Works to restore watercourses impacted by a bogslide in the North West last year could take “a number of years” to complete, according to the Loughs Agency.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, anglers in Donegal and Tyrone fear that the peat slippage near a wind farm development at Meenbog has made an important salmon fishery uninhabitable.
Video of the incident, which saw thousands of tonnes of bogland slide into the River Derg system, went viral on social media in early November 2020.
A working group was established in the wake of the incident and this multi-agency, cross-border group continues to meet on an ongoing basis to coordinate the plan of action, the Loughs Agency says.
“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,” it adds.
Following a direction to the windfarm developer from the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), an updated assessment by independent consultants of peat stability on the site is currently under way.
In addition, a “phased approach to the restoration of areas impacted by the peat slide” has been adopted, the Loughs Agency says.
The first phase began in the last few weeks, undertaken by the windfarm developer under direction of Donegal County Council and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, and involves restoration of the lower reaches of the Shruhangarve stream and a planting scheme “to mitigate against the deterioration of the peat slide scar”.
The Loughs Agency says it has appointed a fisheries scientist to coordinate further restoration works that may be required for the Mourne Beg and other rivers downstream, and which may require statutory consent.
But it also advises that “given the seasonal restrictions that may apply”, such remediation works “will take a number of years to complete”.
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