190. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government further to Parliamentary Question No. 128 of 13 July 2016, if he will provide a detailed breakdown of all the research conducted into the environmental cost of the domestic water metering programme; the persons or body within or without his Department it was conducted by; and if he will provide the copies of or links to any papers documenting the results of that research, prior to that Programme commencing. (Question 22947/16 asked on 20 Jul 2016 - Water Meters Data)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 190 to 192, inclusive, together.
My Department did not conduct research on the environmental cost of the domestic metering programme. 
Since 1 January 2014, Irish Water has statutory responsibility for all aspects of water services planning, delivery and operation at national, regional and local levels. This includes the domestic water metering programme.
Irish Water has estab...

191. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government further to Parliamentary Question No. 129 of 13 July 2016, if he will provide a detailed breakdown of all the research conducted into the environmental cost of the domestic water metering programme; the persons or body within or without his Department it was conducted by; if he will provide copies of or links to any papers documenting the results of that research, since that programme began. (Question 22948/16 asked on 20 Jul 2016 - Water Meters Data)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 190 to 192, inclusive, together.
My Department did not conduct research on the environmental cost of the domestic metering programme. 
Since 1 January 2014, Irish Water has statutory responsibility for all aspects of water services planning, delivery and operation at national, regional and local levels. This includes the domestic water metering programme.
Irish Water has estab...

192. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government further to Parliamentary Question No. 130 of 13 July 2016, if he will provide a detailed breakdown of all the research conducted to measure the environmental cost of the domestic water metering programme, including the measurement of the carbon footprint of same against any environmental benefits arising from the programme; the persons or body within or without his Department it was conducted by, and if he will provide copies of or links to any papers documenting the results of that research. (Question 22949/16 asked on 20 Jul 2016 - Water Meters Data)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 190 to 192, inclusive, together.
My Department did not conduct research on the environmental cost of the domestic metering programme. 
Since 1 January 2014, Irish Water has statutory responsibility for all aspects of water services planning, delivery and operation at national, regional and local levels. This includes the domestic water metering programme.
Irish Water has estab...

330. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if the Government has been consulted by the UK Government or the nuclear power company NuGen as part of the stage two proposed scheme consultation for the proposed Moorside power station on land adjacent to the Sellafield site on the west Cumbrian coast, comprising three new nuclear reactors with up to 3.8 gigawatts capacity; and if so, his response in this regard. (Question 22081/16 asked on 19 Jul 2016 - Nuclear Plants)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): My Department has been consulted by NuGen as part of the Stage Two Proposed Scheme Consultation for the proposed Moorside Power Station. My Department is currently co-ordinating a response to this in conjunction with relevant agencies, including the EPA’s Office of Radiological Protection and the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS).
Ireland’s established position is that, while not a nuclear energy produc...

126. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government his views on the prices paid for social housing units in an estate (details supplied); if he achieved value for money in this instance.; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 21460/16 asked on 13 Jul 2016 - Social and Affordable Housing)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): The project referred to in the Question involves the acquisition of units by an Approved Housing Body (AHB) in a new residential development, which will be made available to the local authority for social housing under long-term lease arrangements associated with my Department’s Social Housing Current Expenditure Programme (SHCEP). Prior to my Department’s approval of these lease arrangements, the project was a...

128. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the research he conducted into the environmental cost of the domestic water metering programme prior to that programme commencing. (Question 21523/16 asked on 13 Jul 2016 - Water Meters Data)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 128 to 130, inclusive, together.
Since 1 January 2014, Irish Water has statutory responsibility for all aspects of water services planning, delivery and operation at national, regional and local levels. This includes the domestic water metering programme. 
The programme was initiated in August 2013, as the previous Government had determined that charging based on usage is the fa...

129. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the research he conducted into the environmental cost of the domestic water metering programme since that programme began. (Question 21524/16 asked on 13 Jul 2016 - Water Meters Data)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 128 to 130, inclusive, together.
Since 1 January 2014, Irish Water has statutory responsibility for all aspects of water services planning, delivery and operation at national, regional and local levels. This includes the domestic water metering programme. 
The programme was initiated in August 2013, as the previous Government had determined that charging based on usage is the fa...

130. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the research he conducted to measure the environmental cost of the domestic water metering programme including the carbon footprint of same against any potential environmental benefits arising from that programme. (Question 21525/16 asked on 13 Jul 2016 - Water Meters Data)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 128 to 130, inclusive, together.
Since 1 January 2014, Irish Water has statutory responsibility for all aspects of water services planning, delivery and operation at national, regional and local levels. This includes the domestic water metering programme. 
The programme was initiated in August 2013, as the previous Government had determined that charging based on usage is the fa...

335. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government further to Parliamentary Question No. 462 of 26 January 2016, if the investigation referred to in the response has concluded and its outcome; if the legal responsibility for these or any seized dogs or animals lies with the local authority, his Department or a local welfare group; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 21052/16 asked on 12 Jul 2016 - Animal Welfare)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): The Control of Dogs Acts, 1986-2010, places statutory responsibility for dog control on local authorities. The rehoming policy in respect of dogs in local authority shelters for dogs seized, accepted or detained for the purposes of the Control of Dogs Acts 1986-2010 is a matter for each local authority and I have no function in the matter. As the matter referred to by the Deputy is still the subject of an on-g...

115. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if it has been drawn to his attention that at a meeting of Sligo County Council held on 2 November 2015 a motion (details supplied) was unanimously adopted; if it has further been drawn to his attention that when the proposed draft county development plan was presented by the chief executive to the elected members of Sligo County Council on 27 June 2016, no map or list of rights of way was included in the draft; the action a council can take when a chief executive refuses to implement a decision of the council; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20115/16 asked on 07 Jul 2016 - Local Authority Functions)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 115 and 116 together.
As the Deputy will be aware, the making and varying of a development plan is a reserved function of the elected members of the planning authority for the area.
My Department’s Circular Letter of October 2012 to all planning authorities sets out their statutory obligations under Section 7 of the Planning and Development (Amendment) Act 2010, in relation to th...

116. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he is aware that at a meeting of Sligo County Council held on 27 June 2016 to consider the proposed draft Sligo county development plan a motion (details supplied) was adopted; the action he will take to ensure Sligo County Council complies with the Planning and Development Act; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20132/16 asked on 07 Jul 2016 - Local Authority Functions)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 115 and 116 together.
As the Deputy will be aware, the making and varying of a development plan is a reserved function of the elected members of the planning authority for the area.
My Department’s Circular Letter of October 2012 to all planning authorities sets out their statutory obligations under Section 7 of the Planning and Development (Amendment) Act 2010, in relation to th...

127. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if it is within the terms of the price freeze agreed by the Government with waste companies for a company (details supplied) to demand that customers who wish to stay on their existing plan and not transfer to pay-by-weight, have €199 credit in their accounts by 1 August 2016, despite those customers having already paid an annual service charge at the beginning of the year to cover all of 2016. (Question 20242/16 asked on 07 Jul 2016 - Waste Disposal Charges)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 127 and 129 together.
The Government secured an agreement with all major waste collection companies to freeze charges, so that customers pay no more than they are currently paying for waste collection over the next 12 months for the same level of service. 
I have also been clear that the operation of the price freeze by the industry will be closely monitored, indicating that, if ...

247. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if a company (details supplied) is in breach of consumer protection legislation and-or the customer charter for household waste collection by automatically opting customers into its pay-by-weight system unless the customer contacts the company themselves by 1 August 2016 to state that they wish to opt out and avail of the 12-month price freeze announced by Government; if the company gave customers sufficient information regarding their options; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19447/16 asked on 05 Jul 2016 - Waste Disposal Charges)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): I have stated publicly that I am unhappy with the arrangement whereby a waste collector would require existing customers to move automatically to pay by weight as opposed to being left on their current plan and given the choice to ‘opt-in’ to pay by weight. I do not believe that this approach is consistent with the spirit of the agreement that I reached with the industry last month.
I have also been clear that ...

258. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government his plans to change the net income limits for social housing applicant households. (Question 19568/16 asked on 05 Jul 2016 - Local Authority Housing Eligibility)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): The Social Housing Assessment Regulations 2011 prescribe maximum net income limits for each housing authority, in different bands according to the area, with income being defined and assessed according to a standard Household Means Policy.
The income bands and the authority area assigned to each band were based on an assessment of income needed to provide for a household’s basic needs plus a comparative analysis...

39. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government to carry out a review of the number of properties that have pyrite but are not displaying damage that would register a damage condition rating of 2 in a building condition assessment; and his plans to devise a strategy regarding how these properties can be remediated. (Question 18303/16 asked on 29 Jun 2016 - Pyrite Incidence)

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Damien English): The independent Pyrite Panel, which was established in September 2011, undertook a desktop study, in conjunction with stakeholder consultation, to establish certain facts in relation to the potential exposure of pyrite in dwellings. The information was gathered from a number of sources including local authorities, structural guarantee providers, representatives of homeowners, private ...

44. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government his views regarding the issuing of a green certificate for pyrite properties, particularly in cases where remediation has not taken place, as many persons have been unable to sell their properties due to difficulties in receiving certificates. (Question 18304/16 asked on 29 Jun 2016 - Pyrite Issues)

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Damien English): One of the key recommendations of the Report of the Pyrite Panel (June 2012) was the development of a protocol which would facilitate the testing and categorisation of dwellings in order to establish if there is reactive pyrite in sub-floor hardcore material and whether it has caused pyritic heave. 
In response to this recommendation, I.S. 398-1:2013 - Reactive pyrite in sub-floor ha...

167. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government to ensure that Show Racism the Red Card receives funding under the support scheme for national organisations (details supplied). (Question 18586/16 asked on 28 Jun 2016 - Voluntary Sector Funding)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 167 and 225 together. 
The organisation in question submitted an application to Pobal under the Scheme to Support National Organisations in the Community and Voluntary Sector. In total 148 applications were received and assessed by Pobal on behalf of my Department with 70 organisations to receive funding. 
The quality of applications was very high, leading to a highly competitiv...

189. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government to ensure that the Local Authority Members Association, LAMA, is invited to attend the local government review committee, which is being run by his Department on an ongoing basis. (Question 18162/16 asked on 28 Jun 2016 - Local Authority Functions)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): In 2015, a process was established by my predecessor to review the operation of the revised local government structures. This involved a broadly based Advisory Group , consisting of members appointed in a personal capacity rather than as representatives of particular organisations, and a Local Government Forum for engagement with the Association of Irish Local Government, which is the statutorily recognised bod...

137. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the current fire regulations that have to be adhered to in the construction of family homes here and what checks are in place to ensure compliance with those regulations. (Question 17408/16 asked on 22 Jun 2016 - Fire Safety Regulations)

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Damien English): Part B of the Building Regulations 1997 (as amended) sets out the legal requirements in relation to fire safety in respect of new buildings and in respect of existing buildings undergoing works involving an extension, material alteration or a material change of use. The requirements under Part B represent the national statutory minimum standards of fire safety provision applicable to...

231. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the steps he has taken in relation to the do not swim notices which have been repeatedly issued in June 2016 in Portmarnock, Balbriggan and Skerries, County Dublin as a result of overflows in the Portmarnock Strand Pumping Station and Hampton Cove Pumping Station; and how he will address this matter. (Question 16685/16 asked on 21 Jun 2016 - Water Quality)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): I am aware of concerns regarding discharges in the functional area of Fingal County Council. However, neither I nor my Department has any direct role in monitoring or supervising the delivery of water services or any pollution incidents arising therefrom. Irish Water has statutory responsibility for all aspects of water services planning, delivery and operation at national, regional and local levels for public ...

258. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will consider introducing legislation to halt evictions from family homes until solutions to the housing crisis are in place. (Question 17227/16 asked on 21 Jun 2016 - Proposed Legislation)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 258 and 259 together.
The Residential Tenancies Act 2004 regulates the landlord-tenant relationship in the private rented residential sector and sets out the rights and obligations of landlords and tenants. Security of tenure under the Act is based on rolling four-year tenancy cycles. Where a tenant has been in occupation of a dwelling for a continuous period of 6 months and no...

233. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the amount of money his Department spent on purchasing copies of the Public Sector Times magazine in 2015; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15415/16 asked on 14 Jun 2016 - Departmental Expenditure)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney)(Deputy Simon Coveney): The Public Sector Magazine is a quarterly publication which is distributed free to my Department. Therefore, no expenditure is incurred in this regard.
 ...

234. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the amount of money spent on daily newspapers in 2015; if this is an appropriate expenditure given the available and far cheaper on-line alternatives; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15431/16 asked on 14 Jun 2016 - Departmental Expenditure)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): My Department avails of an electronic press cuttings service which serves for most of its printed media monitoring needs. In terms of hard-copy printed newspapers, the cost of purchase for my Department, including Met Éireann, in 2015 totalled approximately €9,830. In general, the Department relies on online versions of the daily newspapers but not all newspapers have an online presence. In addition , it shou...

235. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the number of staff working in his human resources section. (Question 15447/16 asked on 14 Jun 2016 - Departmental Staff Data)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 235 and 237 together. 
A number of the transactional HR functions of my Department transitioned to PeoplePoint in April 2016. As the new system will take some time to settle in fully, the number of staff engaged in my Department’s Human Resources function has remained at 9.73 full time equivalents but will be reviewed when this initial phase is completed. 
 ...

236. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the number of staff who work exclusively on constituency matters for him. (Question 15463/16 asked on 14 Jun 2016 - Ministerial Staff)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): I have, at present, two members of staff dealing exclusively with constituency matters. 
Question No. 237 answered with Question No. 235.
 ...