2022-04-07

DERRYCRAVE - As part of a cross-border project to investigate the peat extraction industries in Ireland and Latvia, the Irish investigative platform Noteworthy has examined the impacts of unlicensed peat extraction across the country. The findings reveal a system of largely unregulated peat extraction that continues to this day where the Irish State has largely fallen down on its enforcement role, including that no local or national authority maintains a register of peat companies or the amount of peat extracted for commercial purposes.

As part of the project, the investigative team took a deep dive into the regulation of the peat industry, analysing various court records, enforcement documents from local authorities, State agency inspection reports, and satellite and photographic evidence of extraction. The team also sent close to 50 Freedom of Information requests to local and national authorities to chart enforcement actions against peat companies over the past decade.

The investigation also details the legal battle between one prominent peat extraction company and the Environmental Protection Agency that concluded in a decision by the Irish High Court in May that the company was operating outside of the regulatory system and in breach of EU law.

Team members

Niall Sargent

Niall is an award-winning multimedia investigative reporter.

Supported
€5.200 allocated on 07/04/2022
ID
ENV1/2022/040

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