Ireland could face €1.68m fine over wind farm

Ireland is being taken back to the EU Court of Justice for not properly carrying out an environmental impact assessment for a wind farm. The European Commission is also requesting […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

Ireland is being taken back to the EU Court of Justice for not properly carrying out an environmental impact assessment for a wind farm.

The European Commission is also requesting the Court to impose a minimum lump sum payment of €1.68 million (£1.47m) and a daily penalty of €12,264 (€10,738) if full compliance is not achieved by the date when the Court issues its ruling.

It said although the 70-turbine Derrybrien wind farm was built more than 13 years ago, no sufficient impact assessment had been carried out.

Such assessments of certain public and private projects on the environment are required under EU rules before construction is allowed to commence.

The Commission added the construction of the wind farm required the removal of large areas of forest and extraction of peat up to 5.5 metres deep on top of the Cashlaundrumlahan Mountain, “causing a 2km environmentally devastating landslide in October 2003”.

It said: “The scale of the development and its sensitive moorland hilltop location means that its operation continues to have an impact locally. The site could still benefit from mitigation and remediation measures but these can only be identified after an environmental impact assessment has been done. Ireland must, therefore, ensure that this happens.”