The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has said it is considering legal action against those responsible for a landslide at the construction site of a new wind farm.
Last November’s slide at Meenbog in Co Donegal brought thousands of tonnes of peat and trees down the hillside and into the River Finn.
The Finn, which runs through Donegal and Tyrone, is a special area of conservation, renowned for its salmon, trout and otters.
Spawning beds have been smothered along stretches of the river and the full extent of the damage to wildlife is still under assessment by agencies north and south of the Border.
EPA inspectors visited the site before Christmas and said they were now considering invoking the Environmental Liability Directive. EU law gives the agency powers to order remediation works to be carried out, recover the costs of the works and the losses caused, and to prosecute for any failures to comply.
“The EPA is the competent authority for enforcing these regulations. The ELD (Environmental Liability Directive) is relevant to the Donegal bog slide, as there is a Special Area of Conservation very close by,” the agency said.
The SAC is the River Finn, which is a protected river for salmon, lamprey and otters. The damage to the river is being caused by peat, which is covering the river bed where the salmon spawn.
Invis Energy, owners of the turbines which are being built to supply energy to Amazon data centres, declined to comment except to point to a statement from the cross-border Loughs Agency which reported that the land slippage had stabilised.
Donegal County Council said it was continuing to monitor the site where the focus was still on stabilisation to prevent further slippage and pollution.
“The wind farm developer is in the process of providing a number of reports and documentation to the statutory agencies on foot of various requests,” it said.
“No works are planned on the site of the wind farm in the interim, other than those necessary to maintain the integrity of the site and of the emergency measures, until the agencies have reviewed the documentation provided.”