Howlin being "hypocritical" over rural landfill dumps


THE Minister for the Environment, Mr Howlin, has been accused of supporting an EU plan to exclude rural areas with low population densities from important requirements governing the operation of landfill dumps.

"It is hypocritical of the Minister to speak out of both sides of his mouth depending on whether he is in Dublin or Brussels, " Mr Noel Dempsey, Fianna Fail's environment spokesman, said.

He said that Mr Howlin voted at a meeting of the Council of Ministers for a measure which would have excluded areas with a population density of less than 35 people per square kilometre from the scope of an EU landfill directive.

Mr Dempsey said this proposal defeated by the European Parliament - would have meant that Laois, Longford, Offaly, Clare, Kerry, Tipperary, Waterford. Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Sligo, Cavan and Donegal would be denied the protection extended to more populous urban areas.

Mr Dempsey said the Minister should explain to the people of those counties why he thought their environment of less importance. Rural landfill sites should be no less carefully policed than those in other areas.