The European Court of Justice has ruled that because Ireland failed to invert the European Impact Assessment Directive into national law, this means that projects that would significantly impact the environment could avoid undergoing an assessment.

Environment minister John Gormley told The Sunday Business Post: “My department will now closely examine the detail of the judgment, in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, to determine the appropriate legislative response and any procedural measures that are necessary to ensure full and early compliance with the directive.”

Currently, it is down to the discretion of planning authorities to decide whether small scale farming developments, such as drainage, land reclamation and boundary projects, need to have an environmental assessment carried out.

Meanwhile, earlier this month, the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Eamon Ryan, stated that a national inland fisheries forum would be established to advise on improving inland fishery resources.

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