Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 01 December 2011

Venue: Morrison Room, AFBI, Hillsborough

The meeting began in public session at 12.31p.m.

1. Apologies

Apologies are listed above.

Mr McGlone joined the meeting at 12.33p.m.

2. Minutes

The minutes of the meeting on 24 November 2011 were agreed.

3. Matters Arising

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a Departmental reply to Committee queries on the NIEA Business Plan.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department asking for an updated list of ASSIs and an indication of why the Committee has not been kept informed of recent designations.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a letter from DFP in relation to the 2-stage approach to the January Monitoring Round.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department for Finance and Personnel asking what the de minimis threshold is.

 

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a Departmental reply to Committee queries on septic tanks.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department asking for the period of time that will be covered by its review and what impact they anticipate this having. The letter is also to ask for more information on the new proposals that are being introduced in January 2012.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department indicating the Committee’s concerns about the wording used in relation to a funding model to assist householders to bring their systems into compliance and would like reassurance that this model will go ahead.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department of Regional Development asking what has happened to proposals for amalgamating several septic tanks to create a small treatment plants. Also, to indicate the Committee’s concern that because of a high unit cost, NIW will now reject some of these proposals.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Department of Regional Development indicating the Committee’s concerns about the septic tank issue and informing them what action the Committee is taking.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a Departmental reply to Committee queries on planning application fees.

Mr McGlone left the meeting at 12.46p.m.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department stating that this reply did not answer the Committee concerns and asking the Department to comment on an actual scenario provided by a member.

Members noted a Ministerial reply in relation to Taxi Operator Licensing.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a Departmental reply to Committee queries on DVA targets it failed to achieve last year and key decisions on vehicle licensing and testing.

Mr McGlone rejoined the meeting at 12.55p.m.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department stating the Committee support for the services provided by DVA in Coleraine and urging the Department to make sure these services are retained.

Agreed: That Departmental officials brief the Committee on this issue at future meeting.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a Departmental reply to Committee queries on river basin management plans.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department asking for details of what projects have been funded to date under the Water Environment Community Award and to demonstrate the links between the projects funded. The letter is also to ask what group has replaced the Lough Neagh Advisory Group.

Agreed: That Departmental Officials brief the Committee on this issue at a future meeting.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with an Assembly Research paper on fracking as requested by members at a previous meeting.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department asking for a written briefing on its position in relation to this issue.

Agreed: That the research paper is published on the Assembly website.

Members noted a letter from DRD regarding its submission to the Department for Transport on the scoping document for a sustainable framework for United Kingdom aviation.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a letter from DETI in relation to the North South Interconnector.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department of Enterprise Trade and Investment asking if the Irish study is considering the cost of undergrounding the full project or just the area within its jurisdiction.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a Departmental reply to Committee queries on Bus Operator Licensing.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department asking for more details of the “red tape challenge” referred to in the reply and for further information on the meeting with CTANI which was supposed to have taken place on 29 September.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a Committee Christmas card list.

Agreed: That the relevant amendments are made to the list.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a follow up letter from Northern Ireland Association of Independent Recyclers following the group’s briefing on 17 November.

Agreed: That the Committee will take evidence on this issue from the 3 Waste Management Groups and the Department early in the New Year and that legal advice will be sought on the lines of questioning that may or may not be pursued by the Committee while the procurement process is still live.

Ms Bradley joined the meeting at 1.33p.m.

Members noted a list of planning policy statements as requested at a previous Committee meeting.

Members noted a Departmental reply to Committee queries on Departmental energy use.

4. Consultations

Consultation on Defacement Removal Notices.

Agreed: That a copy of the synopsis of responses is requested and that a letter is sent to the Department asking for clarification as to whether or not the legislation includes graffiti on the walls of privately owned property.

Consultation on review of death certification in Northern Ireland – synopsis of responses.

Agreed: That the Committee is content for the Department to proceed with the policy.

Consultation on guidance for district councils for new litter guidance – synopsis of responses.

Agreed: That the Committee is content for the Department to proceed with the policy.

Consultation on draft guidance on gating orders legislation.

Agreed: That a copy of the synopsis of responses is requested and that a letter is sent to the Department expressing the Committee concerns about the expectation this legislation will create and noting that this legislation will have no cost recovery.

5. Statutory Rules

SR 2011/398 – The Planning (Fees) (Amendment No 2) Regulations (NI) 2011.

Question put and agreed: That the Committee for the Environment has considered SR 2011/398 – The Planning (Fees) (Amendment No 2) Regulations (NI) 2011 and has no objection to the rule subject to the Examiner of Statutory Rules report.       

6. Arc21 briefing on inquiry onto used tyre disposal

A Representative from Arc21 briefed the Committee and answered members’ questions on the inquiry into used tyre disposal.

Mr Weir left the meeting at 1.55p.m.

Lord Morrow left the meeting at 2.00p.m.

The main areas of discussion were the liaison between councils and the NIEA, producer responsibility and enforcement.

7. Kerr’s Tyres briefing on inquiry into used tyre disposal

A Representative from Kerr’s Tyres briefed the Committee and answered members’ questions on the inquiry into used tyre disposal.

The main areas of discussion were regulation of the industry, enforcement and used tyre sales.

8. SWaMP 2008 briefing on inquiry into used tyre disposal

Representatives from SWaMP 2008 briefed the Committee and answered members’ questions on the inquiry into used tyre disposal.

Mr Clarke left the meeting at 2.46p.m.

Mr Hamilton joined the meeting at 2.46p.m.

The main areas of discussion were licensing of tyre retailers and producer responsibility scheme.

9. Correspondence

Request to brief the Committee from the Oil Fired Technical Association on the Renewable Heat Incentive for Northern Ireland.

Agreed: That a subgroup meeting is arranged.

Departmental response to correspondence from the Culture Arts Leisure Committee regarding the review into PPS 16.

Agreed: That the response is forwarded to the Culture Arts and Leisure Committee.

Ministerial response to correspondence from the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development in relation to the recent Departmental press release on slurry spreading.

Agreed: That the response is forwarded to the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development.

Members noted a copy of Northern Ireland Audit Office Report on DOE.

Agreed: That the response is forwarded to the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development.

Departmental response to queries forwarded on behalf of the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee regarding Farmers for Action.

Agreed: That the response is forwarded to the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development.

Letter to the Department from the Chair of the ARD Committee regarding the consultation on Enabling Legislation for National Parks.

Agreed: That the letter is forwarded to the Department for comment.

The Committee agreed to note the following correspondence:

Copy of DOE Investment Strategy for Northern Ireland Investing Activity Report.

Department of Justice response to Committee request for information on reducing departmental energy use.

10. AOB

The Chairperson informed members that the Committee will meeting groups in Dublin on Thursday 8 December as part of its inquiry unto used tyre disposal.

11. Date, time and place of next meeting

The next meeting will be held on Thursday 15 December at 10.00am in the Senate Chamber, Parliament Buildings.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 3.06p.m

Anna Lo MLA
Chairperson, Committee for the Environment
15 December 2011

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