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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.

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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.

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University Hospital Limerick Set A New Record

University Hospital Limerick (UHL) has set a new record. Alas, the new record is for the largest number of patients to ever end up being treated on a trolley / surf board, here in an Irish hospital, on Wednesday October 2nd, 2019.

This new record is based on figures supplied and published by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, which claim that today there are 82 patients being treated on trolleys in their emergency department and in overflow wards at this medical facility.

Readers Refresh Your Memories Here

This marks the second time in 2019 that UHL, which serves patients from North Tipperary, has managed to set a new record. April 3rd 2019 saw 81 patients on trolleys and the facility has succeeded in matching that same record three times; see July 11th, September 23rd and just last Tuesday.

While the electorate of North Tipperary remain silent, the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation have now called on Minister for Health Mr Simon Harris for “direct, immediate intervention”, at this facility.

However, this is the same Mr Harris (Minister for Health) that has presided over: – The Smear Test Scandal; The Introduction of Abortion; No pain relief permitted for babies in late term abortion; The 2nd Smear Test scandal; A National Children’s Hospital that was permitted to run at least €1.25 billion over budget; The current fiasco that is the HSE; Growing Hospital waiting lists; Shortage of doctors, nurses, consultants and hospital beds; Abortion for children under 16, without parental consent; No medical care for babies that survive abortion; The Pain Patch scandal; and finally the spending of €27.9m (€76,000 per day) by the HSE on Taxi Cabs, to transport patient charts and files between hospitals, as well as transferring patients for treatment elsewhere.

Remember this is a government that “bowed and scraped”; spending up to €18 million Euro entertaining and securing US President Mr Donald Trump and his Irish decended US Vice President Mr Mike Pence, during both of their really unwanted visits to Ireland.

Help Required by UHL.

To help alleviate the problem; this UHL swamped hospital facility is rightly now calling for permission to cancel non-essential elective work. It is also seeking more home packages, latter which would allow for the moving of patient out of the hospital and thus freeing up beds. Finally, it has sought emergency funding to provide extra agency staff and an end to the “recruitment ban”.

Time for him to resign, in the knowledge that he and this misguided liberal-conservative Fine Gael minority government have totally failed the people of both North & South Co. Tipperary.

UHL requests come at a time when HSE Chief Executive Paul Reid has informed senior health managers to identify and put in place extra measures to limit, as much as possible, overruns within services.

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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.”

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Dementia Awareness Evening Thurles Library

Dementia Awareness Evening – Thurles Library – Tuesday Evening October 15th – Time 6:00pm.

Ms Suzanne Brosnan (Senior Library Assistant), Tipperary County Council Library Service, reports:-

“A Dementia Awareness Evening will take place in Thurles Library, Cathedral Street, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, on Tuesday 15th October at 6:00pm sharp.

Guest speakers on the night will include Ms Amy Murphy (Dementia Advisor with the Alzheimer’s Society of Ireland) and Ms Kathy Ryan (Chairperson of the Dementia Ireland Working Group).”

Bookings to this event can be made by phone via Telephone No: 0761-06-6131.

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