Who is responsible for the enforcement of the European Union (Good Agricultural Practice for Protection of Waters) Regulations, 2014?
The Local Authorities (County Councils) and the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine are responsible for enforcement of the regulations and they undertake farm inspections to check compliance. If Local Authorities find farmers contravening these Regulations, they must report them to the Cross Compliance Unit of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
The Regulations are also part of the Cross Compliance requirements under the Single Payment Scheme and other area-based schemes. The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine by agreement with the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, has taken on responsibility for the undertaking of Cross Compliance inspections for the Single Payment Scheme and other area-based schemes. In addition, the Department carry out a proportion of farm inspections on behalf of Local Authorities.
The Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine can impose financial penalties for non-compliance.
Requirements of the European Union (Good Agricultural Practice for Protection of Waters) Regulations, 2014?
The European Union (Good Agricultural Practice for Protection of Waters) Regulations, 2014 specify a significant number of controls in relation to managing the farmyard, managing fertilisers and nutrients, and keeping records.
Further details are contained in Explanatory Handbook for Good Agricultural Practice for the Protection of Waters Regulations, 2014.
Who do I contact to report cutting/burning/destruction of hedgerows during the nesting and breeding season for birds and wildlife?
In Ireland, hedgerows are of exceptional importance as habitats, particularly for birds but also for wildflowers, shrubs and trees and provide food and shelter for birds and other wildlife and enhance the diversity of nature in our countryside.
Cutting, burning, or destruction of hedgerows is restricted during the nesting and breeding season for birds and wildlife between the 1st March and the 31st August except for certain exemptions (Section 40 of the Wildlife Acts 1976 as amended by the Wildlife (Amendment) Act 2000 and the Heritage Act 2018) These restrictions apply to private land-users, local authorities, public bodies and contractors.
You can report details of unlawful cutting, grubbing, burning or destruction to the local Conservation Rangers of the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS). Reported instances will, as far as practicable, be investigated. Your local NPWS Office can be found through the NPWS website.
Will the Farm Hazardous Waste Collection Scheme be running this year?
Information on hazardous waste collection permit holders is available from the National Waste Collection Permit Office.
Is the EPA responsible for wildlife and protecting natural habitats?
The EPA is responsible for reporting on nature conservation in its 'State of the Environment' reports. However, responsibility for nature conservation lies with the National Parks and Wildlife Service.
The National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS) is part of the Department of the Environment Heritage and Local Government and is charged with the conservation of a range of habitats and species in Ireland. Some of its most important activities include:
Designation and protection of Natural Heritage Areas (NHAs), Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) & Special Protection Areas (SPAs) and,
Managing and developing our National Parks and Nature Reserves.
For further information please go to the National Parks and Wildlife Service website.
I have observed a contractor spraying pesticides in a public area not taking any safety precautions to protect the public - who to contact
You will need to contact the Pesticide Registration & Control Division of the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine for advice on this matter.
Further information is available here: http://www.pcs.agriculture.gov.ie/sud/professionaluserssprayeroperators/
When is the application of fertiliser (chemical, organic fertiliser (other than farmyard manure) and farmyard manure) to land prohibited?
The periods when the application of fertilisers to land is prohibited are specified in Schedule 4 of the European Union (Good Agricultural Practice for Protection of Waters) Regulations 2014 as follows:
1. In counties Carlow, Cork, Dublin, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Offaly, Tipperary, Waterford, Wexford and Wicklow, the period during which the application of fertilisers to land is prohibited is the period from—
(a) 15 September to 12 January in the case of the application of chemical fertiliser
(b) 15 October to 12 January in the case of the application of organic fertiliser (other than farmyard manure)
(c) 1 November to 12 January in the case of the application of farmyard manure.
2. In counties Clare, Galway, Kerry, Limerick, Longford, Louth, Mayo, Meath, Roscommon, Sligo and Westmeath, the period during which the application of fertilisers to land is prohibited is the period from—
(a) 15 September to 15 January in the case of the application of chemical fertiliser
(b) 15 October to 15 January in the case of the application of organic fertiliser (other than farmyard manure)
(c) 1 November to 15 January in the case of the application of farmyard manure.
3. In counties Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim and Monaghan, the period during which the application of fertilisers to land is prohibited is the period from—
(a) 15 September to 31 January in the case of the application of chemical fertiliser
(b) 15 October to 31 January in the case of the application of organic fertiliser (other than farmyard manure)
(c) 1 November to 31 January in the case of the application of farmyard manure.
What precautions must be taken when applying fertiliser to land?
In order to prevent waters from being polluted by nitrogen and phosphorus, the European Union (Good Agricultural Practice for Protection of Waters) Regulations, 2014 require that you must do the following:
The following table shows the different buffer zones for different kinds of water bodies (lakes, rivers, wells etc.). You must not spread soiled water, effluents, farmyard manures or other organic fertilisers inside these buffer zones. Buffer zones for spreading organic fertilisers.
|Water body / Feature||Buffer zone|
|Any water supply source providing 100m3 or more of water per day, or serving 500 or more people||200 metres (or as little as 30 metres where a local authority allows)|
|Any water supply source providing 10m3 or more of water per day, or serving 50 or more people||100 metres (or as little as 30 metres where a local authority allows)|
|Any other water supply for human consumption||25 metres (or as little as 30 metres where a local authority allows)|
|Lake shoreline||20 metres|
|Exposed cavernous or karstified limestone features (such as swallow holes or collapse features)||15 metres|
|Any surface watercourse where the slope towards the watercourse exceeds 10%||10 metres|
|Any other surface waters||5 metres*|
* The 5 metre buffer zone is increased to 10 metres for a period of two weeks preceding and two weeks following the periods when application of fertilisers to land is prohibited as set out in Schedule 4 of the Regulations (check the table and map on page 6). The objective of increased setback distances at the shoulders of the closed period is to help retain as much of the applied nutrient in the field as possible thereby reducing its risk of loss through overland flow.
In the case of water for human consumption, your Local Authority may vary buffer widths from those specified above, and will inform you if they do so.
What is asbestos?
Asbestos is a natural mineral made up of many small fibres. There are three main types:
What are the risks from asbestos?
Asbestos can be harmful if dust containing the fibre is inhaled.
The risk from asbestos where the fibres are still intact (such as in asbestos cement) is significantly reduced. However, always treat all asbestos products with caution as potential sources of fibrous dust, and handle them carefully.
Where is asbestos found
Asbestos has been used in the home in building materials and consumer goods, particularly to resist heat and to give fire protection.
Common uses in the past are as:
Asbestos material can be inadvertently disturbed during maintenance, repair or refurbishment work on a building. Drilling, cutting or other disturbance of existing asbestos materials can release asbestos fibres into the air. Asbestos products should always be handled carefully.
What do you do if find asbestos?
If you think you have come across asbestos in your home or office and you're unsure about whether the material contains asbestos, don't take any chances. Seek expert advice from asbestos monitoring/surveying companies.
A specialist contractor should be engaged to carry out work on asbestos products or to demolish asbestos products, particularly those that are worn or damaged.
In the case of asbestos products where the fibres are tightly bound (for example, in asbestos cement roofs), and the material is in good condition, specialist asbestos removal contractors may not always be necessary.
Always take precautions, and contact the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) for advice:
Health and Safety Authority,
The Metropolitan Building,
James Joyce Street,
Tel. (01) 6147020 or 1890289389
Fax. (01) 6147020.
Queries concerning working with asbestos should be directed to
Occupational Hygiene Unit,
HSA, Dublin 1.
Tel: (01) 614 7000.
Disposing of asbestos waste
Asbestos waste is hazardous and must be disposed of properly. Before any demolition work, identify which waste facility is licensed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for disposal of asbestos waste.
Hazardous waste transfer stations can accept asbestos waste and then arrange to have it disposed of at an appropriate facility here or abroad.
The following waste facilities are licensed by the EPA to accept asbestos waste:
Once the asbestos is removed safely, it should be wrapped in heavy gauge polythene bags, and labelled asbestos.
There must be strict adherence to any instructions given by a local authority or waste collection permit holder regarding the packaging of the waste for removal.
Asbestos waste must only be surrendered to local authority waste collectors or to an authorised waste collection permit holder.
Operators of facilities that are authorised to accept waste asbestos should contact the Agency to have their details added to this list or to correct any out-of-date information on operations.
For information on waste collection permit holders authorised to collect asbestos waste, please contact the National Waste Collection Permit Office at Offaly Co. Co. or search for permit holders on their website www.nwcpo.ie