Mr. John Gormley, TD, Minister for the Environment, Heritage
and Local Government, has announced a special allocation of
€23.4 million from his Department under the Local Government
The purpose of the allocation is to help local authorities
both with running costs on their most recently-provided water
and sewerage treatment plants and to help authorities carry
out the necessary water and wastewater sampling to meet standards.
Earlier this year, the Minister made record general purposes
grants approaching €1 billion available to local authorities
from the Local Government Fund.
Recent years have seen record levels of investment in new
water services infrastructure. There is also growing emphasis
on meeting and enforcing quality standards, as reflected in
new Drinking Water and Wastewater Discharge Licensing Regulations
introduced in 2007.
“The new infrastructure and improved water and wastewater
treatment standards are key steps towards ensuring that Ireland’s
drinking water and water in the environment are of the highest
quality" - said the Minister.
€10 million from the €23.4 million package will directly
contribute towards local authorities’ operation and maintenance
costs on recently-completed water and wastewater treatment
plants. The balance of €13.4 million will be used to offset
other expenses - including sampling costs to establish compliance
with drinking water and wastewater effluent standards and
licence applications to the Environmental Protection Agency
for wastewater discharges.
It will also compensate local authorities for the special
transitional water charging arrangements agreed by the Government
earlier this year for schools, pending introduction of volumetric
charges in 2010.
“The €10 million allocation towards the cost of operating
new treatment plants is double what was provided in 2007”
- the Minister said. He added that he was also providing an
extra €13.4 million this year for quality sampling by local
authorities to establish compliance with national and EU standards
for drinking water and wastewater effluent.
“Allocations have been weighted towards local authorities
who are meeting their sampling obligations” - the Minister
said. “I will expect all authorities to act responsibly and
efficiently and, in future, to prioritise their own resources
towards achieving high standards to protect public health
and preserve water quality in our rivers, lakes and seas.”
To download a Table showing the proposed allocations - Click