Environmental Law and Listowel


I want to start this week’s article by congratulating Julie Gleeson and the Listowel Tidy Town Group on increasing the towns score with the National Tidy Town’s competition, by four marks.  The town has also been awarded a tenth gold medal which is an incredible achievement and is the envy of most of the towns across the county.

We all recognise the hard work the great people in Listowel Tidy Town undertake when we are driving to work in the mornings and see them out, improving our environment.  I attended the celebrations outside Mike the Pies bar on Monday night and it is so encouraging to see the positivity and the determination of the group to push on for greater things in 2018.  We are very grateful to you all.

Environmental Laws in Ireland
Last year I wrote an article about the obligations on us all under the Litter Acts.  In this article I want to briefly mention the overall framework for environmental law in Ireland.
Most of the impedus for environmental protection comes from EU Directives and Regulations.  These are quite technical and specific. In Ireland the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, the local authorities and Environmental Protection Agency are the main bodies responsible for implementing the legalisation.

EU Policy on the Environment  
EU policy on the environment is reflected in its legalisation and supported by some financial programs.  The seventh environment action program of the EU is entitled living well, within the limits of our planet,and this runs until 2020 focusing on three priority areas of action:

To protect, conserve and enhance the EU’s natural capital.

To turn the EU into a resource efficient, green and competitive low carbon economy.

To safeguard the union citizens from environmental related pressures and risk to health and wellbeing.

I appreciate this may appear far removed from us in Listowel however these policies do dictate a lot of the incentives to improve the environment and to regulate a lot of the industries that are around us.

Environmental Tax
There is a move in recent years towards using tax to improve the environment. The main environmental taxes that we regularly hear of are Carbon tax, Landfill tax and Plastic bag levy.  The Irish Government has committed to further increasing the levy of carbon tax.  Landfill tax at present is €65 per tonne of waste disposed in a landfill area.  The plastic bag levy, that we are all familiar with, is 22 cent per plastic bag.

Thanks to Listowel Tidy Town Group for improving our environment!