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Bord Na Mona Challenged over Peat Extraction

category national | environment | press release author Monday August 17, 2015 13:02author by foieauthor email admin at friendsoftheirishenvironment dot orgauthor phone 353 (0)27 74771 Report this post to the editors

PRESS RELEASE - Friends of Irish Environment - 12th Aug

Bord na Mona’s right to extract peat for horticultural use is being challenged by an environmental group.

Friends of the Irish Environment [FIE] have written to Offaly County Council stating that ‘unauthorised development has been, is being and may continue to be carried out near Derrinboy, Co. Offaly, comprising the drainage of peatland and extraction of peat without planning permission or environmental impact assessment.’

The site, located north of Birr, is more than 200 hectares in size. It was previously an Area of Scientific Interest and a proposed Natural Heritage Area.

In its submission, the group states the bog was drained in 1989 and production began in 2003. They allege that Bord na Mona estimate that they could be extracting peat from this location for another 50 years.

FIE alleges ‘Ongoing severe damage to the natural environment’ and are requesting the Local Authority to issue an enforcement notice to require Bord na Móna to cease the drainage of the bog and the extraction of peat and ‘to take such steps as as necessary to restore the land to its condition prior to the commencement of the development insofar as is practicable.’

‘If Offaly County Council does not act’, a spokesman for the group said, ‘it is open to any citizen to make an application to the district Court seeking enforcement proceedings’.

Two 2014 rulings by An Bord Pleanala on referrals by FIE relating to two private peat operations declared such industrial peat extraction does require planning permission and environmental impact assessment. These rulings are currently the subject of High Court challenges by the companies, Westlands and Harte Peat.

URL http://friendsoftheirishenvironment.org/images/pdf/Offa...r.pdf

Verification and contact: Tony Lowes 353 (0)27 74771 / 353 (0)87 2176316

Editors Notes:

Based on a satellite survey in 2010, FIE provided the Department of the Environment with a list of 126 sites of more than 30 hectares in 19 counties which merited investigation as active peat mining sites. The Local Authorities reported on each site, finding that more than half required planning permission.

Related Link: http://friendsoftheirishenvironment.org/press-releases/17318-peat-challenge-to-bord-na-mona
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