Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Questions (48)

Jackie Cahill

Question:

48. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the measures that will be taken to protect landowners impacted by the Bord na Móna rewetting programme funded by his Department; if an independent assessment will be carried out in advance of the rewetting programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6495/21]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

The approval of the Bord na Móna Enhanced Decommissioning, Rehabilitation and Restoration Scheme (EDRRS) on 24 November 2020 reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to a just transition for workers in the Midlands. The scheme includes the provision of funding in the order of €108 million for implementation costs over a period of 5 years.

The scheme will, over time, employ 307 people, some of whom will be engaged on a seasonal basis, with 210 full time equivalents engaged over the delivery period. The scheme encompasses 33,000 hectares of Bord na Móna peatlands previously harvested for peat extraction for electricity generation. The scheme will protect the storage of 100 million tonnes of CO2 emissions. It is also estimated that over the period 2020 to 2050, 3.2 million tonnes of CO2 emissions will be avoided.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service has been established as Scheme Regulator to ensure the effective oversight of the rehabilitation and restoration works. Bord an Móna must submit a plan for each bog to both the National Parks and Wildlife Services in respect of this scheme and to the Environmental Protection Agency in respect of works required to meet their Integrated Pollution Control (IPC) licence obligations. As part of this process, Bord Na Móna will consult with stakeholders and landowners that may be impacted by the scheme.