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Tag Archives: Department of the Environment

Fire without smoke countrywide

On the 25th anniversary of the introduction of the smoky coal ban for Dublin, Minister for the Environment, Alan Kelly outlined plans to extend the health benefits of the smoky coal ban nationwide. It is expected that it will come into effect in 2018. At present, the ban covers Ennis/Clarecastle and areas of South East Clare bordering Limerick City. ‘It is right to extend the benefits of the ban on smoky coal nationwide. These benefits include very significant reductions in respiratory problems and indeed mortalities from the effects of burning smoky coal. In the region of 8,000 lives have been saved in Dublin since the introduction of the smoky coal ban in 1990 and further health and economic benefits, estimated at €53 million per year, will be realised when the ban is extended nationwide,” Minister Kelly said in making the announcement in Dublin. Minister Kelly went on to say that the success of the introduction of the ban in Dublin, …

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Building control regulations under review

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Paudie Coffey, together with Minister Alan Kelly have initiated a review of the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014 (S.I. No. 9 of 2014). The new regulations commenced in March last year and the department is now initiating a review, as the regulations have now been operational for 12 months. The review will focus particularly on the cost burden involved for one-off houses, including self-build, and extensions to existing dwellings. Minister Coffey said,”The regulations were introduced last year to ensure competence and professionalism in construction and to bring accountability to bear within the industry following the scourge of defective building works that had become all too common. Owners, builders, construction professionals and local authorities have gained a lot of practical experience of the new regulatory requirements on some 6,000 projects, big and small, that commenced since March 1, 2014. I am confident that a lot of learning will come through in the …

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Putting the Market under cover

A €1.75m loan for the proposed redevelopment of the market area in Ennis has been approved by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government Arrangements are being made to draw down the loan from a lending institution. The Council says the detailed design stage for the proposed project is currently being finalised. The project will go to tender during the first quarter of 2015. Mayor of Ennis  Johnny Flynn welcomed the news, describing the proposed development as “a 21st century project for a town with its origins in the 12th century”. “I initiated a request for a feasibility study for a covered market in 2011, particularly in light of the successful Limerick milk market project. Four years on, I am delighted to see that Phase One of the project is being progressed and the council is putting Munster’s largest town on the path to once again becoming the go to town for the people of Clare and the …

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Funding boost for local groups

Community groups and environmental organisations across County Clare are to enjoy a share of €22,000 under the 2014 Local Agenda 21 Environmental Partnership Fund. The fund, which is administered by Clare County Council in conjunction with the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, will benefit 15 local projects and schemes that are seeking to increase local levels of environmental awareness and help communities become more sustainable. Senator Tony Mulchay said, “This fund has supported a wide variety of local projects and schemes down through the years, including community gardens, allotments and compost schemes, rainwater harvesting systems, educational initiatives and environmental exhibitions. Each of these projects has helped to further improve the sustainability and physical appearance of the respective communities.” The projects include: – Lorraine Power: Implementing best practice environmental projects for Tidy Towns groups (€2,500) – Laghtagoona Residents Assoc.: Estate Enhancement Project (€2,450) – East Clare Co Operative: Future of Food – 1010 for 2010 Documentary (€2,450) – …

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Fire Safety Week highlights winter risks

With the sudden onset of cold weather, Clare’s chief fire officer, Adrian Kelly has called on people to ensure their smoke alarms are in good working order. Speaking at the launch of National Fire Safety Week 2014, Mr Kelly issued a timely reminder that the risk of fire breaking out in the home significantly increases during winter. The Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government is hosting the 13th annual all-island initiative through to next Monday, in association with the Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service and locally with Clare County Fire & Rescue Service. Mr Kelly said that unclean chimney flues and unguarded open fires are amongst the most common causes of domestic fires in Clare each winter. He noted that the theme of this year’s National Fire Safety Week campaign is “Let’s STOP fire together”. He explained,”The ‘STOP’ in the campaign slogan captures the key behaviours that will help people stop fires starting and therefore reducing the number of …

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Department of Environment to deal with storm costs

Clare County Council has received confirmation that recoupment of costs incurred by the council during its response to a series of damaging storms during the period  January 27  to  February 17 last will now be dealt with by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government. The Council said that it incurred costs totalling €779,870 in its response to the severe weather and the clean-up works and necessary immediate works carried out during the period. Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, John Crowe said, “My colleagues and I have relentlessly pursued recoupment of these costs and I am delighted that the department is now in a position to recoup these costs to the Council. We will continue to progress the programmes necessary to deal with the effects of the storms on communities particularly along the western seaboard.” Clare County Council chief executive, Tom Coughlan confirmed that the local authority “will now proceed to submit a claim as requested by the …

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€14.7m in rural funding on hold

By Dan Danaher RURAL development funding, worth an estimated €14.7 million for community projects throughout Clare, will be on hold for at least two years, Clare Local Development Company has warned. While the budget for the next Clare Leader programme is still not finalised in advance of the tendering process, chief executive officer, Doirin Graham estimates Clare should get at least €10 million, out of a total amount of €250 million, based on the population size and rural nature of the county. Stating the last grant approval for a Clare project was made last summer, Ms Graham said the best-case scenario is that funding will be made available from mid-2015. Ms Graham also warned that €200,000 of grant aid would be lost to the county, unless Environment Minister Phil Hogan allows the non-for-profit company to reallocate any unspent funds in 2014. Clare Leader estimates the total loss for the county will be €14.7 million, as every €5 million in rural …

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Asbestos investigators visiting dump sites

By Peter O’Connell CLARE County Council has appointed retired South Tipperary county manager, Ned O’Connor and retired Cork county engineer, Ned Flynn to carry out an independent investigation into the council’s dumping of asbestos at a number of sites in West Clare. The duo have already visited the asbestos dump sites with Clare council engineers. News of the dumping of asbestos was revealed in The Clare Champion back in March and in a statement to The Champion on Wednesday, Clare County Council said phase one of the work to remove asbestos is substantially complete. “Tenders for phase two works are to be returned next week and then assessed by Clare County Council and then phase two works will proceed,” the statement added. The council is unable to give an approximate timescale as to when the investigation and clean-up will be complete. “The independent investigation is underway and it will be a matter for the investigation team to inquire into the …

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