IDA Ireland intend to carry out maintenance dredging works to Loughmore Canal, Limerick.
The canal runs for approximately 1.0 kilometres through Loughmore Common Turlough PHNA, a shallow often dry turlough supporting an inland assembly of typically saltmarsh plant species as well as Groenlandia Densa which is a protected species under the Wildlife Acts 1976 and 2000. The canal is a sealed, raised, artificial drainage channel with connectivity to the turlough.
In April 2022 the National Parks and Wildlife Service issued licence No. FL08/2021 – amended to IDA Ireland permitting IDA to take protected flora, alter or otherwise interfere with the habitat or environment of a species of protected flora.
The project requires Loughmore Canal to be dredged, with the removal of all dredged material to a suitable licensed facility. Prior to the commencement of these works, the removal of the protected plant “Opposite-leaved Pondweed” by the Project Ecologist with the assistance of the contractor shall take place. The exact location and scope of the works is laid out in the tender documents.
Dredging works to Loughmore Canal. Construction of temporary haul road and turning area, site clearance works, preparatory works, removal of vegetation, removal of silt, disposal of vegetation and silt, reinstatement of fields along the temporary haul road.
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)
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
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)
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.”
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 ?
Note: The only categories of intensive agricultural activities which fall under EPA control are:
( a ) The rearing of poultry in installations where the capacity exceeds 40,000 places. ( b ) 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 ).
The rearing of pigs in an installation where the capacity exceeds — ( a )750 places for sows, or ( b )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