Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2012/2013

Date: 06 June 2013

Venue: Senate Chamber, Parliament Buildings

The meeting began in public session at 10:06am.

1. Apologies

Apologies were indicated as above.

2. Minutes

The minutes from the meeting of 4th June 2013 were agreed.

3. Matters Arising

3.1 The Committee noted a reply from the Department on River Basin Management Plans.

3.2 The Committee noted a Departmental update on Cross Departmental Working Group on Climate Change.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department for a timeline on the introduction of the Climate Change Bill and an indicative date for the publication of the draft adaptation strategy. 

3.3 The Committee noted a copy of the Co-operation and Working Together (CAWT) Steering to Safety summary report.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward a copy of the report to the Department for comment. The Committee also agreed to write to CAWT to ask if there was a more recent update to this report.

3.4 The Committee noted a reply from the Department on Bus Operator Licensing.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department expressing its dissatisfaction at the length of time taken to finalise proposals and ask that the issue is progressed as soon as possible.

3.5 The Committee noted an update on EU roadworthiness proposals.

3.6 The Committee noted a report of the meeting with the Windwatch Umbrella Group

Agreed: The Committee was content to forward a note of the meeting to the Department for comment

Members were informed that a Committee meeting has been arranged with the Windwatch group and the Northern Ireland Renewable Industry Group on June 27th. The meeting will take place in Omagh.

3.7 The Chairperson informed members of the recent meeting with representatives of Pyromex in relation to gasification.

Mr Milne joined the meeting at 10:24am

3.8 The Committee considered a letter from the Department in relation to the recent closure of a waste facility in the North West.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to request a briefing from the Department on this issue as soon as possible.

4. Proposal for secondary legislation

SL1 – The Detergents (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2013

Agreed: The Committee noted the Statutory Instrument and agreed to write to the Department to clarify what the implications are for a change from a percentage to weight in grams of phosphorous permitted in detergents.

5. Proposal for secondary legislation

SL1 – The Smoke Control Areas (Authorised Fuels) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2013

Agreed: That the Committee is content for the Department to proceed to make the Statutory Rule.

6. Planning Bill – consideration of final report

The Committee agreed to move to agenda item 7.

The Committee considered the final draft of the report on the Planning Bill.

Agreed: The Committee was content with the amendments made to the report following its last meeting (4th June) and agreed that the report should be ordered to print.

Agreed: The Committee agreed that it was content for an extract from the minutes of  this meeting to be included in its Report unapproved.

Agreed: The Committee agreed the wording of a Press Release to be issued on the publication of its Report.

7. Correspondence   

The Committee agreed to move to agenda item 8.

The Committee noted the following correspondence:

Copy of May 2013 Investment Strategy for Northern Ireland – DOE Investing    Activity report.

Copy of the spring issue of Business in the Community CR Matters.

Letter to the Department from the Committee for Education seeking an update on its work on school buffer zones.

EC Pilot letter regarding Compliance with the Habitats Directive.

The Committee also noted a number of invitations.

8. Forward Work Programme

The Committee agreed to move to agenda item 9.

Members noted the Committee’s Forward Work Programme.

Agreed: The Committee considered the possibility of carrying out an inquiry into    the water management at Lough Neagh. The Committee agreed to write to the Ministerial sub group dealing with this issue to request a copy of their Terms of Reference and details of the number of meetings they have held.

Agreed: The Committee also agreed to consider arranging a planning day after the summer recess. 

9. Any other business

The Committee agreed to move to agenda item 10.

The Committee discussed the issue of taxi operator licensing as highlighted in recent media reports.    

Mr Elliott joined the meeting at 10:46am

Agreed: The Committee agreed to request a briefing from Departmental officials on this issue at next week’s meeting.

Mr Elliott joined the meeting at 10:46am

10.  Departmental briefing on Carrier Bags Bill

Donald Starritt (Head of Policy and Legislation Team), Simon Webb (Project Manager) and Jennifer McCay (Policy and Legislation team) briefed the Committee in relation to the Carrier Bags Bill.

The main areas discussed were the purpose of the Bill and the possible implications that could arise for traders.

11. Date, time and place of next meeting

The next meeting will be held on Thursday 13th June 2013 at 10:00am in the    Senate Chamber, Parliament Buildings.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 11:31pm.

Anna Lo, MLA
Chairperson, Committee for the Environment
13th June 2013

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