Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the procedure for persons who through a force majeure situation are unable to renew their off-road declaration within the requested renewal date; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
REPLY (Oct 7, 2014)
Minister Alan Kelly:
The Non-Use of Motor Vehicles Act 2013 came into effect on 1 July 2013. The primary purpose of the Act is to replace the system whereby a vehicle was declared off the road retrospectively with a system under which the vehicle must be declared off the road in advance. The provision for retrospective declarations had become a means of evasion of motor tax.
The new arrangements have been fully in force since 1 October 2013. These only allow for a future declaration which must be made in the month before tax falls due, i.e. the declaration must be made prospectively. The declaration of non-use can be made at any time during that month, either via the local motor tax office or online, and is free of charge. Exemptions in particular cases are not provided for.
Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for the; Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the number of prosecutions that have been made in Waterford County and nationally since the promulgation into Irish law of the nitrates directive.
REPLY (Sept 17, 2014)
Minister Alan Kelly:
The Nitrates Directive is given legal effect by the European Union (Good Agricultural Practice for Protection of Waters) Regulations 2014, known as the ‘Nitrates Regulations’. Local authorities, acting under the general supervision of the Environmental Protection Agency ( EPA ), are the competent authorities for enforcing the Nitrates Regulations. The EPA collates and publishes data on enforcement activity.
To date, no prosecutions have been taken by Waterford County Council under these regulations. A total of 27 prosecutions have been initiated nationwide since 2007.
A significant number of non-compliance issues are resolved without the need for judicial sanction. Where instances of non-compliance are recorded during farm inspections, the EPA has instructed local authorities to take appropriate enforcement actions. Local authorities are also obliged under the Nitrates Regulations to cross-report non-compliances to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, who may impose a financial penalty on a land owner’s agricultural payments.