Posted by: stopbungalowchaos | October 30, 2009

Landmark ECJ Ruling Against Ireland

The European Court of Justice yesterday (29th of October 2009) ruled against Ireland with respect to our failure to transpose into Irish Legislation the EU Waste Directive 75/442/EEC (C-188/08). The ECJ Judgment was widely anticipated and is likely to bring significant changes to our Building Control regulations with respect to rural housing in the countryside.

The ECJ Judgment Irelands plea in defense of the current situation and states:

‘In Ireland’s submission, waste waters covered by the present action are not ‘waste’ within the meaning of Directive 75/442 because they are not in the ‘list of wastes belonging to the categories listed in Annex I’ adopted by the Commission under Article 1(a) in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 18 of that directive. It also challenges the relevance of the headings in the nomenclature cited by the Commission. Ireland also draws attention to the practical difficulties which the classification of such waste waters as ‘waste’ would involve, since it is confronted with the management of 400 000 dwellings scattered in the countryside. It submits also that the 5th, 6th, 10th and 12th recitals in the preamble to Directive 75/442 indicate that it does not cover IWWTS.’

The ECJ agreed with the arguments presented by the European Commission and ruled against Ireland:

‘On those grounds, the Court (Second Chamber) hereby:

1. Declares that, by failing to adopt, save in County Cavan, all the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with Articles 4 and 8 of Council Directive 75/442/EEC of 15 July 1975 on waste, as amended by Council Directive 91/156/EEC of 18 March 1991, as regards domestic waste waters disposed of in the countryside through septic tanks and other individual waste water treatment systems, Ireland has failed to fulfil its obligations under that directive;

2. Orders Ireland to pay three quarters of the costs of the Commission of the European Communities and to bear its own costs;

3. Orders the Commission of the European Communities to bear one quarter of its own costs.’

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