182. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he will address a matter (details supplied) regarding radon gas; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44302/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Radon Gas Levels)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): The National Radon Control Strategy (NRCS) Co-ordination Group was established to implement and track the key recommendations of the NRCS, which was published in 2014. The strategy recommends a broad range of measures aimed at reducing the risk from radon to people living in Ireland. This co-ordinated, Government-led, strategy aims to reduce both overall population and individual risk, particularly for people li...

183. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the way in which his Department plans to spend the additional €35 million allocated in budget 2018 to energy efficiency. (Question 44323/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Energy Efficiency)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): Using less energy, and using it more efficiently, is the most cost effective and accessible way for us all to take action on climate change.   
Overall in 2018, at least €117m in capital and current funding will be invested in energy efficiency programmes. This will save over 120,000 tonnes in carbon emissions every year. It will support around 3,500 jobs, and reduce our overall dependence on imported fossil ...

184. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the deadline by which the renewable heat incentive scheme will be launched. (Question 44324/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Renewable Heat Incentive)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): The proposed Renewable Heat Incentive addresses key objectives  set out in the National Mitigation Plan, the Energy White Paper and the Programme for Government. The development of the scheme has involved detailed economic analysis, extensive engagement with industry and two public consultations.
In Budget 2018, €7m was allocated for the proposed Renewable Heat Incentive. I intend to seek Government approval to ...

185. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the amount of funding that his Department plans to allocate to the trading online voucher scheme in 2018. (Question 44325/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Trading Online Voucher Scheme)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I propose to take Questions Nos. 185 and 194 together.
The Trading Online Voucher Scheme is a demand-led scheme which aims to deliver 1,000 businesses trading online each year with minor fluctuations in throughput expected in a demand-led scheme. The scheme has the flexibility to approve applications in excess of the target, should the demand exist.
The following table gives a breakdown on an annual basis of the...

186. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the amount of additional funding that has been provided to the EPA in budget 2018; and the breakdown of this funding between air quality monitoring, noise monitoring and climate change research. (Question 44326/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Environmental Protection Agency Funding)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): The indicative overall Budget 2018 allocation for the EPA is €34.8m, a significant increase on the 2017 allocation of €31.5m.
The indicative allocation for 2018 is broken down into €21.3m. current and €13.5m. capital, and is subject to final agreement with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in the context of the Revised Estimates Volume (REV) later this year.
The new Ambient Air Quality Monitoring P...

187. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the amount of new funding that will be allocated to waste prevention and recycling in 2018; the programmes that this funding will support; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44327/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Waste Management)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I recently announced that €1.6 million was allocated as part of Budget 2018 to support an on-going waste campaign to assist householders in managing their waste.  
The Regional Waste Management Planning Offices commenced a programme of education and awareness funded by my  Department earlier this year with radio advertisements encouraging the use of the brown bin and focusing on food waste prevention. This wa...

188. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the status of plans to regulate the waste collection industry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44420/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Waste Management Regulations)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I propose to take Questions Nos. 188 to 191, inclusive, together. 
In line with the commitments set out in A Resource Opportunity - Waste Management Policy in Ireland published in 2012, a number of additional legislative measures have been introduced to further regulate the waste collection industry. Examples include: the introduction of fixed payment notices for the contravention of specific conditions of a was...

189. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the status of work by the Government created watchdog set up to monitor pricing in the waste collection sector; the number of meetings the watchdog has held; the date of each meeting; the members of the watchdog; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44421/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Waste Management Regulations)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I propose to take Questions Nos. 188 to 191, inclusive, together. 
In line with the commitments set out in A Resource Opportunity - Waste Management Policy in Ireland published in 2012, a number of additional legislative measures have been introduced to further regulate the waste collection industry. Examples include: the introduction of fixed payment notices for the contravention of specific conditions of a was...

190. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the reason the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission declined to join the watchdog set up to monitor pricing in the waste collection sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44422/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Waste Management Regulations)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I propose to take Questions Nos. 188 to 191, inclusive, together. 
In line with the commitments set out in A Resource Opportunity - Waste Management Policy in Ireland published in 2012, a number of additional legislative measures have been introduced to further regulate the waste collection industry. Examples include: the introduction of fixed payment notices for the contravention of specific conditions of a was...

191. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the status of the work by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission that was asked to conduct an investigation into the waste collection industry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44423/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Waste Management Regulations)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I propose to take Questions Nos. 188 to 191, inclusive, together. 
In line with the commitments set out in A Resource Opportunity - Waste Management Policy in Ireland published in 2012, a number of additional legislative measures have been introduced to further regulate the waste collection industry. Examples include: the introduction of fixed payment notices for the contravention of specific conditions of a was...

192. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the arrangement that will be put in place for an eel hardship fund further to budget 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44426/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Fisheries Protection)

Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Seán Kyne): Ireland’s Eel Management Plan (EMP) under EU Regulation 1100/2007, which included a closure of commercial fishing, was approved by the European Commission in 2009. Ireland’s EMP and its conservation measures were reviewed in 2012 and in 2015, in accordance with the EU Regulation. Both reviews involved an examination of the latest scientific data and the conservation measures, the results of ...

193. Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if his attention has been drawn to the fact that waste companies are unilaterally changing the terms and conditions of their waste collection system and scheme in circumstances (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44441/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Waste Disposal Charges)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): The charges applied by waste management companies are matters for those companies and their customers, subject to compliance with all applicable environmental and other relevant legislation, including contract and consumer legislation.
Each household waste collector has been required through a condition in their waste collection permit from 1 July, 2015 to weigh a bin each time it is collected and to make that i...

194. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the number of small businesses supported by the trading online voucher scheme has declined in recent years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44498/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Trading Online Voucher Scheme)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I propose to take Questions Nos. 185 and 194 together.
The Trading Online Voucher Scheme is a demand-led scheme which aims to deliver 1,000 businesses trading online each year with minor fluctuations in throughput expected in a demand-led scheme. The scheme has the flexibility to approve applications in excess of the target, should the demand exist.
The following table gives a breakdown on an annual basis of the...

195. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his plans regarding the television licence fee collection system; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44499/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Television Licence Fee Collection)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I obtained Government approval earlier this year to draft a number of legislative amendments to the Broadcasting Act, 2009, including amendments to allow for the tendering of TV Licence fee collection.  As the Deputy is aware, the proposed amendments are currently under Pre-Legislative Scrutiny by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Climate Action & Environment and I await a report from the Committ...

196. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the status of the review of the impact of opt out advertising on the broadcasting sector. (Question 44500/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Broadcast Advertising Standards Regulation)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): The EU regulatory framework for broadcasting as set out in the Audio-visual Media Services Directive is currently undergoing review.  To support its work in this area, my Department engaged consultancy services in October 2016 to review the impact of ‘opt-out’ advertising on the Irish broadcasting sector.
I am currently considering the report’s recommendations and intend to publish the report on my Department’s ...

197. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the amount of RES-E capacity that has been installed to date in 2017. (Question 44501/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Renewable Energy Generation)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I understand that as of September 2017, the total amount of renewable generation connected to the grid was 3,400 MW approximately of which 3,080 MW was wind generation. A breakdown of the other renewable technologies at that date is not available, but the majority (212 MW) was hydro. It is estimated that a total of between 3,900 MW and 4,300 MW of onshore wind generation capacity will be required to allow Irelan...

198. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the number of homes that have been covered by energy efficiency measures since 2010, in tabular form. (Question 44502/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Energy Schemes Data)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): In total, over 293,300 homes have received state supported energy efficiency upgrades since 2010. These upgrades were provided through the Better Energy Programme which is administered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) with funding from my Department. The Better Energy Programme consists of the Better Energy Homes Scheme, Better Energy Warmer Homes Scheme, and Better Energy Communities Scheme...

199. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the number of inspections of recreational anglers for licences that have taken place each year since 2010, in tabular form. (Question 44503/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Angling Sector)

Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Seán Kyne): I propose to take Questions Nos. 199 and 201 together. 
The information requested is as follows:
 Inspections 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017B No of Iicence inspections of recreational anglers 4,986A 18,657 14,461 17,042 16,499 8,874 No of other angling Inspections 5,302A 14,985 16,795 17,254 19,511 7,823 
A. Details for 6 months as reporting metric was commenced mid...

200. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the number of prosecutions of inland fisheries related offences that have taken place to date in 2017. (Question 44504/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Inland Fisheries Regulation)

Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Seán Kyne): I have been informed by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) that the number of prosecutions for fisheries related offences to date in 2017 is fourteen.
I am also advised by IFI that a significant number of cases are under consideration following activity during recent months.
The Inland Fisheries (Amendment) Act 2017 (No. 16 of 2017) came into operation on 11 July 2017 and confers an explicit pow...

201. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the number of fixed charge notices that were issued in respect of inland fisheries offences in each year since 2010, in tabular form. (Question 44505/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Angling Sector)

Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Seán Kyne): I propose to take Questions Nos. 199 and 201 together. 
The information requested is as follows:
 Inspections 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017B No of Iicence inspections of recreational anglers 4,986A 18,657 14,461 17,042 16,499 8,874 No of other angling Inspections 5,302A 14,985 16,795 17,254 19,511 7,823 
A. Details for 6 months as reporting metric was commenced mid...

202. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the status of the Aarhus Convention Bill. (Question 44506/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Legislative Programme)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): The draft Heads of the Aarhus Convention Bill are scheduled for publication before year-end, and will then be subjected to the pre-legislative scrutiny process, with a view to progressing the Bill through the Oireachtas next year.
Ireland ratified the Aarhus Convention in 2012 and over 60 pieces of legislation have been used to implement it. The Convention governs environmental justice rights, and is formed by t...

203. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment when broadband will be available to residents and businesses in the Piercetown area of Fordstown, County Meath. (Question 44523/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Broadband Service Provision)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I propose to take Questions Nos. 203 to 205, inclusive, together.
The Government’s National Broadband Plan (NBP) will ensure high speed broadband access (minimum 30 megabits per second) to all premises in Ireland, regardless of location.  The NBP has been a catalyst in encouraging investment by the telecoms sector so that to date approximately 1.5m or 65% of the 2.3m premises in Ireland can get high speed broadb...

204. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment when broadband will be available to residents and businesses in the village of Fordstown, County Meath. (Question 44524/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Broadband Service Provision)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I propose to take Questions Nos. 203 to 205, inclusive, together.
The Government’s National Broadband Plan (NBP) will ensure high speed broadband access (minimum 30 megabits per second) to all premises in Ireland, regardless of location.  The NBP has been a catalyst in encouraging investment by the telecoms sector so that to date approximately 1.5m or 65% of the 2.3m premises in Ireland can get high speed broadb...

205. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment when broadband will be available to residents and businesses in the Pluxtown, Grennanstown and Causestown areas of Athboy, County Meath. (Question 44525/17 asked on 19 Oct 2017 - Broadband Service Provision)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I propose to take Questions Nos. 203 to 205, inclusive, together.
The Government’s National Broadband Plan (NBP) will ensure high speed broadband access (minimum 30 megabits per second) to all premises in Ireland, regardless of location.  The NBP has been a catalyst in encouraging investment by the telecoms sector so that to date approximately 1.5m or 65% of the 2.3m premises in Ireland can get high speed broadb...

176. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the progress of the Shannon LNG project; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44240/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - Energy Schemes)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): The Programme for a Partnership Government makes clear that the Government remains supportive of the proposal to construct an LNG terminal near Ballylongford, County Kerry. The Government has and continues to support the project achieve the status of a Project of Common Interest (PCI) under European Regulation 347/2013 Trans European Energy Infrastructure.
It is important to note that the Shannon LNG project, t...