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13th November 2019 | Environment, Press Releases

Green Party water expert warns Ireland is heading for more European fines over sewage

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Green by-election candidate for Wexford and national coastal expert Karin Dubsky reacted to the EPA’s latest report on Urban Waste Water Treatment in 2018:

“The EPA has said today that the pace of investment in sewage infrastructure is far too slow. Ultimately this is a question of investment, with central government consistently failing to provide the necessary resources to invest in sewage treatment. The consequences are ongoing pollution of our seas and rivers, including beaches being closed to swimmers during the summer.

“Another likely consequence, as we saw with the €5million fine yesterday for lack of Environmental Impact Assessment at Derrybrien, is being fined by the European Court of Justice. On 29th March 2019 the Court found that Ireland was in breach of the Urban Waste Water Treament Directive for discharging raw sewage and for failing to treat other sewage to an adequate standard. It is appalling that in 2019 we still had not complied with a Directive adopted in 1991. Ultimately if Ireland fails to rapidly comply with the March judgement, we will face further fines. Today’s EPA report criticising the slow pace of investment is an indication that we are on that path.”

Green by-election candidate for Dublin Fingal Joe O’Brien added:

“Yet again, the EPA’s annual report is pointing to the need for tertiary treatment (nitrogen removal) at Malahide sewage treatment plant due to the risk to ecologically sensitive waters in Broadmeadow Estuary. It is unacceptable that Ireland is breaking EU law in almost every coastal county.”