Court of Justice ruling against Ireland in October 2009. South Tipperary Fine Gael T.D. Tom Hayes commended the Minister for bringing clarity to 440,000 septic tanks owners, alleviating fears as to the size of such a charge.
“There had been a great deal of pressure on the Minister from officials within the Department to introduce a charge in the region of €300. As far as I was concerned this would have been unacceptable, and I made those views perfectly clear to the Minister. I’m delighted to see that having taken the advice on board Minister Hogan has opted for a relatively low one-off charge of €50.” stated Tom Hayes T.D.
“Ireland faced an annual fine of €9.5 million from the European Courts if we did not comply with the 2009 ruling. Despite promises by the Fianna Fáil/Green coalition to introduce a septic tank inspection scheme, the problem was left for the current Government to deal with.
“Of course I’d prefer if no charge was introduced at all, but that was simply not an option. I admire the Minister for standing up to officials in his Department, sparing thousands of households from an annual €300 payment. It’s important that we demonstrate that this is not a money generating exercise, instead it is about protecting our water quality and our environment, allowing us to avoid hefty fine in the process,” said Deputy Hayes.