Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Ceisteanna (384)

Catherine Connolly

Ceist:

384. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the reason prospecting licences are being granted in areas of Natura 2000 sites, national heritage areas, special areas of conservation and special protection areas in view of the fact that no mining licences are to be offered; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48630/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

Prospecting licences may be granted following environmental screening by my Department including screening for Appropriate Assessment. This screening takes into account designated sites including Special Areas of Conservation, Special Protection Areas, Natural Heritage Areas, Nature Reserves and National Parks.

An application for a mining licence is a separate and independent process from prospecting licensing. Mining licences are only issued after planning permission and an IPC licence has been granted by the Local Authority and the EPA respectively. If an applicant can demonstrate that the proposed mine will not have significant adverse effects on a Designated Site, or alternatively, should imperative reasons of overriding public interest exist in accordance with the European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011 (SI 477 of 2011), permission could be granted.