Bord na Mona has been accused of ignoring a recent High Court decision by applying for a horticultural processing facility without assessing the impact on the bogs supplying the peat.
The application is for a horticultural processing facility on a 2.7-hectare site near Naas in County Kildare.
The application to Kildare County Council by Bord na Mona says the project is a joint venture with the Dutch company Legro. ‘Legro are based in Holland and sell potting soils and substrates for the professional and consumer market and is one of largest producers of casing soil for mushroom cultivation with clients all around the world’, according to the application.
In its objection, Friends of the Irish Environment point out that the High Court recently ruled in relation to Edenderry Power Plant that the source of the plant’s fuel was required to be considered as part of the application for the continuation of the plant.
‘We would suggest to the Planning authority that in view of the planning history of the Edenderry Power Plant, the Local Authority has no choice but to refuse this application until the extraction of the peat required to supply this facility is addressed.’
‘The extraction of peat from our bogs reduces their capacity to attenuate downstream flooding, pollutes watercourses and reacts with chlorine in our water treatment plants to produce trihalomethanes, potentially carcinogenic by-products of disinfecting coloured water with chlorine. With 64% of our carbon store in our peatlands, extracting a further 200,000m3 of peat a year for this project will make it increasingly difficult for Ireland to reach its Kyoto targets.
‘While Bord na Mona has committed to phasing out the exploitation of bogs for power plants, it shows no sign of any social responsibility when it comes to its’ horticultural division’, a spokesman for the organisation said.