Phosphorus Regulations National Implementation Report, 2003

Summary: Outlines the quality targets required by regulations, summarises the various measures being applied by each local authority to tackle water quality problems and analyses the success of these measures.

Published: 2003

ISBN: 1-84095-130-3

Pages: 159

Filesize: 2,025KB

Format: pdf

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Executive Summary

This is the second National Implementation Report published by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the Phosphorus Regulations. It is prepared under Article 4(4) of the Local Government (Water Pollution) Act, 1977 (Water Quality Standards for Phosphorus) Regulations, 1998 (S.I. 258 of 1998). The report has been prepared from information and water quality data submitted by local authorities in their Implementation Reports and from water quality data collected by the EPA.

The Phosphorus Regulations require that water quality be maintained or improved by reference to the baseline biological quality rating (rivers) or trophic status (lakes) assigned by the EPA in the 1995-97 review period or at the first occasion thereafter. Water quality targets set in the Regulations must be met by 2007 at the latest for waters surveyed by the EPA in the 1995-97 period and within a maximum of ten years for waters first surveyed after 1997. The EPA has published a number of reports relating to the Regulations (Clenaghan et al., 2000, 2001) and must publish a National Report on Implementation of the Regulations every two years to 2009. This report is based largely on Implementation Reports that the local authorities were obliged to submit to the EPA by 31 July 2002.

Current monitoring indicates that, in the case of rivers, the water quality at 61.8 per cent of the monitoring stations nationally is compliant with the Regulations i.e., the water quality at these stations meets the biological and/or the phosphorus targets in the Regulations. This represents an increase of 1.1% in compliance from the previous reporting period. A total of 56.8 per cent of river stations meet the biological targets of the Regulations. This represents a decline of 1.4% in the number of stations meeting the biological targets of the Regulations from the previous reporting period (1998-2000).

Local authorities with a relatively high level of compliance (> 70 per cent of river stations compliant) with the Regulations are Dublin City, Kerry, Sligo, Cavan, South Dublin and Mayo. Local authorities with a relatively low level of compliance (< 50 per cent of river stations compliant) with the Regulations are Monaghan, Meath, Fingal, Dun Laoghaire- Rathdown, Longford and Kilkenny.Marked increases in compliance between reporting periods are apparent in Dublin City, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, Cavan, Kildare, Westmeath, Fingal and Louth.

These increases are largely due to increased monitoring for phosphorus and in some cases (most notably Dublin City) reductions in phosphorus levels. However, only Fingal exhibits a notable increase in the percentage of stations meeting the biological targets of the Regulations. A marked decline in compliance with the Regulations was apparent in Monaghan, but this was largely due to a reduction in phosphorus monitoring from the previous reporting period. Kilkenny, Carlow, Clare and Wicklow all recorded moderate declines in the number of stations meeting the biological targets of the Regulations.