Hogan sticks with €300 septic tank fee
Published 24/06/2011 | 05:00
MORE than 400,000 families will be hit with the controversial annual septic tank charge after farmers failed yesterday to persuade Environment Minister Phil Hogan to scrap the plan.
The charge has been mooted at up to €300 a year from next year for the inspection and maintenance of the tanks.
Many homeowners could be forced to replace their tanks at a cost of several thousand euro if the licensing authority decides they are not working properly and pose a risk to the public.
However, Mr Hogan said yesterday that the cost to farmers and householders with septic tanks would be "as cheap as possible".
He accepted that most septic tanks were working well, but said that in order to comply with a European directive and court ruling, the Government would have to monitor and inspect them to ensure this was the case.
Service and management agreements would have to be put in place or Ireland would be back before the European Court of Justice to face a €40m fine in 2015 and daily fines afterwards.
Following a meeting with Mr Hogan yesterday, the Irish Farmers' Association repeated its opposition to the proposed charge.
IFA environment and rural affairs chairman Pat Farrell said he was strongly opposed to any new legislation on septic tanks that would impose additional costs on rural households.
Tens of thousands of houses in rural areas are believed to have septic tanks that do not comply with EU regulations. on waste water.