Developing and Testing an Environmental Sensitivity Mapping Webtool to Support Strategic Environmental Assessment in Ireland

Environmental sensitivity is a critical consideration in natural resource management. In the context of the legislative requirements for impact assessment, environmental sensitivity (or vulnerability) assessments present a framework for systematically determining the potential for significant adverse impacts.

This is reflected in the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Directive’s requirement to take account of the vulnerability of the area likely to be affected when identifying and characterising potential impacts (EC, 2001, Annex II, 2), as well as in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Directive’s cautioning on the potential for significant effects when proposing developments in environmentally sensitive locations (EC, 2014, Article 28).

Assessing environmental sensitivity provides further insight into the baseline environment by contributing an additional dimension to the purely technical consideration of environmental characteristics. It can serve as an empirical and systematic approach, and as a more objective critical foundation to promote evidence-based impact assessment and environmental planning.

Appropriate Assessment of Plans and Projects in Ireland – Guidance for Planning Authorities

This guidance is intended to assist and guide local and planning authorities in the application of Article 6(3) and 6(4) of the Habitats Directive2 as it relates to their roles, functions and responsibilities in undertaking Appropriate Assessment (AA) of plans and projects.

It explains the concepts, tests and steps involved in the assessment procedure, the provisions of which are the primary mechanism for ensuring the protection of Natura 2000 sites and their conservation objectives when considering whether to authorise or adopt a plan or project. Natura 2000 sites in Ireland are European sites, including Special Protection Areas (SPAs), and Special Areas of Conservation (SACs)

Remedial Environmental Impact Assessment Report (Bord na Móna Peat Extraction)

Substitute Consent Application – 29 May 2020

Bord na Móna application to An Bord Pleanála for Substitute Consent under Section 177E (Application for Substitute Consent) of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (PDA 2000), as amended and under Part 19 of the Planning and Development Regulations, 2001 (as amended).

Substitute Consent is effectively a form of retrospective consent and is being applied for with the aim of regularising the planning status of historic peat extraction carried out by Bord na Móna on 41 individual bog units.

Bord na Móna’s peat extraction activities on the 41 individual bog units assessed for this report have been regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) since 2000 under the Integrated Pollution Control (IPC) licencing regime, under Part IV of the Environmental Protection Agency Act 1992.

This application is for the bogs that are intended to be used by Bord na Móna in the future for peat production in line with our reduction in the extraction of peat from 6.5m tonnes in 2013 to 1.7m tonnes in 2019.

The bog units have supplied milled peat to West Offaly Power Station, Lough Ree Power Station, Edenderry Power Station, Derrinlough Briquette Factory and the now closed Littleton Briquette Factory. Milled peat and sod moss have also been supplied to the horticultural market.

Note from Report:

Data on quantities and uses of harvested peat was not available for each bog unit for the period 1985 – 1991 and was limited for the period 1992 to 2001 where horticultural peat was not included and limited for the period 1992 to 2012 where off-site usage destinations were not available.


Eirgrid undertake Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEA) of Grid implementation plans every 5 years. Current plan and SEA covers the period 2017-2022

Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEA) and Appropriate Assessment (AA) of our Grid Implementation Plans

Ecology Guidelines for Electricity Transmission Projects (2020)