The European Court of Justice (ECJ) judgement in Case C-66/06, which was delivered on 20 November 2008, introduced a number of amendments to address the ECJ findings in this case. The Court found that Ireland’s system of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) screening for certain categories of agriculture related projects was over-reliant on size thresholds and did not take other relevant criteria (e.g. cumulative impacts of development, location relative to sensitive sites etc.) into account. The ECJ decision necessitated a major reduction in the thresholds, both for the mandatory carrying out of EIA and for screening for EIA for projects under the mandatory thresholds.
The decision is now legislated for under SI 456 (2011). Land drainage works on areas greater than 0.1 hectares (0.04 acres) will require screening and the possible submission of an Environmental Impact Assessment(EIA) to the local Planning Authority. Full details are contained in the following downloads.
S.I. 456 of 2011
Guidelines on Drainage of Wetlands (Draft)