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Households must have financial assistance for upgrading septic tanks – Stanley

1 March, 2012 - by Brian Stanley TD

Speaking today as Environment Minister Phil Hogan published the draft standards for septic tanks Sinn Féin spokesperson Brian Stanley TD said it is vital that households are promised full financial assistance when upgrading their septic tanks.

Deputy Stanley is seeking an urgent meeting with Minister to clarify a number of important issues in the draft standards which have been put out for public consultation for the next four weeks.

He has confirmed the Sinn Féin will be making and publishing its own submission.

Speaking today in Leinster House, Deputy Stanley said:

“While welcoming the long overdue publication of the septic tank standards, there are a number of key issues that need clarification. In seven pages there is no mention of financial assistance for upgrading of septic tanks.

“It is vital that households are promised full financial assistance when upgrading their septic tanks. Householders who simply cannot afford the cost to upgrade their septic tanks should not be dragged through the courts facing fines up to €5,000. Criminalising families is a bully boy tactic and doomed to failure.

“The minister must clarify whether he has discussed these standards with the EU Commission. He must also confirm whether or not he has the commission’s agreement that these standards conform with the EU Court of Justice ruling.

“Sinn Féin wants high standards for septic tanks and we are committed to protecting our water sources. While the standards are ambiguous, the operational requirements will prove difficult for many householders.

“Of particular concern are the requirements for the percolation areas, seepages and leaks. Upgrading septic tanks to meet these standards may prove costly and full financial assistance will ensure full compliance from the public.

“Householders should read and study these standards and to make submissions to the public consultation process. I will be writing to Minister Hogan today seeking a meeting to discuss our concerns.”


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