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Ireland paid over €3.5m in EC fines over septic tanks and EIAs

The state has finished paying off the penalties related to environmental issues – they amounted to €3,648,000.

Fees.
Fees.

THE IRISH STATE has paid more that €3.5 million in fines to the European Commission because of failure to comply with EU regulations and directives.

The fines have now been paid in full, according to the Taoiseach Enda Kenny, who said the the state was required to pay fines in respect of two Court of Justice decisions which resulted in Ireland being levied with fines. He said that both related to environmental issues which he said were “now resolved”.

Pay penalties

The Court of Justice of the European Union hit Ireland with a €2 million upfront fine, as well as the daily penalties, for failing to comply with a 2009 ruling that it had failed to fulfil its obligations on wastewater disposed of in septic tanks.

This resulted in the government paying daily penalty fines of €12,000 for 54 days for failing to comply with EU rules on septic tanks, because the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had not completed its inspection plans on time.

The court also fined Ireland €1.5 million for failing to properly implement rules on environmental impact assessments.

Paid in full

In a reply to a question by the Labour Party’s Thomas Broughan, Kenny said that the fines had been paid in full in March of this year.

He said that to avoid any such fines in the future, the government had established an interdepartmental committee on EU engagement that he said “would ensure rigorous and ongoing examination of transposition and implementation of EU legislation”.

The committee is chaired by the Minister for State for European Affairs, Pascal Donohoe and is attended by senior members from all government departments, said the Taoiseach.

The committee is tasked with examining participation in the “shaping of EU legislation… including handling of infringements to minimise the risk of penalties and fines,” said Kenny.

Read: Ireland still paying €12k-a-day fine for septic tank compliance failure>

Read: Ireland fined €2 million over failure to impose septic tank rules>

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