Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 31 May 2012

Venue: Senate Chamber, Parliament Buildings

The meeting began in public session at 10:00am.

1. Apologies

Apologies are listed above.

Mrs Kelly joined the meeting at 10:01am.

Mr Elliott joined the meeting at 10:01am.

2. Minutes

The minutes of the meeting on 24 May 2012 were agreed.

3. Matters arising 

Members noted a Departmental reply to Committee queries on post project evaluations.

Members noted a Departmental reply to Committee queries on Strangford Lough byelaw.

Mr Campbell joined the meeting at 10:04am.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a Departmental reply to Committee queries on the Cross Departmental Working Group on wild fires. 

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department asking why a consensus was unable to be reached as to who should have lead responsibility on this Group and informing them the Committee believe that NIEA should undertake this role.  Also ask what level of priority this issue is afforded in the Department’s work programme.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a copy of the Examiner of Statutory Rules report on the Local Government Pension Scheme (Amendment) Regulations 2012 and a Departmental correction slip.

Agreed: That the Committee is content with the Departmental correction slip.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with papers from the Oireachtas Committee on retail trade in border areas.

Agreed: That a meeting with the Oireachtas Committee is arranged for September 2012.

Mr Weir joined the meeting at 10:26am.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a reply from Arc 21 on waste management process.

Agreed: That the issue of Waste Management is added to the agenda for the Minister’s briefing at the meeting on 28 June 2012.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department asking that they consider this issue strategically on a 26 council basis and also ask for an update on the action plan from the latest Gateway Review.

Agreed: That the Committee considers a study visit to a recycling plant

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a note of a meeting held with rural taxi operators.

Agreed: That a copy of the note is forwarded to the Department for comment.

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with an updated legislative timetable.

Agreed: That the issue of the timing of the Climate Change Bill is added to the agenda for the Minister’s briefing at the meeting on 28 June 2012.

4. Consultation

Synopsis of responses with Departmental response to consultation on Enabling Legislation for National Parks.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department requesting on oral briefing on Enabling Legislation for National Parks.

Consultation on Noise Mapping and Action Planning Technical Guidance.

Agreed: That the Committee is content for the Department to issue this consultation and a synopsis of responses is requested.

5. Departmental briefing on June Monitoring Round

Departmental officials briefed the Committee and answered members’ questions on the June Monitoring Round.

The main areas of discussion were the provisional outturns and the June Monitoring Round.

Lord Morrow declared an interest as a member of Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough Council.

Mr Hamilton joined the meeting at 10:54am.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to the Department informing them that the Committee is content to support the Department’s bid.  Also ask for further information on local government reform transition costs, plans for additional funding for the process in the future, beyond 2012 – 2013 and when the review of the PWC report will be ready.

6. Marine Bill

Members noted a copy of an e mail from Newtownards Wildfowlers Association on the Marine Bill.

7. Marine Bill – informal clause by clause consideration

The Committee commenced informal clause by clause consideration of the Marine Bill with discussion on issues raised by stakeholders in relation to Clauses 1 – 12.

The main areas of discussion were the Northern Ireland Inshore Region, Marine Planning and the designation of Marine Conservation Zones.

Agreed: In relation to Clause 1, that a research paper is requested on the robustness of other legislation that places a duty on public authorities to take sustainable development and climate change into account when implementing the Marine Act.

Mr Campbell left the meeting at 11:30am.
 

Agreed: In relation to Clause 4, that the Department considers adding the Departmental website as an outlet for publishing information and informing consultees and to consider rewording so that a marine plan cannot be withdrawn unless another has been or will be drawn up.

Mrs Kelly left the meeting at 11:57am.

Mr Hazzard left the meeting at 11:58am.

Mrs Kelly re-joined the meeting at 12:14pm.

Agreed: In relation to Clause 8, that the Department considers amending the 6 week timeframe for appeals, the reference to 2 specific grounds for appeal and what impact this might have on other grounds and gives a further explanation of the established Judicial Review process.

Agreed: In relation to Clause 11,that the Department provides further information on the designation of historic sites under MCZs.

Mr Molloy left the meeting at 12:42pm.

Mr Elliott left the meeting at 12:43pm.

Agreed: In relation to Clause 12, that the Department considers the inclusion of the word ‘cultural’ and considers amending the word ‘may’ for ‘shall’; both in subsection 7.

8. Correspondence

Correspondence from Fermanagh District Council regarding Local Government Reform.

Agreed: That the Committee awaits a response from the Department on funding issues relating to RPA before forwarding a copy of the response to Fermanagh District Council. 

Departmental response to queries from the Committee for Health, Social Services and Public Safety in relation to Business in the Community Workplace 20:20 initiative.

Agreed: That a copy of the reply is forwarded to the Committee for Health, Social Services and Public Safety.

Correspondence from the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development regarding the steps the Department of the Environment are taking to tackle Road Safety in Rural areas.

Agreed: That a copy of the correspondence is forwarded to the Department for comment.

Correspondence from the National Beef Association regarding the management of ESA’s, ASSI’s, SAC’s and SPA’s.

Agreed: That a copy of the correspondence is forwarded to the Department for comment.

Correspondence from Mr Edward Cook regarding the potential breaches of the EU Sea Directive 2001/42/EC by the Department of the Environment.

Agreed: That a copy of the correspondence is forwarded to the Department for comment.

Copy of briefing paper forwarded by the Committee for Social Development from Bryson Charitable Group on building control fees relating to the Warm Homes Scheme.

Agreed: That a copy of the briefing paper is forwarded to the Department for comment. 

Correspondence from the Committee for Regional Development requesting a briefing from NIEA in relation to their inquiry into unfinished roads.

Agreed: That a copy of the request is forwarded to the Department  

Members noted the following correspondence:

Copy of IMTAC Work Programme 2012/2013 and Flexible Transport Paper.

Article 31 – P/2009/1490/F

Email from Northern Ireland Environment Link (NIEL) detailing links to on-line presentations made at the ‘Opening Doors’ conference.

12. Any other business.

13. Date, time and place of next meeting

The next meeting will be held on Thursday 7 June 2012 at 10:00am in the Ecos Visitor and Conference Centre, Ballymena

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12:59pm.

Anna Lo, MLA
Chairperson, Committee for the Environment
07 June 2012

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