Hearing date set for EPA action on Tralee lead water pipes

A hearing date has been set for a case being taken by the Environmental Protection Agency against Kerry County Council and Irish Water. Tralee Courthouse The action centres on what the EPA claims is a delay in the replacement of the lead water pipe distribution network in one of Tralee’s oldest housing estates. Remedial works on the replacement of the lead water pipes began in St Brendan’s Park on November 5th. The Environmental Protection Agency says it is pursuing both Kerry County Council and Irish Water, which took over responsibility for the water pipe network at the beginning of the year, due to delays in starting the works which were requested in 2011. The council and Irish Water said delays were caused as the awarding of the contract was challenged by judical review. Tralee District Court heard the acceptable level of lead present in drinking water has been reduced from 50 to 10 micrograms per litre over the years. Tests carried out in 2008 and this year both exceeded the threshold; in one case being four times the limit. The EPA sought a hearing date early in the New Year but Judge James O’Connor said he failed to see how this would speed up the works in progress. He said the court’s priority is that something is happening at ground level for the residents of the estate. The works are due to be completed on May 14th. Judge O’Connor set a full hearing date of June 19th next adding it would be nice to have a conclusion of the works before the trial.