Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Doolan-All Ireland Environmental Protection Agency only viable alternative

6 January, 2005


Sinn Fein Environment Spokesperson on Dublin City Council, Cllr. Daithi Doolan has said that an, "All Ireland Environmental Protection Agency with real powers is the only viable alternative to the appalling waste management policies, north and south which are destroying the environment."

Cllr. Doolan said:

"Reports stretching back over more than 14 years on both sides of the border, including the recent Waste Management Advisory Boards' highly damming report into the British DoE's environmental protection and waste management record demand real solutions. Sinn Féin believes that an All Ireland Environmental Protection Agency with real powers is the only viable alternative to the appalling waste management policies, north and south which are destroying the environment.

"Such an agency should have strong enforcement powers and a strong commitment to ensuring that the polluter is held responsible for their actions and meets treatment costs.

"We need radical solutions to a problem that will not go away. We need to put the emphasis on prevention rather than cure.

"Raising awareness through advertising campaigns is an important tool in reducing waste but it is costly and has only led to minor changes in attitudes to waste. Concerted action is required. This should include legislation that promotes change and challenges the attitudes of businesses and consumers alike.

"There is a crisis in waste treatment capacity. It makes no sense to look at the problems of waste management or illegal dumping in a segregated way. We need an All Ireland waste management strategy driven by an Implementation Body with tough enforcement powers to move us away from landfill and incineration and towards a policy of Reduce, Re-use and Recycle towards Zero Waste.

"In particular with EU Environmental directives there is an onus on us to act faster and to invest more in meeting tough new guidelines. Failure to comply with these EU directives will potentially cost us millions and this will hit local councils, who have not seen the support or resources they need, particularly hard."

In conclusion Cllr. Doolan called on Minister for the Environment Dick Roche, "to immediately set about initiating this process." ENDS

For further comment telephone Cllr. Daithi Doolan 086-8534666

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