The multi-agency cross border group established in response to the peat slide in Meenbog continues to meet on an ongoing basis and the organisations involved are coordinating the various enforcement actions that are underway. Construction works on the windfarm site where the peat slide originated remain suspended, with the exception of the maintenance of measures required to mitigate the threat of further pollution or those required to safeguard health and safety.
An updated assessment of peat stability on the windfarm site is being undertaken following a direction issued by the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) to the windfarm developer. The updated peat stability assessment is being independently evaluated by expert consultants engaged by the EPA as part of the multi-agency response.
A phased approach to the restoration of areas impacted by the peat slide has been adopted, with the windfarm developer undertaking the first phase under direction from Donegal County Council and Northern Ireland Environment Agency. This initial phase, which began in the last few weeks involves restoration of the lower reaches of the Shruhangarve stream and implementing a planting scheme to mitigate against the deterioration of the peat slide scar. Loughs Agency has also appointed a Fisheries Scientist to co-ordinate the restoration works that may be required for the Mourne Beg and other rivers downstream. The details of the further phases of restoration works are currently being developed. It is expected that some elements of this work will require statutory consent, and given the seasonal restrictions that may apply, will take a number of years to complete.