Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2008/2009

Date: 07 May 2009

COMMITTEE FOR THE ENVIRONMENT

MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
THURSDAY 7 MAY 2009,
SENATE CHAMBER, PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS

Present:
Mr Roy Beggs
Mr Cathal Boylan (Deputy Chairperson)
Mr Trevor Clarke
Mr David Ford
Mr David McClarty
Mr Ian McCrea
Mr Patsy McGlone (Chairperson)

In Attendance: 
Dr Alex McGarel (Assembly Clerk) 
Mr William Long (Assistant Clerk)
Mr Sean McCann (Clerical Supervisor)
Mr Steven Mealey (Clerical Officer)

Apologies: 
Mr Tommy Gallagher
Mr Daithi McKay
Mr Alastair Ross
Mr Peter Weir

The meeting began in public session at 10.36 a.m.

1. Apologies

Apologies are detailed above.

2. Minutes

Agreed – the draft minutes of the meeting on 30 April were agreed subject to a minor amendment.

3. Matters Arising

Quarry Products Association NI Letter:

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a letter from the Quarry Products Association NI (QPANI) asking for the Committee to oppose the introduction of legislation increasing planning application fees.

Agreed: That representatives from QPANI are invited to brief the Committee on this issue at a future meeting.

Draft Regulations and Guidance Implementing the Environmental Liability Directive:

The Chairperson informed members that the Minister has indicated that the Department aims to have an SL1 and synopsis of responses to the consultation on the above regulations with the Committee by 4 June 2009 and that the Committee’s clearance would be required by 25 June 2009 at the very latest.

Agreed: That a synopsis of responses to the consultation are requested from the Department and that officials are invite to brief the Committee on this issue at a future meeting.

Proposed Timetable for New Waste Bill:

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a proposed timetable for the new Waste Bill for information. The Waste Bill policy consultation closes on 3 July 2009 and members will be provided with a synopsis of responses in due course.

Agreed: That a copy of the timetable is sent to the 3 waste organisations – Swamp 2008, Acr21 and North West Region Waste Management Group.

DRD Response Regarding Proposals for the Extension of Designated Shellfish Waters Areas in Northern Ireland:

The Chairperson informed members that they had been provided with a copy of the response from the Department for Regional Development on the issues raised by Aquaculture Initiative on the above proposals.

Agreed: That officials from the DOE, DRD and DARD are invited to brief the Committee on this issue at a future meeting.

4. Climate Change Inquiry – Oral Evidence from Committee on Climate Change (CCC)

Agreed: That all submissions to the Inquiry are published on the Assembly website.

Representatives from the Committee on Climate Change briefed the Committee and answered members’ questions on climate change.

Mr Beggs left the meeting at 11.05a.m.

The main areas of discussion were increased oil and gas costs, energy efficiency in buildings, renewables, the implementation of planning policies, the level of contact the CCC has with the devolved administrations and power generation including the nuclear option.

5. Climate Change Inquiry – Oral Evidence from Sustainable Development Commission

Representatives from the Sustainable Development Commission briefed the Committee and answered members’ questions on climate change.

The main areas of discussion were public transport, departmental policy, decentralisation of public sector jobs, energy efficiency in government buildings, comparisons between Northern Ireland and the other devolved UK administrations, the concept of a ‘green new deal’ and the finance required for any climate change measures being introduced.

Agreed: That a letter is sent to all government departments asking for an update on the work they are doing to ensure Programme for Government targets are met.

6. Climate Change Inquiry – Oral Evidence from Met Office

Representatives from the Met Office briefed the Committee and answered members’ questions on climate change.

The main areas of discussion were cyclical increases in temperature and the accuracy of Met Office forecasts.

The Chairperson suspended the meeting at 12.31p.m. 
The meeting resumed at 12.46p.m. with the following members present – Mr McGlone, Mr Boylan, Mr Clarke, Mr Ford, Mr McCrea, MrMcClarty.

7. Climate Change Inquiry – Oral Evidence from Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action (NICVA)

A Representative from NICVA briefed the Committee and answered members’ questions on climate change.

The Chairperson suspended the meeting at 1.20p.m. and informed members that, due to time constraints, the meeting would move to Room 144. 
The meeting resumed at 1.25p.m. with the following members present – Mr McGlone, Mr Boylan, Mr Clarke, Mr Ford, Mr McCrea.

8.Climate Change Inquiry – Oral Evidence from the Department of the Environment (DOE)

DOE officials briefed the Committee and answered members’ questions on climate change.

Mr Clarke left the meeting at 1.45p.m.

The main areas of discussion were economic growth and departmental policies, DOE Climate Change Unit initiatives and co-operation with other government departments, renewables, responsibility for PSA targets and co-operation with the Committee on Climate Change in developing Northern Ireland sectoral targets.

9. Correspondence

Agreed: That, due to time constraints, authority to deal with the correspondence is delegated to the Chairperson and the Committee Clerk.

  1. E-mail from Jason Marandas, Cisco Webex, to the Committee regarding the Assembly’s initiatives to reduce travel related expenses and increase employee productivity.
  2. E-mail from Zsuzsa Horvath, PA to Bjorn Lomborg regarding the newest op-ed by Bjorn Lomborg that was published in the New York Times.
  3. E-mail from John Logue, AJT Tachograph Services, regarding European Regulation (EC) NO 561/2006 on drivers’ hours – Correspondence from Linwoods.
  4. E-mail from Alex Kay, BSi British Standards inviting the Committee to comment on PAS 402 consultation.
  5. Letter from the Department informing the Committee of UK wide fee increases affecting Vehicle Identity Checks and Reduced Pollution Certificate tests carried out by the Driver and Vehicle Agency.
  6. Letter from the Department regarding Theft of Enforcement files – Downpatrick Planning Division.
  7. Letter from Gordon Best, Regional Director QPANI (Quarry Products Association (NI) Limited), providing details and feedback regarding their recent training day for Planning Service Officials.
  8. Members noted the following DOE Press Releases / Publications:

“CBI Northern Ireland, Going the distance: the low-carbon economy roadmap .”

“Environmental Link NI, policy priorities for Northern Ireland’s environment.”

“Equality Focus Newsletter – 28th April 2009”

12. Date, time and place of next meeting

The next meeting will be held on Thursday, 14 May 2009 at 10.30am in The Senate Chamber, Parliament Buildings.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 1.56 p.m.

Patsy McGlone
Chairperson, Committee for the Environment
14 May 2009

Find MLAs

Find your MLAs

Locate MLAs

Search

News and Media Centre

Visit the News and Media Centre

Read press releases, watch live and archived video

Find out more

Follow the Assembly

Follow the Assembly on our social media channels

Keep up-to-date with the Assembly

Find out more

Useful Contacts

Contact us

Contacts for different parts of the Assembly

Contact Us