Thursday, 25 October 2018

Ceisteanna (276)

Martin Kenny

Ceist:

276. Deputy Martin Kenny asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of water samples taken under the acid sensitivity protocol in each of the years 2008 to 2017 in acid sensitive areas such as County Leitrim and north County Roscommon which account for 700,000 acres of acid sensitive land or 10% of acid sensitive land here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44292/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

Under the DAFM/EPA Acid Sensitivity Protocol, afforestation applications within certain defined areas of the country must be accompanied by water sampling at pre-approval stage, to assess the sensitivity of receiving waters to acidification.

In summary, sampling and analysis by an accredited laboratory must be carried out on at least four separate occasions within the period 1st February to the 31st May inclusive, with each sample taken at least 28 days apart. Where the minimum alkalinity of any one of the four samples taken is <8 mg CaCO3 / litre, no afforestation is permitted. If the result is 8-15 mg CaCO3 / litre, full, partial or no afforestation may be approved, following discussion and agreement between DAFM, EPA and Inland Fisheries Ireland. If the result is >15 mg CaCO3 / litre, afforestation may be licensed. Where landowners or foresters get negative water sample results they may not proceed with applications.

It should be noted that, since early 2013, water sampling under the Acid Sensitivity Protocol is not required for afforestation applications which relate to native woodland creation, as these are not considered to have the same potential acidifying effect as other categories of afforestation.

The defined areas of the country, where water sampling is required in accordance with the DAFM/EPA Acid Sensitivity Protocol, are listed in Appendix 11 of the Forestry Standards Manual and are given in the table below and do not include Counties Leitrim and Roscommon.

Six inch Ordnance Survey sheets designated as being acid sensitive areas

All ranges listed are inclusive.

County

OS Sheets

Clare

Southern half of 31

Southern half of 32

39 to 41

Northern half of 48

Northern half of 49

Donegal

34 to 36

41 to 44

49 to 51

57 to 60

67 to 69

77

Galway

9 to 13

21 to 27

34 to 40

48 to 55

62 to 68

75 to 81

89 to 93

Kerry

56

62 to 64

69 to 72

78 to 83

87 to 92

96 to 100

105 to 107

Offaly

Southern half of 16

23 to 24

Sligo

24 to 25

Wicklow

7 to 8

11 to 13

17 to 19

23 to 25

29 to 31

33 to 36

39 and 40