RE: Moville/Greencastle WWTP and ECJ Ruling c50 – 09‏

 

From: Antoinette.Long
To: endacraig
Cc: Paul.SPEIGHT

 

Dear Mr. Craig,

 

Thank you for your e-mail below dated 20 January 2016.

 

I apologise if there was a misunderstanding on our part.  You have sent quite a number of e-mails recently to both me and Mr. Speight which may have confused me; it seemed to me that you were requesting access to the correspondence from the Irish authorities in your e-mail initially sent on 12 January, since you stated “we need to see this communication”.  This is what my 19 January e-mail responded to.

 

In terms of an update on the third aspect of your complaint (as described in my e-mail to you dated 28 July 2015 – this is what I understand you are requesting), I can inform you that we discussed the matter of possible changes to the legislation related to waste water discharge licences with the Irish authorities at our meeting with them on 17 November.  During that meeting, I Ireland undertook to make the necessary changes to ensure compliance with the EIA Directive (and the judgment in Case C-50) in the case of licensing and planning permission for waste water treatment plants.  We are confident that the necessary amendments will be made, but as with all legislation, this may take some more time.

 

In the meantime, as far as the plans for a waste water treatment plant in Moville are concerned, I can reiterate what I stated in my 28 July 2015 message to you.  In that message I stated that “Irish Water doesn’t have a licence from the EPA yet.  As far as we are concerned this means that they cannot proceed with the construction.  Furthermore, we are of the view that the EIA Directive applies in a case such as Moville in that an EIA screening process was required.” As far as we are aware, no further decisions have been taken in relation to Moville. We would expect that no decision would be taken before the new legislation is in place.

 

Can you please let me know as soon as possible whether you wish me to proceed with our standard “access to documents” procedure in relation to the correspondence with the Irish authorities, as referred to in my 19 January e-mail?

 

I hope that the above is helpful and I apologise once again for any misunderstanding.

 

Regards,

Antoinette Long

 

 

From: HARKIN Marian
Sent: 21 January 2016 09:40
To: LONG Antoinette (EC)
Cc: SPEIGHT Paul (EC)
Subject: Mr Enda Craig complaint
Importance: High

 

Dear Antoinette,

 

As you know, I have been liaising with Mr Enda Craig regarding his complaint to the European Commission against Ireland. Mr Craig has informed me that the Irish authorities (with whom he has been in contact) met with European Commission officials on November 17th and discussed the implications of the C-50 judgement in the context of the 2007 Waste Water Discharge Regulations. I have also been informed by Mr Craig that prior to Christmas the Irish authorities wrote to the European Commission regarding the implications of the C-50 judgement on foot of independent expert planning advice they received. Mr Craig is requesting an update on his complaint (as I am) and requests to be informed of the discussions that took place in regard to his complaint at the November 17th meeting in Dublin.

 

Furthermore, Mr Craig is rightly concerned that if the Irish authorities propose changes to the relevant legislation that the European Commission will not pursue his specific complaint further. First of all, we know from experience that Ireland claimed on an earlier occasion that it would comply with the C50-09 judgement and did not do so. This has meant that in the intervening period the court judgement was disregarded by the Irish authorities. Therefore, a promise or commitment by the Irish authorities is not sufficient. Secondly, because the Irish authorities have not complied with C50-09, EU legislation continues to be disregarded. At the very least, the European Commission should insist that any decisions taken in the intervening period (i.e. between the Irish commitment to implement the judgement and the actual date on which they will do so) must fully respect the judgement. Under no circumstances should the Irish authorities be allowed to flout EU legislation and then disregard the court judgement while pretending to the European Commission that they were in line with the judgement. If such a circumstance were to arise and decisions taken (illegally) in the intervening period were allowed to stand, it would make a mockery of the court judgment and bring the Commission into disrepute. It would also clearly indicate that EU citizens could not have faith in the Commission and the ECJ to vindicate their rights.

 

As an MEP, I consider this issue to be of the highest importance and one that goes to the core of EU legislation and in this context, am asking that the European Commission ensure that the Irish authorities comply fully with the C50-09 judgement from the time they committed to doing so.

 

Thank you for your time and attention on this crucial matter and I look forward to your response.

 

Best,

Marian

 

 

Kind regards,

Marian Harkin MEP

European Parliament

 

 

 

 

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