The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith TD, has published the Foreshore and Dumping at Sea (Amendment) Bill 2009, which will give effect to the transfer of all Foreshore licensing functions not associated with aquaculture and sea-fishing, from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food to the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government.
Minister Smith described the Bill as a "major step towards the development of a modern planning and development framework for the State's Foreshore by aligning licensing of major commercial offshore development projects with the core functions of the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, which already has responsibility for planning issues."
Following enactment of this legislation, responsibility for Foreshore consents in respect of commercial projects on the Foreshore including, marinas, harbour and port developments and all energy related developments will become the responsibility of the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government. The State's Foreshore stretches from the High Water Mark seawards for 12 nautical miles and foreshore consents are issued under the Foreshore Acts 1933-2005.
The Minister said that he expects that the legislation will commence its passage through the Oireachtas later this month.