IFA national environment and rural affairs chairman Pat Farrell has restated the association’s strong objection to the introduction of any septic tank charges and imposing an army of septic tank inspectors on rural dwellers.
In recent months IFA met with senior government ministers, including Environment Minister Phil Hogan, and called on them to “ensure that no additional costs or extra bureaucracy are imposed, at a time when rural dwellers are struggling with escalating fuel, home heating, and education bills.”
“The 440,000 rural families who installed their septic tank systems over the years did so with the permission of county councils and in compliance with the various building regulations and EPA codes of practice,” Mr Farrell said. “IFA is opposed to the introduction of any charges or legislation which criminalises families for non-compliance with a new standard introduced in 2011, which places additional obligation on these families. If the standards are changed then there is a responsibility on Minister Hogan to put adequate finance in place to allow for the standard to be met and to ensure that engineering technologies are in place which will allow families to live in their local communities.
“IFA will oppose the introduction of any army of septic tank inspectors.,” he added. “A risk-based approach to inspections is much more appropriate and is already accepted as an efficient delivery of public service. This targeted approach to inspections will ensure that rural families are not plagued by officials from county councils, demanding to walk into their gardens and look at the septic tanks. However no inspections must take place until solutions are identified by the Department of Environment that allow families to comply.”