FIE studied 3 clearfelling sites on fragile soils in the south-west of Ireland in 2007. Water poured over and around straw bales intended to trap sediments and flooded onto roads and into watercourses. Deep rutting of heavy machinery left irreparable soil damage reminiscent of battlefield conditions. In one case, even the birches originally planted as a buffer zone were felled. The Report has now been downloaded over 1,500 times since its posting to the site in September 2008, the highest number in the FIE Library. Read the Report.
Legislation designed to regulate quarries is unenforceable, according to the Ombudsman.
Under the 2000 Planning Act, quarries which were already operating were required to apply for registration. The aim of the legislation was to achieve a final decision at the end of the registration process which was as accurate, comprehensive and enforceable as reasonably possible and which minimised the environmental impacts of the quarry.
An 18 month investigation by Friends if the Irish Environment into the failure of registered quarries throughout Ireland to meet their environmental conditions has now ended with a letter from the Ombudsman informing the group that the Department of the Environment has informed the Ombudsman that conditions imposed under this Act are unenforceable as ‘the act did not provide a mechanism for pursuing legal proceedings for non-compliance.'
A Report about the industrial legacy of contamination at Haulbowline Island has been published by FIE on their website. It includes more than 20 photographs, including those of waste being buried on the island during the 1990s. A companion ‘Briefing Document’ contains analysis of Reports, documents, and emails relating to dumping on the island 1974 – 2008. FIE believes that the future of Haulbowline must be taken away from Ministers and the Cabinet and returned to the Environmental Protection Agency and the Local Authority. The Minister for the Environment is iudex in causa sua– a judge in his own cause - as he is a part of the Government which owns the site as well as the Minister determining the extent and so the cost of the cleanup . It is a principle of natural justice that no person can judge a case in which he or she is a party.’ Read The Report.
FIE is calling for a kick start to a pesticide ‘National Action Plan’ after a leaked EU Report on pesticides due to be published shortly reveals that a record proportion of 49% of fruits and vegetables sold in the EU are contaminated with pesticides. But the percentage of cereal samples containing pesticides residues sold in Ireland doubled from 2005 – 2006 from 17% to 38%.with 11% over the MRL - more than 15 times the EU average.
More than twice as many Irish fruit and vegetables were over the MRL limits compared to fruits and vegetables imported from our European partners. Of 84 apples on sale in Ireland, 61 had pesticide resides at or over the MRL [Maximum Residue Levels].