Date released: March 16, 2022
The EPA welcomes the High Court Judgment of Ms. Justice Phelan today, in the matter of the EPA's application for injunctive relief for the cessation of the extraction of peat by Harte Peat, from a large area of peatlands in Counties Westmeath, Cavan and Monaghan. The Judgment also concerned Harte Peat's judicial review, challenging the EPA's decision not to consider a licence application.
The High Court granted the injunctive relief sought by the EPA, in respect of certain areas from which Harte Peat is extracting peat. The Court held that the public interest in ensuring that peat extraction is carried out in compliance with both domestic and EU environmental law is the single most significant factor warranting the granting of the Order sought by the EPA. The Court also indicated that it proposed to grant Harte Peat declaratory relief in respect of inadequate reasons provided by the EPA in its decision on the licence application. However, the Court held that the decision of the EPA not to consider the licence application was correct.
The EPA is currently considering the implications of this Judgment, including its implications for the EPA's enforcement of other unauthorised peat extraction activities.
The Judgment can be found here.