Government should remove ban on commercial peat harvesting – report

The Government has been advised in a new report that it should legislate to remove a ban on commercial peat harvesting, potentially for the next 14 years.

The final report of the Working Group to review the use of peat moss in horticulture, commissioned by Minister for Heritage Malcolm Noonan, makes a number of recommendations aimed at supporting jobs in the industry, which is worth €477 million a year.

The working group was chaired by consultant Munoo Prasad, who is a former chief scientist at Bord Na Móna. The report was delivered to Mr Noonan in October but has in addition to be published.

Commercial peat harvesting was effectively banned by the High Court in 2019, which found large-extent harvesting required planning permission in addition as a licence from the EPA, and detailed environmental impact assessments, required under EU law.

The group said it was concerned at risks to jobs in a change period while alternatives to peat were sourced – particularly for the mushroom industry which has warned it is dependent on supplies.

The report recommends that “the use of peat in horticulture should be phased out by 2030 or by the very latest by 2035, providing different materials were obtainable”.

Click: See details

Leave a Reply