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Thursday, August 11, 2022

Looks a Taisce to Challenge Fertilizer Scheme in High Court

The National Trust is seeking to bring a High Court challenge to a state program regulating n tas nitrate levels that can be used as a fertilizer in agricultural practices.

That action stems from the state’s approval of a plan known as the 5th Nitrates Action Program (NAP).

A Taisce claims that due to excess nitrate pollution from agricultural sources, the implementation of the plan will have detrimental effects on Irish waterways and environmentally protected sites.

Adoption of the NAP, it also claims, would prevent Ireland from complying with its obligations under the EU directive relating to water quality.

It is claimed that nitrates are regulated at EU level by the Nitrates Directive.

It imposes a mandatory limit of 170 kg of livestock manure nitrogen per hectare per year on the amount of nitrate to be applied.

However, the directive allows higher levels that allow cultivation of up to a maximum of 250 kg of livestock manure nitrogen per hectare per year.

Such humiliation was given to Ireland, as on previous occasions, by the European Union Commission earlier this year.

Following that decision, the housing minister adopted and published the details of the latest NAP, which a TAS claim is illegal.

A Taisce wants an order to annul the NAP and an EU Commission decision allowing Ireland to be humiliated.

It claims that the NAP is invalid and violates several EU directives relating to the protection of the environment and water protection against pollution.

It claims that the NAP’s authorization was based on an assessment that did not ensure that the integrity of sensitive environmentally protected sites would be adversely affected.

This assessment also failed to ensure that the NAP would not degrade or endanger the quality of bodies of water, it says.

A Tass also claimed that the insult given to him by Ireland on the basis of information given to him should be rescinded.

A Taisce wants to bring judicial review proceedings against the Minister of Housing, Heritage, and Local Government, the Department’s Environmental Assessment Unit, the Minister of Ireland and the Attorney General. The Agriculture Minister is a notice party to the challenge.

It also wants the court to refer the matter to the courts of the European Union to determine the validity of the decision to separate Ireland from standard EU borders.

The matter came up before Justice Charles Meenon on Wednesday.

James Devlin SC for En Tas said that respondents were given papers about a month in advance, who already had a certain amount of time to consider them.

A Taisce will not seek a stay, but considers it to be true in its case if “there is a question of a material breach by the State of its fundamental obligations under EU law”.

It was a Tas’s argument that any delay by the State in determining its position should not have continued the violation.

The lawyer also said that his side has received a letter from the IFA and several farmers seeking their involvement in the proceedings.

The judge said he would consider leave applications to bring the matter up in the presence of the defendants in November.

World Nation News Desk
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