Written answers

Thursday, 14 October 2021

Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government

Horticulture Sector

Photo of Brendan SmithBrendan Smith (Cavan-Monaghan, Fianna Fail)
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112. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government if he will provide details of the outcome of the studies undertaken by the working groups concerning the future use of peat by the horticulture sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50349/21]

Photo of Malcolm NoonanMalcolm Noonan (Carlow-Kilkenny, Green Party)
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As part of the National Peatlands Strategy, a Review of the use of Peat Moss in the Horticultural Industry was published in September 2020.

On foot of a recommendation in the Review, I established a working group, which includes representatives from relevant Government Departments and State Agencies, Environmental Non-Governmental Organisations and industry stakeholders to examine the issues which were identified during the Review.

I appointed Dr Munoo Prasad to chair the working group, which has held twelve meetings to date. Matters under discussion by the group include the legislative provisions in relation to horticultural peat extraction and the potential of alternatives to the use of peat moss in the horticultural industry. A draft interim report has been prepared, and sent to me; meanwhile the working group continues its deliberations.

The final Report of the group was expected to be completed by the end of September, however the Chair has requested a brief extension to 20 October, to allow the Report to be finalised. I have agreed to this request.


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