The Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan has today published legislation to impose multiple fees on more than 400,000 septic tank owners across the country, according to Fianna Fáil Environment Spokesperson Niall Collins.
Deputy Collins has said the Bill, published under the radar this morning, is riddled with hidden charges that could result in bills of thousands of euro for septic tank owners in the form of registration fees, multiple inspection fees and costly upgrade works.
Deputy Collins said: “Minister Hogan was clearly hoping that no-one would notice that such a controversial piece of legislation has been published, as he made absolutely no announcement and issued no press release to inform the public. In fact, it only came to light when Fianna Fáil TD Robert Troy asked when the legislation was due during Order of Business in the Dáil today.
“This Bill is even worse than we expected. Septic tank owners will have to pay €50 registration fee which appears to be reoccurring as registration will be required every 5 years. They could also face multiple inspection fees and will be liable for the full cost of any upgrade works required. Only the first inspection is free – if a homeowner wishes to appeal that inspection, they will have to pay €200 for a second inspection. If the inspector says the septic tank must be upgraded, the homeowner will have to pay for the upgrade works which could cost thousands of euro, and they may also have to pay a further €200 to have their tank inspected again after works are completed.
“Fianna Fáil will oppose this piece of legislation at every turn. It is a blatant attack on rural Ireland and the 400,000 homes dependent on septic tanks. People living in cities and towns have access to heavily subsidised sewerage systems and do not have to pay a cent for maintenance or upgrade works. I am calling on Minister Hogan to stand up and explain his decision to rural householders and to answer the many questions and concerns they have about the extra multiple bills they are facing next year.”