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EPA’s List Of Priority Enforcement Sites Increase

List of EPA’s latest National Priority Sites for Enforcement, sees the number increase to seven.

The EPA has published the latest National Priority Sites List for Enforcement for March-September 2019. Seven sites (named hereunder) are on the latest list, including one here in Co. Tipperary, for failing to meet environmental standards. These companies now face further enforcement action.

NOTE: * Arrow Group Limited includes the activities at this licensed site of Dawn Farm Foods Ltd, TCFG Naas Ltd (also known as ‘The Culinary Food Group’), QK Coldstores Ltd, Dawn Farms Distribution Ltd and Maudlins Waste Management Ltd.
** New entry for this period.

Commenting on the latest National Priority Sites List, Mr Darragh Page, (EPA Programme Manager, Office of Environmental Enforcement) stated:
“The latest list includes four sites which have not previously appeared on the National Priority Site in the last publication at the end Q2 2019 and, once again, includes Arrow Group. While the publication of the National Priority Sites list has continued to drive environmental compliance and much needed investment, the EPA continues to have concerns that environmental issues at some companies have resulted in unacceptable odour, noise, air and water quality impacts.”

The EPA welcomes the fact that two sites have come off the National Priority Site List, which was published at the end of Q2 of 2019, following improvements in compliance or reduced risk. These two sites are:-

Licensed facilities are identified as National Priority Sites for enforcement, using a system developed by the EPA. Points are allocated to each site, based on compliance data such as complaints, incidents and non-compliances over the previous six months. Sites which exceed a certain threshold become a National Priority Site and are targeted by the EPA for further enforcement action.

The EPA updates the National Priority Sites list on a quarterly basis.

Further details of the National Priority Sites scoring system and the list of sites contained can be found on the EPA website here National Priority Sites: Environmental Protection Agency, Ireland.
Enforcement information on all sites can be found under the Licence Search pages at www.epa.ie/licensing/.
Complaints about licensed sites can be made on-line at www.epa.ie or by contacting the EPA at Tel: 053-9160600.


Coillte Nature & Bord na Móna To Rehabilitate Tipperary Peatlands

Bord na Móna lands identified in counties Tipperary, Offaly, Laois, and Westmeath are to be included in a new tree planting initiative.

The new, not for profit, entity Coillte Nature, latter established in July 2019 and Bord na Móna are collaborating on a project, same which will see bog areas now transformed into native woodlands.

This welcome initiative will see some 1500 hectares of Bord na Móna land no longer used for peat production, planted with some 600,000 native trees, over the next 3 years. Trees to be planted will include a mix of native Irish trees, including Downy Birch, Scots Pine, Alder and Broad-leaved varieties including Hazel, Holly etc.

Coillte Nature, [which was recently established to increase the emphasis on carbon sequestration, habitat restoration, species diversification, biodiversity and the development of outdoor recreation and tourism amenities] and Bord na Móna are expected to work closely together and provide the required staff and management to establish and maintain these planned woodlands.

Meanwhile, in keeping with this trend, Bord na Móna are implementing an extensive peatland rehabilitation and restoration programme, latter which will see a total of some 35,000 hectares of peatland to be acclimatised by 2025.


Track Storm Lorenzo From Here

To those of you worried or just curious about ‘Storm Lorenzo’, latter due to visit our shores tomorrow; you can view the storm’s progress by clicking on line HERE.

Note: Viewers using the above link can change date and times at the bottom of the viewing panel for estimates of where the storm will be in the hours ahead and see estimates of windspeeds expected.

While the exact impact of this storm has yet to be fully determined, it makes for good sense to take all necessary safety steps in advance, rather than when expected high winds and heavy rain actually arrive.

Members of the farming community, costal fishermen and persons living in rural areas are warned to be extra vigilant and take all necessary precautions as Storm Lorenzo approaches the country.

Secure all loose objects around your home. Do wait until the storm abates to check on livestock and property, wear a high visibility jacket, bring a fully charged mobile phone and make sure someone in your home knows where you are going and when you intend to return.

Please do stay safe.


Challenges To Environment & Public Health Require Aggressive, Coherent Action.

Ireland is living beyond its carbon and environmental means. If we begin to start the necessary change now, we can also start to imagine a better future.

Section of River Suir, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, as observed on September 19th 2019.

EPA’s body of scientific evidence serves as a national asset for the public good.

Ms Laura Burke, [Director General of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)], informed the 15th Annual Environment Ireland Conference today that Ireland is living beyond its carbon and environmental means. Ms Burke also said that the climate emergency we face is something that has been well flagged by evidence from scientists worldwide, including the EPA.

“It is now accepted globally that we are facing a climate emergency but it has not arrived suddenly or without warning. The build-up of pollutants in our atmosphere and waters, the gradual loss of biodiversity, the contamination of land – these are insidious, incremental challenges to our environment and health that have been borne out by scientific evidence, including that of the EPA, for many years. What we now need is urgent transformational change based on what the evidence is telling us.”

Section of River Suir, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, as observed on September 19th 2019.

Opening the conference, the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Mr Richard Bruton T.D. stated,
“The Climate Action Plan is our roadmap to step up our response to climate disruption. It will ensure we meet our 2030 climate commitments. It will mean warmer homes, cleaner air and healthier lives. It will put our economy on a more sustainable path for future generations. We must now take urgent action and implement the policies we have committed to. It is a rolling plan, designed to integrate best practice as it emerges and adapt to emerging new technologies.”

Ms Burke challenged both the public and policy-makers to step up to the challenge and take action, saying by doing so we can imagine a better future.
“It is up to us – as individuals – to take ownership of environmental issues and take action, both in our personal and business lives. Actions on a personal level to reduce carbon consumption have the associated benefits of healthier lives, better air quality and more local connection and engagement. We need to use our power as individuals to ask questions, and to support those who are addressing issues and genuinely trying to make a difference.”

On the importance of strong evidence, Ms Burke continued:
“One of the EPA’s primary functions is using scientific evidence to protect and improve our natural environment and human health – this knowledge is a key national resource. The EPA recognises the significant responsibility for producing such evidence. There are real implications for environmental, human health and economic outcomes determined through such responsibilities. Not least of which is our role is providing evidence-based contributions to national policy making. The EPA has, over the last 25 years, built up critical national data, which now serves as a national asset for the public good.”

Ms Burke also cautioned that the challenges remain substantial and could be considered overwhelming. She noted an enduring risk of eco-fatigue, and more worrying, a growing eco-anxiety in our youth. She challenged those in attendance to find ways to match the uncomfortable evidence with optimism for the future.
“All of us have a responsibility to not alone bring forward the uncomfortable evidence, but to also build optimism through the identification of solutions, the celebration of successes, the embracing of necessary change, and delivering on commitments. And if we can use this power to propel the change necessary, we can begin to imagine a better future for ourselves, our children and generations to come.”


Thurles Tidy Towns Competition Results 2019

Liberty Pharmacy, No 34 Liberty Square, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

Congratulations to those who took the time, in 2019, to tidy up our town each day, be they the voluntary members of Thurles Tidy towns (Refresh Thurles); Residence Associations; Council Workers; Thurles Men’s Sheds, Scouts, Schools or just that ‘Solitary Resident’; latter who demonstrated singular civic pride in their home; their garden or their business premises.

The only business premises highlighted favourably in the Thurles 2019 report was Liberty Pharmacy, not surprisingly, (Kate Kennedy Prop., see picture on left, her premises also the recent winner of an AIB Retail Excellence Award). For those complaining about lack of footfall to businesses on Liberty Square; here must surely be the perfect example on how to achieve same.

The ruin that once boasted being the Munster Hotel, (thank God judges did not view it from the rear); a so-called ‘Mural’, (Quote from report; “with all due respect there are parts of the mural that look as if they were done by a graffiti artist”), and a house on Mitchell Street, all met, correctly, with unfavourable comments, as did some of our would-be politicians and local councillors, latter who failed to refrain from sticking up photoshopped posters, during local elections.

To the many individuals, local councillors, elected politicians and the numerous organisations who failed to become involved to assist in revitalising our town; please do feel free to blush, to experience total embarrassment, accompanied by no little shame.

Do begin to realise, please, that the world’s 7.6 billion living humans actually only represent 0.01% of all living things. Yet, since the dawn of civilisation, humanity has brought about the loss of over 83% of all wild mammals and half of our now devoid plant life. Farmed poultry now makes up 70% of the existing bird life on our planet, with only 30% of once wild bird life left to run free. Some 60% of all mammals on our earth are livestock, mostly cattle, sheep and pigs; 36% are humans and a mere 4%, and reducing, are animals living in the wild.

Time now to ditch our shame and resolve, in this coming year, to genuinely repent and attempt to repair the severe damage caused by our deliberate neglect and greed, especially in “our neck of the woods” Tipperary; while we still have a place to pass on to future generations.

The most recent Thurles Tidy Towns report (2019) makes for sad, depressive reading. It is imperative that our followers / readers do click HERE and read the 2019 report and more importantly, read between the lines.

Having read this 2019 adjudicator’s report, latter which attempts to bear all the attributes associated with the understanding; gentleness; helpfulness and neighbourliness of adjudicators; rather than their being outright and critical of our obvious neglect, greed and inability as a community; let us now look at the marking sheets for Thurles Tidy Towns over the past five years, inclusive, beginning in 2015 and displayed hereunder.

CentreThurles: CountyTipperary (North): CategoryE: Ref 627

While each of the reports hereunder, demonstrates judging criteria; e.g. Planning and Involvement; Streetscape & Public Places; Green Spaces and Landscaping; Localised Nature and Biodiversity; Sustainability; Tidiness and Litter Control; Streets & Housing Areas; Approach Roads, and finally, Streets & Lanes; we are going to examine the marks allocated under ‘Tidiness and Litter Control’ and ‘Sustainability’. Yes, in each case just one mark has been allocated each year, in the sad hope that our community will feel enthusiastic and empowered to reach greater heights in the years ahead.

Thurles Tidy Towns Results in 2015.

Overall Marks 280; Tidiness and Litter Control – Marks 52; Sustainability – Marks 14.

Thurles Tidy Towns Results in 2016.

Overall Marks 285; Tidiness and Litter Control – Marks 53; Sustainability – Marks 15.

Thurles Tidy Towns Results in 2017.

Overall Marks 293; Tidiness and Litter Control – Marks 54; Sustainability – Marks 16.

Thurles Tidy Towns Results in 2018.

Overall Marks 298. Tidiness and Litter Control – Marks 55; Sustainability – Marks 17.

Thurles Tidy Towns Results in 2019.

Overall Marks 306. Tidiness and Litter Control Marks 56. Sustainability – Marks 18.

While Thurles received 306 marks this year (2019); two other towns in North Tipperary, each in the same category (E), have now jumped well ahead on the judges marking sheet, with Roscrea achieving 322 marks, followed by Nenagh achieving 321 marks.

Nevertheless, other villages and towns in Tipperary, not surprisingly, did achieved high accolades, with Birdhill Tidy Towns (North Tipperary) joint winners of the Tree Project Award; with Ballyboy (North Tipperary) and Gortnahoe (South Tipperary) picking up Endeavour Awards.

In the ‘Waters and Communities‘ category, it was Lattin (South Tipperary) who took the honours, while Terryglass (North Tipperary) took the national honours in Category A.

Gold Award winners in Tipperary were Terryglass, Emly, Kilsheelan and Clonmel; with Silver Award winners being Birdhill and Silvermines. The towns of Cahir, Roscrea and Nenagh all won Bronze Awards.

Surely, these results relate something, as regards our failures in developing community effort here in Thurles.