European Court of Justice fines Ireland millions for breaking environmental laws

Ian Carey News, Press Releases

The Environmental Pillar, a coalition of 26 national environmental groups, warns that the fines are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to expenses incurred by the Irish people for environmental damage in our country.

The European Court ruled on two separate cases. For failing to put in place sufficient standards on environmental impact assessments, Ireland has been fined €1.5 million. For failing to put in place proper legislation on septic tank regulations, Ireland has been fined an initial payment of €2 million plus a daily penalty of €12,000 (equivalent to €4.38 million per year) until proper measures are adopted.

‘The cost of ignoring the environment is far greater than these fines,’ said Michael Ewing, spokesperson for the Environmental Pillar. ‘Damage is being done to our natural resources on a daily basis and there will be huge long-term economic costs in trying to fix the problems.’

‘The Court’s decision is a big wake-up call to our government that if we don’t protect our natural resources, we risk the economic security and health of the Irish people. We also stand to lose millions from our tourism and export industries with the damage to Ireland’s green image,’ Mr Ewing continued.

Many communities in Galway will remember the economic damage caused by water pollution in recent years. The tourism industry suffered greatly as tourists stayed away, and an international pharmaceutical company decided against building a factory in Galway due to the water quality issues.

For failing to comply with European environmental standards, Ireland must now pay the equivalent of the annual wage for about 130 Special Needs Assistants. Alternatively, the money could have been used to cover the cost of 128 hospital beds for a month.

 

Notes:

The estimated cost of the annual wage for 130 Special Needs Assistants was calculated for a Special Needs Assistant (Point 7) who started their post after 1/1/2011. Source

The estimated cost of 128 hospital beds for a month was based on reported HSE estimations of €909 per bed per night. Source 1, Source 2

Ian CareyEuropean Court of Justice fines Ireland millions for breaking environmental laws