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Waste Water Treatment: Brexit

Oral Answers to Questions — Infrastructure – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 3:15 pm on 18th October 2016.

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Photo of Naomi Long Naomi Long Alliance 3:15 pm, 18th October 2016

T4. Mrs Long asked the Minister for Infrastructure, in the light of Brexit, what recommendations his Department is bringing forward to guide future waste water treatment directives, given that he will be aware that EU directives have driven much of the investment and improvement in waste water discharges into the environment. (AQT 369/16-21)

Photo of Christopher Hazzard Christopher Hazzard Sinn Féin

The Member is correct: much of it has been because of that. Much of the heat and much of the debate has been around funding, but, of course, my Department also has responsibility for regulation. Waste water is certainly part of that, and something that we will take forward. I have not seen any information that relates to the Member's specific question, but, if she wants to correspond with me, I will be more than happy to do so.

Photo of Naomi Long Naomi Long Alliance

I thank the Minister for his response. In Westminster, a "Great Repeal Bill" will replace legislation that currently governs such issues with locally agreed legislation. Will there be a similar process in the Assembly to go through the legislation that currently governs issues such as waste water treatment?

Photo of Christopher Hazzard Christopher Hazzard Sinn Féin

I am not aware of the exact governance process that we will go through. I have a briefing with officials next week, and a Brexit team in my Department is looking at a number of these issues. Although the initial conversations revolved around funding and immediate situations, I know that regulation is one item on the agenda.