Ireland warned over river basin plan failure


AN INITIAL formal warning has been issued to Ireland by the European Commission for failing to adopt and submit plans for managing river basins.

All member states are required to submit such plans under the 2000 Water Framework Directive and could face punitive fines if it fails to do so.

Under the legislation, member states were required to publish an integrated management plan, backed up by a full public consultation process for each river basin district by December 2009 at the latest. The basin plans, seven of which relate to Ireland with three of these being managed in a cross-Border manner, are to provide a comprehensive overview of the main issues for each basin and should include the specific measures needed to achieve set environmental quality objectives.

According to a report in the EU News Bulletinproduced by the Irish Regions Brussels Office in association with the Institute of Public Administration, member states must achieve “good status” for its waters by 2015.

It reported the delay in compliance put the implementation of the directive at risk and had now caused the commission to take action by issuing the warnings to 12 member states.

“In Ireland’s case, unlike in nine of the other errant member states, consultations have been finalised but the plans are still awaiting adoption,” the report added.