2 - Environmental Policy

Minutes of Strategic Policy Committee 2 (Environmental Policy) held on Tuesday, 29th April, 2008, at 11 am in Environment Section, Cleveragh Business Park, Sligo


CATHAOIRLEACH: 

Councillor Jimmy McGarry.


IN ATTENDANCE: 

  • Councillor M. Barrett,
  • Mr. B. Queenan,
  • Councillor P. Conmy,
  • Councillor M. Fleming,
  • Councillor G. Mullaney,
  • Councillor A. Higgins,
  • Councillor J. McGarry,
  • Councillor R. O’Grady,
  • Ms. Sally Ward.

 
OFFICIALS IN ATTENDANCE: 

  • Ms. Rita McNulty, Director of Services
  • Mr. John McHugh, Senior Engineer
  • Mr. Paul Hampson, Senior Executive Engineer
  • Mr. Fineen O’Driscoll, Senior Executive Engineer
  • Ms. Pamela Bergin, Acting Senior Executive Scientist
  • Ms. Rose Jordan, Acting Executive Technician
  • Mr. Enda Killoran, Acting Assistant Scientist
  • Ms. Eithne Garvin, Administrative Officer
  • Ms. Mairead Clerkin, Acting Senior Staff Officer
  • Ms. Mairead Scanlon, Assistant Staff Officer.

 
It was proposed by Councillor Higgins and seconded by Councillor Mullaney that Councillor Fleming take the chair until the arrival of the Chairman, Councillor Jim McGarry, who then took over.
 
 Councillor Fleming welcomed Paul Hampson to his new post of Senior Executive Engineer in Environment.  He also complemented Emer Concannon on the excellent work achieved with the SPC and wished her every success in Roads Section.


1. CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES: 

Proposed by Councillor Mullaney
Seconded by  B. Queenan
 
 and agreed
 
 “To confirm and adopt Minutes of the SPC Environmental Policy meeting held on 11th December, 2007”.

2. MATTERS ARISING: 

There were no matters arising from the Minutes.


3. SOURCE PROTECTION PLANS: 

Enda Killoran gave a short presentation on the content of the Source Protection Plans for Lough Easkey, Lough Arrow and North Sligo for the approval of the committee.
 
 Councillor Mullaney thanked Enda for his presentation.  He said the REPS scheme could go a long way to helping the situation.  He also mentioned that some Local Authorities have introduced Bye Laws to regulate matters.

John McHugh stated that Bye Laws may be one of the factors used to regulate Drinking Water Sources.

Councillor Barrett raised the issue of tree felling by Dept. of Forestry and the impact it would have on water sources. 

Councillor Higgins thought that a lot more discussion should take place before any decisions were made regarding implementation of the Source Protection Plans.  He also said that there are cost implications.

Rita McNulty concurred with Councillor Higgins that there are cost issues to be considered in the protection of water sources and water quality.

Councillor Mullaney suggested that a workshop be held to discuss all the issues raised before the Sources Protection Plans are adopted by the SPC Committee. Councillor Fleming agreed with this suggestion. Councillor Higgins mentioned that Cork Co. Council have run workshops on the issue.

It was decided to hold a workshop on the Source Protection Plans.


4. DRINKING WATER REPORT: 

John McHugh mentioned that the Drinking Water Regulations 2007 put additional responsibilities and obligations on us as regards testing and assimilation of results which are then sent to the EPA.  These results are recorded in an Annual Report and the EPA also produces a supporting report.

Rose Jordan gave a presentation on the Drinking Water Regulations 2007.

Councillor Fleming thanked Rose for her presentation. 

The issue of Small Private Schemes was raised.  John McHugh stated that these schemes do not have the same level of controls as public water supplies.

Councillor Fleming requested a copy of Rose’s report.  A copy to be sent to all Committee Members.


5.  NEW WASTE REGULATIONS: 

John McHugh outlined all the new regulations that have come into force recently –

  • End of Life Vehicles 2006
  • Transfrontier Shipment of Waste 2007
  • Tyre Regulations
  • Packaging Regulations 2007
  • Waste Permit Regulations 2008.

There are also new Waste Collection directives in relation to bio-degradable waste – copy to be circulated to Members.

6. BALLISODARE GREEN WASTE FACILITY: 

Paul Hampson stated that the construction phase is complete. A few snag items have yet to be corrected and some machinery to be delivered to site.  It is hoped that the facility will be open to the public by mid-May. 

John McHugh mentioned that we had 4 people, including one member of our own staff, trained in relation to running of the facility.  It will be jointly managed with the Sports Facility.  A visit to be organised for the SPC Members when it is up and running.

Councillor Mullaney raised the issue of the condition of the road entering Ballisodare.


7. FINISKLIN LANDFILL: 

Paul Hampson mentioned that a specialist study of the old landfill was required.  The Docklands Development Plan would be dependent on this as well.  The work is going to tender this week.  The whole process will probably take up to 3 months and a report should be available later in the year.

John McHugh stated that the facility was closed for 13/14 years and no full assessment was done re gases etc.  If the outcome of the report is good it will free up land for development.

Councillor McGarry enquired when Consultants’ Report would be complete.

He was informed that it would be available by end of year.


8. BIO-DEGRADABLE WASTE STRATEGY: 

John  McHugh informed the Members that under the National Waste Strategy it is a requirement that 20% of households have a third bin for organic waste by September, 2009 and 40% by September, 2010.

A discussion followed regarding landfill – where would the waste go.  We have 18 months to try and resolve the issue.


9. BRING BANKS: 

Mairead Clerkin outlined the position regarding Bring Banks.  James McGowan started employment with Environment on 2nd January last.  His main duty is to maintain the Bring Bank Network in the Borough and County.

Before James started all refuse collected at Bring Banks was sent to landfill.  Now the refuse is sorted by James for recycling before being disposed of.  As a result of this there is a quarterly saving of €9,157.

James also assists the Litter Warden by removing Illegal Signs and taking evidence found at Bring Banks.  GPS co-ordinates for correct locations and photographic evidence is also taken and information/evidence is passed to the Litter Warden for relevant enforcement.

James has also been involved in the delivery of trees to schools and community groups for National Tree Week and  collecting bags from various groups for National Spring Clean.  He will also be assisting on Beach Warden/General Duties for the Bathing Season from June – September.

Mairead informed the Members that we have had nothing but good comments since James took up his post.

Councillor Fleming said that since James started work there has been a big difference in the condition of the Bottle Banks.

Councillor Higgins and the other Councillors present congratulated James on his excellent work.

Councillor Barrett expressed her thanks to Breda Ronayne who liaised with the Community in West Sligo regarding installation and maintenance of Bottle Banks.


10. ANY OTHER BUSINESS: 

Farm Plastics

Councillor Mullaney requested information on when another Farm Plastic Collection would be available.

John McHugh said that there was one planned for North Sligo in Drumcliffe on 21st June and Ballymote Mart on 4th/5th July.  Collections being organised by Irish Farm Film Plastics Group.


Election Posters

Councillor Mullaney thought that there should be no election posters and Councillor Conmy agreed.  Councillor Higgins said it should be left to each individual Councillor to decide.

It was agreed that this matter would be discussed at the next meeting.


Tubbercurry Recycling Centre

Councillor Fleming raised the issue of extending the opening hours in Tubbercurry Civic Amenity.


Councillor Conmy wished to congratulate his niece, Ann Conmy, on her excellent achievement of becoming the overall winner in the 9th Persil Young Irish Fashion Designer.

The meeting concluded at 12.30 pm.

 

 


Meeting Date 29/04/2008