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EPA Statement On Publication Of IPCC Synthesis Report Of Sixth Assessment Cycle.

  • The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has published the Synthesis Report as part of its 6th Assessment Cycle. This marks the completion of the IPCC’s landmark 6th Assessment process.
  • The Synthesis Report combines findings on climate science, mitigation and adaptation – to provide the full picture of climate change and its challenges. Its findings include:
  • Global warming has reached 1.1°C above pre-industrial levels and warming of 1.5oC may occur in 10-20 years unless effective global actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are taken.
  • The ongoing build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is driving global warming with emissions continuing to increase; the main sources are fossil energy use, unsustainable land use and unsustainable patterns of consumption and production.
  • The impacts of global warming are evident around the world and the rate of many changes in the climate system has increased, including extremes such as heat waves.
  • The scale of risks increases with warming and particularly beyond 2oC. Higher risks are now expected at lower warming levels, including risks of large scale and irreversible impacts.
  • These risks include displacement; loss of species; mortality risks related to increasing global exposure to heat and humidity; and loss of staple food production.
  • Major global changes will continue even after the global temperature increase is halted including sea-level rise and glacier loss. Limiting warming to 1.5oC would reduce both the rate and scale of these changes.
  • The decisions and actions we take over this decade will determine the scale of future climate change and have intergenerational consequences.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) welcomes the publication of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Synthesis Report as part of its 6th Assessment cycle. This report tells us how and why our climate is changing and the interlinked threat it poses for human health ecosystems and biodiversity.

Ms Laura Burke, EPA Director General, said: “The IPCC findings are clear, stark and challenging. They reinforce the urgent need for action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while adapting to the current and future impacts of climate change.
This report which completes the IPCC 6th Assessment cycle will inform how world governments, including Ireland, will respond when they consider progress towards the Paris Agreement goals as part of the first Global Stocktake later in 2023. The EPA is also actively considering how these global messages can inform our work.”

Dr Frank McGovern, EPA said: “This has been the longest and most challenging IPCC Assessment Cycle. It has also been the most productive, including three special reports and the assessment report. This Synthesis report is based on their findings and provides the essence of our current understanding of climate change and the responses that are needed if we are to safeguard the Earth’s climate. Actions to protect our climate and reduce the risks of climate impacts are possible across all sectors. Delays increase these risks so now is the time to act.”

The EPA is leading the development of Ireland’s first Climate Change Assessment based on scientific research and systematic observations in Ireland. It will be published later this year. The report will build on and localise information from this IPCC Synthesis Report and the underlying reports provided during the 6th assessment cycle.

For further information: Emily Williamson: EPA Media Relations Office, 053 9170770 (24 hours) or media@epa.ie


SuperValu, Principal Irish Sponsors Of National Tidy Towns, Found Littering In Thurles.

SuperValu, principal Irish Sponsors for National Tidy Towns, found littering in Thurles.

Some 100 copies of out of date Supervalu catalogues were dumped on the pavement on the junction of Ikerrin Road, and Kickham Street, sometime around midday today (March 3rd).

SuperValu staff at their Friar Street, Thurles, establishment (The Supervalu chain are the principal Irish Sponsors of Irish National Tidy Towns), were informed of this street littering at 2:00pm today, and furthermore were informed as to the exact location of where this offence had been committed.

It became obvious that Supervalu staff were not really interested or indeed embarrased, on hearing the details, since the bearer of the information wasn’t even asked for their name and no notes were taken as to the exact location.
Exactly five hours later the catalogues, plus their wrapper, had not been removed and were still to be found, loitering at the same location.

Following a call to SuperValu’s head office, Tel. No. 0818 456 828, at 7:00pm, a telephonest promised to email the offices of SuperValu Thurles, but declared that she could not be sure anyone would read correspondence sent tonight, March 3rd. [It would appear that senior management at the aforementioned establishment cannot be contacted by phone and are unable to receive a text message].

The caller gave the Supervalu telephonest a further one hour to arrange to pick up their out of date advertising rubbish. [Note: Thurles SuperValu, Friar Street, is less than a 5 minute drive from Kickham Street.]

The supermarket; having failed to cooperate, left the caller with no alternative but to notify Ms Sharon Scully, (Administrator Thurles Municipal District Council), to either fine or prosecute the offender.

A rising wind or some happy reveller, walking home from the pub tonight, may decide to scatter these 100 catalogues along the full length of the street and beyond; but not to worry, as an on-the-spot fine for dumping in Co. Tipperary, is a mere €150, or a maximum fine of €4,000, if convicted in the District Court.


Ban On Cutting Of Hedgerows & Burning Of Gorse & Heather Came Into Effect Today.

From today, March 1st, a ban on cutting hedgerows and burning gorse and heather has come into effect and will remain in place until August 31st 2023 next.

Over the coming months, birds and mammals, particularly those considered endangered species, who hopefully will have found a mate; will build their nest in an effort to lay eggs and rear young families.

Above video was taken on April 13rd, 2022.

Under the current Wildlife Act, the ban on cutting hedgerows is aimed at giving all birds and other animals the best chance possible to breed successfully and share our world.

There are a number of exemptions to the ban, including the summertime trimming of hedges in the ordinary course of gardening and the cutting of roadside hedges to prevent obstruction to motorists.

The Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage said it is taking cases of wildlife crime seriously and has urged people to protect hedgerow and upland habitats.

Efforts last year to make email contact with Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Mr Malcolm Noonan, on numerous occasions over a two year period, while acknowledged, went unanswered.

It should be noted that the clearance of vegetation in the course of road or other construction works, or in the development or preparation of sites on which any building or other structure is intended to be provided, still remains exempt under Section 40 of the Wildlife Act. This rule therefore gives Tipperary Co. Council and Thurles Municipal Council and Developers free reign, to do whatever they wish, as we observed in April of last year, 2022.


EPA Inspections Find Food; Drink & Waste Sectors Dominate EPA National Priority List.

EPA inspections find that the Food & Drink and Waste Sectors continue to dominate the EPA National Priority Site List.

  • Thirteen sites were identified as National Priority Sites in 2022, six of these sites were from the Food & Drink sector and five were from the Waste sector.
  • The most common issues identified at these sites were non-compliance with emission limit values, poor operation of waste water treatment plants and the handling and storage of waste at waste processing sites.
  • The EPA carried out 1,434 inspections at EPA licensed sites during the year This was an 11 per cent increase on 2021. 87 per cent of these inspections were unannounced.
  • One billion euros has now been secured by the EPA in the form of financial provisions to protect the taxpayer in the event of an environmental accident or incident at a licensed site.

The EPA today published the 2022 Industrial and Waste Licence Enforcement Report, an annual summary report on the enforcement activities carried out in 2022, alongside the list of sites which were designated as National Priority Sites. during the year.
Commenting on the publication, Dr. Tom Ryan, Director, EPA’s Office of Environmental Enforcement said:
“Our enforcement activities are risk based and are, in particular, targeted at sites that are not complying with their licence requirements. We carried out over 1,400 inspections of industrial and waste licensed activities and a further 58 inspections of unauthorised activities which require a licence. Eighty seven per cent of these inspections are unannounced.”

He added: “The thirteen sites on the National Priority Sites List in 2022 were the subject of targeted enforcement action. While this represents only 1.5 per cent of the total sites licensed by the EPA, it is disappointing that the Food and Drink sector continues to make up a significant proportion of these. A small number of sites is threatening the green sustainable image that sector endeavours to project.
Our aim is to ensure that all sites, across all sectors, resolve their environmental issues, return to compliance and operate without giving cause for complaints from their neighbours.”

In summary, there were 13 facilities on the National Priority Sites list in 2022, with 6 from the food and drink sector and a further 5 from the waste sector.

These sites included:

  • 2 dairy processing facilities.
  • 3 slaughtering facilities.
  • 1 food processing facility.
  • 3 waste transfer stations.
  • 1 anaerobic digestion plant.
  • 1 landfill site.

National Priority Sites for 2022

* 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.

The annual report also highlights some of the other key enforcement activities of the EPA including the fact that the amount of financial provisions secured by the EPA exceeded one billion euros for the first time in 2022.
Commenting on this milestone Mr. Darragh Page, Programme Manager, EPA’s Office of Environmental Enforcement said: “EPA licensed sites need to put in place and maintain sufficient financial provision so that they can pay for remediation or aftercare of their site, and for any potential clean-up that may be required following an accident or incident. This funding is secured and fully accessible to the EPA should the need arise. The EPA has secured over one billion euros in financial provisions from licensed sites.
These financial provisions mean that the public purse is protected and that the taxpayer will not have to pick up the costs in the event of an environmental accident or incident at any of these licensed sites.”

The Industrial and Waste Enforcement Report 2022 and the associated statistics are available HERE.


Contractor Fined €1,000 For Harvesting Turf In Protected Bog On Tipperary Border.

Machined Turf Cutting

A case before Nenagh District Court, Co Tipperary on February 9th 2023 last, heard that turf was being extracted from a Natural Heritage Area containing a raised bog, without ministerial consent, contrary to Section 19 of the Wildlife Amendment Act 2000. The bog, situated at Monaincha & Ballaghmore, 6 km east of Roscrea, North Tipperary, spans the border of counties Tipperary and Laois.

The site is regarded as being of considerable conservation significance, and a rare habitat within the European Union. Same sites are becoming increasingly scarce and under threat here in Ireland.

The accused, named as Mr Pat McEvoy, aged 51, with an address at Blackbull, Birr, Co Offaly, had pleaded guilty to the offence and Judge Elizabeth McGrath imposed a fine of €1,000.

Evidence was provided before to the court by a National Parks and Wildlife Service Divisional Manager, latter who confirmed that the site had been designated as a Natural Heritage Area back in 2005, due to its unique raised bog microhabitat and large soak system.

He further confirmed that turf could only be harvested in the Natural Heritage Area with Ministerial consent and no such consent had been issued or requested.

On May 11th, 2020, as part of a surveillance operation in the afore mentioned area; together with a Wildlife Service colleague, the Divisional Manager had entered the bog at 7:30am and witnessed the extraction and spreading of peat on the protected site. When the machines began to leave the site, the accused involved, was approached. Mr McEvoy refused initially to identify himself, but subsequently did so, to a member of An Garda Síochána, who arrived shortly afterwards

Ignorantia juris non excusat. – Ignorance of the law is no excuse.

Judge Elizabeth McGrath, imposing a €1,000 fine, stated that she did not accept the defence that Mr McEvoy was unaware that the site was protected, adding that as a turf contractor involved in the turf trade for some years, it was his business to know the whereabouts of legally protected raised bog sites.