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Emissions From Air Pollutants Increased In 2016

Emissions from three important air pollutants increased in 2016 – Ireland’s emissions going in the wrong direction for people to benefit from cleaner air.

EPA reports 2016 emission levels for the five main air pollutants.

The figures show that emissions of three of the five air pollutants increased – ammonia, nitrogen oxides and non-methane volatile organic compounds.
Emissions of ammonia have been increasing since 2011 and were above the specified EU emission limit in 2016 for the first time.
Emissions of two of the other air pollutants, nitrogen oxides and non-methane volatile organic compounds, while in compliance with EU limits for now, are increasing.
Emissions of sulphur dioxide continue to decrease. These were well below the required EU emission limits, substantially due to the use of lower sulphur content fuels in electricity generation and transport.
Particulate matter emissions declined in 2016. Future emissions will depend largely on the quantity and quality of solid fuel used in the residential and commercial sectors.

The EPA today published figures for emissions of five key air pollutants. These pollutants impact air quality in Ireland and further afield, causing respiratory problems, pollution of soil and surface water, and damage to vegetation.

Stephen Treacy, Senior Manager with the EPA, said, “Our figures show that emissions of three of the five main pollutants are going in the wrong direction. Higher emissions of these pollutants will cause damage to air quality and health and make future compliance with EU limits more challenging.”

This latest information from the EPA shows that Ireland exceeded its emission limits for ammonia for the first time in 2016 and emissions of this gas are increasing. The agriculture sector accounts for virtually all (99 per cent) ammonia emissions in Ireland arising from the application of fertilisers – 40 million tonnes of animal manures are used annually together with 300,000 tonnes of nitrogen in fertilisers.

“Ammonia limits have been breached due to the rapid expansion of dairy and beef production in Ireland in recent years. This underlines the challenge in designing appropriate policies that protect our environment in a growing economy”, Stephen Treacy said.

The 2016 figures show that Ireland remains in compliance with its nitrogen oxide and non-methane volatile organic carbon emission limits, though these emissions are also increasing. Transport is the principal source of nitrogen oxide emissions, contributing approximately 41 per cent of the total in 2016. Agriculture is the second biggest source, contributing approximately 29.6 per cent of the 2016 total, mainly due to synthetic fertiliser application and emissions from urine and dung deposited by grazing animals.
The figures published today show that Ireland’s level of sulphur dioxide continues to be well below the EU emission limits. The reduction in the emission of this pollutant is positive for the environment, public health and the economy. The main sources of sulphur dioxide emissions are the power generation, residential and commercial sectors. Effective licencing and enforcement by the EPA has contributed to reductions in these pollutants as well as the use of cleaner fuels in power generation and transport.

Stephen Treacy concluded: “On the positive side, Ireland has significantly cut emissions of sulphur dioxide, greatly reducing the environmental damage caused by this pollutant, via behaviour change and response to regulatory interventions. While overall emissions of particulate matter also declined in 2016, localised problems can arise because of residential solid-fuel use.”

For further detail on these figures see the EPA web published report Ireland’s Air Pollutant Emissions 2016.


Advice For Private Well Owners Affected by Storm Emma

Advice For Private Well Owners Affected by Storm Emma

The EPA recommends that if your well has been affected by Storm Emma you should make sure it is properly disinfected before using it for drinking water. Details of how you can disinfect your well are below. This procedure should be carried out once the flooding has subsided.

The EPA has also published advice and guidance for households using private wells which includes information on:

  • Protecting your private well water
  • Testing and treating your well water
  • Concerns and complaints
  • Further guidance and Frequently Asked Questions

This information includes a Protect Your Well Assessment App. and a short animation explaining how to protect your private well.

The EPA has also published an Advice Note on Restoring Public Water Supplies Following Flooding which should be used by water suppliers, such as Irish Water and Group Water Schemes operators, if supplies have been affected by flooding.

Disinfecting Your Well After Flooding

This method is for the disinfection of a well water supply, water storage tank, water carrying pipe work and hot and cold-water cylinders. Approximately 1,100 litres of water will be used.

Caution: if you have a filter or any other type of water treatment on any part of your system, consult your supplier before following this procedure. Heavily chlorinated water may affect the filter or the chlorine may be absorbed by the filter, rendering the procedure ineffective.

Add 5 litres of a 1% w/v solution of Sodium Hypochlorite to 25 litres of water. While we do not endorse any individual products, any one of the following products may be used diluted in 25 litres of water.

2.5 litres of Milton fluid (or 50 tablets) or similar products with 2% w/v Sodium Hypochlorite.


0.5 litres of Sterichlor or similar products with 10/11% Sodium Hypochlorite

Disinfection products sold for use on the farm will be acceptable for use in disinfecting wells. However, it is important to seek advice about their use and it is advisable to always use the products in about 25 litres of water.

  1. Pour half of the solution into the well.
  2. Turn on the drinking water tap in the kitchen and let the water run until there is a distinct smell of chlorine from the water. Then turn off the tap.
  3. Turn on all other taps and let the water run until there is a distinct smell of chlorine from the water. Then turn off the taps.
  4. Pour the other half of the solution into the well. Turn off the well pump and ensure that the well is covered properly. Allow to stand overnight or for at least 8 hours.
  5. After at least 8 hours reconnect the pump. Turn on all taps and let the water run until the smell of chlorine is gone. Turn off all taps.
  6. Arrange for the water to be tested.

N.B. This method is only suitable as a once off shock disinfecting procedure and cannot replace a proper treatment system if your water supply needs continuous disinfection.


Avian Influenza Subtype H5N6 Strikes Co. Tipperary

White-tailed Eagle

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine today confirmed that a virus identified as avian influenza (subtype H5N6) has been found in a white-tailed sea eagle, found dead in Co. Tipperary, on January 31st last.

The HSE Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HSE-HPSC) and the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) have both advised that the risk to public health from this avian influenza strain is very low and that the disease poses no food safety risk for consumers.

However, this finding could warrant an increased risk to poultry and therefore strict bio-security measures, irrespective of actual bird-flock size, are now necessary to further prevent the disease. Poultry owners are advised to feed and water their birds inside and under cover where wild birds are less likely to access.

This find in Co. Tipperary comes as no great surprise; since this virus has already been detected in wild birds in several locations across Great Britain from the start of 2018, and indeed in other more eastern European countries prior to the end of 2017.

Warning: In particular inform your children. If you do find dead or sickly wild birds, e.g. wild ducks, wild geese, swans, gulls or birds of prey, do not handle, but immediately report the findings.

A list of Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine offices and their contact details are available HERE.

The results of further comparative tests on this virus are expected to become available in the coming days.


Teen Dies In Tipperary Farming Accident

A 15-year-old male teenager has tragically lost his life in yet another farming accident here in North Tipperary.

The tragedy occurred on a farm in the Newtown, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary area yesterday afternoon (Sunday), shortly before 6.00pm.

We understand that the boy, named locally as Master Patrick McCormack of Ryninch Ballina, a Junior Cert student in St Anne’s Community College, Killaloe, was thrown from the back of a tractor, while working on his uncle’s farm near Bulaglass, in Newtown Nenagh.

Gardaí and the Health and Safety Authority are investigating the incident.

Tributes have been paid to the popular teenager; together with condolences being offered to his family, in a post by his local GAA club in Ballina.

Ballina GAA Club would like to offer our sincere condolences to the family of Patrick Mc Cormack who died in a tragic accident yesterday evening. Patrick played hurling and football at under age level with our club and with Ballina National School.
To John, Fiona , Emer, Mary and his grandmother Mrs Mc Cormack and family and friends, our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Taken far too soon.
May he Rest In Peace.

Go ndéana Dia trócaire ar a anam dílis.


Tipperary Man Appointed Chairperson Of Dairygold.

Mr John O’Gorman.

Clogheen, Co. Tipperary native, Mr John O’Gorman, this afternoon was elected the Chairperson of Ireland’s largest farmer-owned Co-Operative, Dairygold.

The Dairygold Co-Operative boasts 7,100 Shareholders, 2,900 milk suppliers and 1,250 staff working across its sites in Ireland, the UK, Germany, Spain and China. In 2017, Dairygold processed over 1.3 billion litres of milk from its Membership.

Holding a Bachelor degree in Accounting and Business Management and a Diploma in Corporate Direction, Food Business from UCC; Mr O’Gorman, was first elected to the Board of Dairygold in January 2013.

He is married to spouse Alison, with a family of three daughters, and previously served as Vice-Chairman of Dairygold, since just last year. He now replaces the former Chairperson Mr James Lynch, latter who served for the previous three years, thus having served out the maximum term permitted on the Board of Dairygold.

Mr O’Gorman stated that he was honoured to have been elected to serve as Chairperson of Dairygold, confirming the Co-Operative was a long-standing and ambitious organisation, holding deep commitment to both its membership and its shareholders. He also stated that he looked forward to working closely with the Board’s Chief Executive Mr Jim Woulfe, and his dedicated professional staff.

Having paid tribute to his outgoing predecessor, highlighting the latter’s great leadership and stewardship; he confirmed his enthusiasm to playing his part in Dairygold’s continued growth and future success.