Legislation aimed that tackling illegal dumping is on the way – so says Sinn Fein TD Brian Stanley.
There have been countless examples of dumping around Laois recently and the Laois TD, in meetings with Minister for Environment Eamon Ryan, says he has pressed the issue.
He said: “I have been raising the issue of illegal dumping with the Minister for Environment and also with Secretary General of his Department.
“The recent GDPR regulations preventing councils from using CCTV cameras to collect information on illegal dumping is causing huge frustration across the Constituency and especially in rural areas.
“We currently have the ridiculous situation where county councils are prevented from collecting the evidence required to successfully prosecute those who are involved in this illegal activity.
“Up to last year they were able to use CCTV but the Data Protection Commissioner has deemed this to possibly be a breach of GDPR rules.
“Community groups in both rural and urban areas find themselves in a position where they are cleaning up waste, only to find that within a few weeks their locality is back to square one.
“Without their efforts and the work of local councils some parts of the countryside would resemble a dump.
“I have been raising this with the Department of Environment and with Minister Ryan since the problem with GDPR started to arise last year.
“I have also been requesting that the fines would be increased on those who engage in this activity.”
Following those representations, Deputy Stanley says he has been promised that new legislation will be put in place to allow councils to erect cameras and also increase fines.
He said: “I am now promised that new legislation is being brought forward to put laws in place which will enable councils to erect cameras wherever they may be needed to prevent dumping.
“The Department is also reviewing the level of fines and I believe these need to be increased substantially.
“CCTV evidence is essential for successful prosecutions and we cannot continue to have a situation where the hands of the local authorities are tied in this way.”