An Taisce queries legality of Bord na Móna’s bog licences

19th November 2013
Press Release

An Taisce queries legality of Bord na Móna’s bog licences - A mere nine licences for 166 bogs

An Taisce - the National Trust for Ireland - has written to the EPA to question the small number of licences held by Bord na Móna for its vast industrial peat operations.

Under Irish law, operators of certain large industrial processes with major polluting potential must obtain an IPC (Integrated Pollution Control) licence from the EPA. The operator must then monitor various factors, including dust, air and water emissions.

The EPA’s Guidance Notes for such licences state that the purpose of the system “is to make provision for the protection of the environment and the protection of human, animal and plant life from harm or nuisance.” [1]

In its letter to the EPA, An Taisce questions how this can be achieved when 166 Bord na Móna bogs - some of which are many miles apart – have been crammed into a mere nine licences.

An Taisce's Natural Environment Officer Andrew Jackson commented, "The EPA generally - and rightly - operates a 'one site, one licence' system when it comes to major industries such as those covered by the IPC system. The EPA wouldn't allow 30 pig farms dotted around the country to be covered by a single IPC licence, so why should a semi-state peat company be treated any differently?"

He continued, "In order for Bord na Móna to be effectively monitored and controlled, each bog or bog complex should be placed under a single licence. The current situation looks more like window dressing than a serious attempt at regulation."

"The impacts of extraction will be different at each site, depending on the bog in question and the surrounding environment," he added. "It is simply not possible to monitor and control the impacts of extraction at 30 bogs under a single licence. This is particularly so because Bord na Móna's monitoring draws only on a small sample of sites under each licence."

An Taisce's letter to the EPA calls for urgent clarification regarding the legality of Bord na Móna's licensing arrangements.

ENDS

For further information, please call:

Charles Stanley-Smith, Communications, An Taisce +353 87 2411995

Email: publicaffairs@antaisce.org

An Taisce The National Trust for Ireland

www.antaisce.ie

Notes

IPPC Guidance Notes for Applications 2012 http://www.epa.ie/pubs/forms/lic/ippc/IPPC%20Application%20Form%20Guidance%20Note%202012%20v4.pdf