Louth's Cllr Watters welcomes progress on illegal dumping legislation
North Louth councillor, Antóin Watters has welcomed the news that proposed legislation to allow CCTV and other technologies to be used once again by local authorities to catch illegal dumpers, will be enacted by government before the summer as part of a forthcoming bill.
Cllr Antóin Watters spoke to the Dundalk Democrat following confirmation that a bill, introduced by Senator Malcolm Byrne, will be folded into the government’s new Circular Economy Bill which will has just been introduced to the Oireachtas. The government bill will also look at measures to further promote recycling.
The bill had been introduced, according to Senator Byrne, because, while in theory there was no difficulty for local authorities to use CCTV or drones or other technologies to try deter environmental crimes, without underpinning legislation, there are data protection concerns. According to Senator Byrne, some local authorities have faced reprimand from the Data Protection Commission over failures to ensure appropriate protections were in place.
Cllr Watters said that "I would start by welcoming the progress made in relation to this legislation”, ”Local authorities especially Louth County Council have incurred huge costs cleaning up after illegal dumpers. The same can be said for other agencies such as Coillte.”
He continued, “Louth and especially the North Louth area has some of the most beautiful and scenic areas in the Country but unfortunately over the last number of years we have seen a huge increase in the illegal dumping from domestic waste to lorry loads of tyres.
“These new powers for Louth County Council will give us a better chance to tackle it once and for all. I intend to raise the issue with the Director of Operations at our Dundalk Municipal meeting next week as we need to start planning for its introduction later in the year.
"The new legislation will mean the Council can also apply for funding under the Anti Dumping initiative scheme which is available every year. Let's hope this is the start of the end of illegal dumping and the man in a van culture".
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