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Environmental group challenges EPA approval for industrial extraction of peat

An Environmental NGO has launched a High Court challenge against a decision of the Environment Protection Agency to accept an application for the industrial extraction of peat.  The action has been brought by the Friends of the Irish Environment, which has asked the court to quash a decision made by the EPA last October to accept an application by a company called Harte Peat Ltd for an ...
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Plans for Japanese knotweed facility near Ballyhaunis rejected by An Bord Pleanala

An Bord Pleanala has rejected plans for a Japanese knotweed facility near Ballyhaunis. A company called Pollution & Construction Solutions Ltd - trading as The Japanese Knotweed Company - had applied for permission for a recovery facility for soil and stone waste, including soils containing Japanese knotweed, at a disused quarry at Hazelhill / Drumbaun on the outskirts of Ballyhaunis. Ma...
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Planning challenged over traffic noise and air pollution concerns

The High Court has granted a campaign group in Meath permission to challenge a planning decision for a large housing estate just outside of Drogheda over traffic, noise, and air pollution concerns. In May, An Bord Pleanála granted permission for Coreet Limited to develop the 250 dwelling complex in Bryanstown on the outskirts of Drogheda. The proposed development would also inc...
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EU Commission pursuing Ireland for failing to fully transpose the EIA Directive

The European Commission is taking action against Ireland for a continued failure to ensure that peat extraction is properly assessed for environmental impacts as required under EU law. In its latest package of infringement decisions, the Commission said that it is pursuing Ireland for failing to fully transpose the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Directive. The Directive states that the po...
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Ireland should pay €1k a day for environment failings – EU Court

The EU’s top court has said Ireland should be subject to large daily fines, already amounting to almost €4m, for failing to comply with EU legislation that might have prevented landslides caused by the construction of a wind farm in 2003. A legal opinion issued by the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) has proposed that the State should be handed a daily fine of €1,000 for every day since its ea...
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Environmental group challenges peat bog extraction regulations

An environmental group has brought a High Court challenge against the State over new regulations that allow for industrial extraction of peat from bogs.  Friends of the Irish Environment claims the new regulations mean that large-scale peat extraction does not require planning permission, and instead must be licensed by the Environmental Protection Agency. It claims the effect of the new regulati...
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Ireland faces EU fine of €1.7m over Derrybrien wind farm landslide

Ireland is facing a fine of €1.7m over its failure to comply with an EU Court judgment relating to the Derrybrien wind farm in Galway.  The wind farm, which was constructed more than 13 years ago, was one of the largest in the EU. However, no environmental impact assessment was carried out for the project. Its construction required the removal of large areas of forest and the extraction of peat ...
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Environmental factors and risks that fall within the scope of Environmental Impact Assessments

Projects that require a preliminary environmental impact assessment The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Directive (2011/92/EU, as amended by 2014/52/EU) applies to all “public and private projects which are likely to have significant effects on the environment”. Specific examples of projects that may be covered are listed in Annexes I and II. Scope of assessment Environmental factor...
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Dublin mountain visitor centre on hold over environmental assessments

Plans for a new visitor centre in the Dublin Mountains have been put on hold due to concerns from the planning authority over the adequacy of the project’s environmental assessments. An Bord Pleanála is now seeking further information from the project’s lead architect Paul Keogh on the plans for the centre which will include a 75-seater cafe, an exhibition facility and a walkers’ lounge.  The p...
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High Court quashes oil exploration license off Cork coast over environmental assessment screening process

A license granted for oil and gas exploration off the Cork coast was today quashed in a High Court settlement following a challenge from An Taisce.  The environmental charity initiated judicial review proceedings last November over the Department for Climate Action’s (DCCAE) granting of a license for sonar testing and seabed clearance at Barryroe. The licence for the site south of the Old Head ...
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