Incidents of agricultural pollution in Northern Ireland rivers from 2017 to 2021

How many incidents of agricultural pollution have been recorded in Northern Ireland rivers from 1st of January 2017 to the 30th of April 2021? (please include impact i.e. high, low)

a. Of those incidents how many resulted in a prosecution
b. Of those incidents how many resulted in a penalty / fine
c. Of those incidents how were they dealt with? (warning letters etc.)

During the date range specified in the query there were:
– 1023 Low Severity Incidents (605 where the polluter was identified and 418 where there was no polluter identified);
– 247 Medium Severity Incidents (189 where the polluter was identified and 58 where there was no polluter identified); and

– 39 High Severity Incidents (20 where the polluter was identified and 19 where there was no polluter identified)

Northern Ireland: Pollution Incident Management System (PIMS) – Statistics for 2020-2021

DAERA

Reported pollution incidences in Northern Ireland from 01 October 2020 to 30 September 2021

1962 reports of potential water pollution were either received or directly found by staff.


Of these, of which all reports are physically visited, 1055 were recorded as no pollution found at the time of inspection. Of the remaining 907 incidents, 770 were classified as Low Severity, 121 as Medium Severity and 16 as High Severity. This is based on the NIEA’s Pollution Severity Classification criteria. Of the 770 Low Incidents, polluters were identified in 363 of these investigations.

Of the 121 Medium incidents, polluters where identified in 95 investigations

Of the 16 High incidents, polluters were identified in 8 investigations

Unlicenced Tree Felling Licence, lands at Toormore, Kerry

TFL00477520

AIE

Landowner clear-felled the area with no licence in place.

Drastic sedimentation release and run-off into the downstream Killarney National Park, Macgillycuddy’s Reeks and Caragh River Catchment SAC. (500 meters away)

Plus environmental pollution incident on site, burst pipe from the forwarder caused hydraulic fluid to mix with the sediment water and running off into the down stream Killarney National Park, Macgillycuddy’s Reeks and Caragh River Catchment SAC

Area clear felled is situated between two watercourses, that are tributaries of Deenagh River (important salmonid river)

Harvesting Pollution Incident, Knockacummer Wind Farm, Mullaghareirk Mountains, Cork

AIE 21 179 TFL00376919

Clear-felling works at wind farm under felling licence TFL0037691 causing pollution incident

“Applicant hasn’t adequately adhered to the conditions of the felling license. They have not
adhered to the Forest and Water Quality guidelines, Forest Harvesting and the Environment
guidelines, Standards for Felling and reforestation and Appropriate Assessment mitigation
measures. There are no silt traps evident in the drains in the affected areas. Brushing of the
extraction route is completely inadequate.”

“Without remedial actions, there is a real risk of a much larger pollution incident taking place
in the future, when it rains and the disturbed peat soil/liquidised peat soil flows down the slope
and off the site.”

Agricultural Pollution (Northern Ireland): Fines

Fines for breach of cross compliance rules related to the protection of water against pollution in NI. 

There were 47 breaches found on NI farms during 2020, with 40 of these incidents resulting in penalties worth 3% of basic payments. 

This set of regulations covers the likes of slurry spreading and nutrient run-off from farmyards. 

Almost 80% of the farms inspected for these rules last year were deemed at risk of being non-compliant.

Seven farmers were found to be in breach of rules relating to landscape features

Surface / Storm Water Run-off Discharges from Industrial Settlement Ponds

Example: SmartPly, OSB manufacturing plant, Waterford

Plant emissions to water are from storm water run-off from the logyard, roofs and paved areas. This water is collected via a series of drains and channeled into two settlement ponds, each capable of holding 2500m3. An additional holding capacity of 5000m3 is provided by two emergency holding ponds (EHTs) which are utilised in the event of a spill or emergency situation.

In the settlement ponds, the water is allowed to settle and any particulates present, such as silt, grit etc., settle out of solution to the bottom to form sludge. Following settlement the now treated water is released to the River Suir.

The problem is when heavy rain overwhelms this settlement system, and flushes the ponds into the Suir. This site is due for upgrade of the settlement pond system to increase capacity.

How many similar settlement ponds are in operation in Ireland, and how many are at capacity in the event of heavy rainfall or stormwater ?

List of all EPA Licensed Poultry Farms

The EPA grants and enforces Industrial Emissions (IE) licenses for specified agricultural activities.

You can find these licenses here:

https://www.epa.ie/our-services/licensing/industrial/integrated-pollution-control-ipc-licensing/who-needs-an-integrated-pollution-control-ipc-licence/

You can:

Browse Applications/Licences by Applicant/Licensee name
Search by Register Number
Search by Applicant/Licensee Name
Search by Facility Type/County/Status

But, you cannot search by poultry, chicken or duck etc as not all poultry farms have these keywords in the name

Here is a simple workaround in Excel of all EPA poultry licenses

Note: The only categories of intensive agricultural activities which fall under EPA control are:

Intensive Agriculture
6.1) The rearing of poultry in installations where the capacity exceeds 40,000 places. ( ) In clause (a) ‘ poultry ’ shall be construed in accordance with Regulation 2(2) of the European Communities (Poultry and Hatching Eggs) Regulations 2010 ( S.I. No. 564 of 2010 ). 
6.2The rearing of pigs in an installation where the capacity exceeds — ( )750 places for sows, or ( )2,000 places for production pigs which are each over 30kg.

All intensive agriculture sites below these capacities would be controlled by the local authorities. 

e.g. fur farms do not fall within the scope of the EPA Act

Sligo: Section 4 Trade Effluent Licenses

FOI Request 113/21, to Sligo CoCo

https://www.sligococo.ie/Environment/Water/WaterQuality/DischargeLicences/

NumberFile Ref.CompanyActivity
1DL(W)4(Rev1)Lissadell Shellfish Co LtdFish Hatchery
2DL(W)6Mullaghmore Sea Far Farms LtdLobster Ponds
3DL(W)7James and Winifred Beirne, Cummeen, Strandhill RoadHouse Cummeen, Strandhill Road
4DL(W)9(Rev1)Kilcullen Sea Water BathsSeaweed Baths
5DL(W)11Knockmuldowney Restaurant Co Ltd., CollooneyHotel/Restaurant
6DL(W)12North Western Health Board, CloonamahonResidential Centre
7DL(W)13(Rev1)St Angela’s CollegeCollege
8DL(W)16RRadisson SAS HotelHotel
9DL(W)21Keywater Fisheries, CloonlooFish Farm
10DL(W)25Harrington (Concrete) Sligo LtdQuarry
11DL(W)22Cregg House, Rosses PointResidential Centre
12DL(W)34Davey Motors, KiltycahillMixed Development
13DL(W)37Fallon Oils Ltd, BallygawleyCastledargan Hotel
14DL(W)38Hillstreet Quarries Ltd, GeevaghQuarry at Glen, Geevagh
15DL(W)40Michael Keenan, BallygawleyHousing Development Ballygawley
16DL(W)41Christy and Moira Tighe, Cromleach LodgeCromleach Lodge Restaurant
17DL(W)43St. Angela’s CollegeStudent Residences
18DL(W)75Aragonda Trading Ltd., Drumcliff, Co. SligoYeats Tavern, Drumcliff, Co. Sligo
19DL(W)90McCormack Fuels Ltd., Carraroe, Co. SligoOil Storage Depot at Aghamore Far, Co. Sligo
20DL(W)97Felix McHugh Builders Ltd., Cornacloy, Glenfarne, Co. LeitrimDromroe Housing Estate, Cleavry, Castlebaldwin
21DL(W)109Sligo Fuel Sales Ltd., Deepwater Quay, SligoOil Storage Depot at Deepwater Quay, Sligo
22DL(W)150Enniscrone Golf ClubGolf Club
23DL(W)151Lagan Bitumen Ltd, Aughamore nearQuarr
NumberFile Ref.CompanyActivity

List of IPPC Licences in Sligo

Reg NoNameAddressDocuments
P0269-02Basta Parsons LimitedGallagher Road, Tubbercurry, SligoYes
P0382-01Kiernan Farms (Sligo) Unlimited CompanyCarrowcushcly Pig Unit, Carrowcushcly, Ballymote, SligoYes
P0465-02G. Bruss GmbH DichtungstechnikFinisklin Road, Sligo, SligoYes
P0643-03AbbVie Ireland NL B.V.Manorhamilton Road, Sligo, SligoYes
P0828-01TopChem Pharmaceuticals LimitedBallymote Business Park, Carrownanty, Ballymote, SligoYes
P1087-01AbbVie Ireland NL B.V.Old Bundoran Road, Ballytivnan, SligoYes
Reg NoNameAddressDocuments

Corrib River Sewage Discharge

October 2021

Corrib River Sewage Discharge by Christopher Tierney on Vimeo

An Taisce Report

The Mutton Island Waste Water Treatment Plant (D0050) was opened in 2004 with a claimed capacity of 90,000 people equivalents.

In 2014 it was upgraded to have a claimed capacity of 170,000 people equivalents (reduced by Galway City Council to 145,000 people equivalent to allow for Summer tourists). Local papers carried of stories in 2004 (and again in 2014) of how the Mutton Island Waste Water Treatment Plant would guarantee the beaches in Galway City would now be safe to swim in.
The reality however is that is not true.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/11Q55YFKyf258hJrjYCt0Ozi_2iaQdeGt/view

Galway’s Mutton Island Wastewater Treatment Plant

Would be interested in similar drone footage at the following location

53.25456334669359, -9.054978183280808

https://www.murphygroup.com/ie/projects/mutton-island-wastewater-treatment-works