Written answers

Thursday, 6 May 2021

Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment

Environmental Policy

Photo of Carol NolanCarol Nolan (Laois-Offaly, Independent)
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14. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he will consider making the allocation of funding to organisations or companies engaged in bog rewetting projects conditional on the provision of legally binding assurances from such companies or organisations to compensate adjacent landowners who may be adversely affected; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23329/21]

Photo of Eamon RyanEamon Ryan (Dublin Bay South, Green Party)
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The Enhanced Decommissioning, Rehabilitation and Restoration Scheme was approved by the Government in 2020 for 33,000 hectares of decommissioned Bord na Móna peatlands and is being funded up to €108 million from the Climate Action Fund. This rehabilitation will take place over a period of 5 years. All of the lands being rehabilitated are operated under Integrated Pollution Control (IPC) licences granted by the Environmental Protection Agency. The scheme will build on, and complement, the measures required under Integrated Pollution Control licences. This funding will support a just transition by maintaining jobs in the Midlands, as well as laying the foundation for more substantial and sustainable job creation into the future. The enhanced rehabilitation scheme will protect the storage of 100 million tonnes of CO2 emissions, deliver benefits in terms of increasing biodiversity, supporting bog amenity and eco-system services, as well as improved water quality and water attenuation relating to flood risk management to the benefit communities locally and nationally. Through the implementation of the scheme, it is also estimated that over the period to 2050, 3.2 million tonnes of CO2 emissions will be avoided (including an amount of future carbon sequestration), in comparison to a standard rehabilitation scenario.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service will act as the scheme regulator. Bord na Móna must develop detailed work programmes for each bog based on its specific needs and site characteristics, including a hydrological assessment. These will ensure that the works not only optimise the benefits to the former peatlands but also mitigate negative impacts on the local communities. Consultation also forms a key element of the roll out of the Scheme and Bord na Móna are consulting with stakeholders and landowners that may be impacted. Bord Na Mona has in place, and has committed to maintain, a care and maintenance team who will be responsible, among other things for boundary management on the Bord na Móna land banks. Bord Na Móna’s obligations as a property owner are not affected by the provision of this funding.


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