We support environmental sustainability in numerous ways.
TRAINING: We offer training on issues such as Biodiversity, Invasive Species and environmental/ planning law. All groups benefit from this training and we conduct training at schools (primary and secondary), tidy downs and other community groups.
PLANNING: We can look at large planning proposals and form an opinion as to whether they will adversely affect the environment and assist in preparing a submission thereon.
ENFORCEMENT: We are always anxious to help people with enforcement issues which often occur having regard to environmental and planning issues.
We try to help and share our experience with other N.G.O.'s together with concerned citizens and organisations.
We have developed and maintain a large database of precedents together with extensive records of developments on a wide variety of areas and are skilled in drafting submissions and will advise on what other specialists might be required to strengthen a given submission. As well as offering our experience in a consultancy capacity, we can also take out a practicing certificate in either jurisdiction at any time, should a task merit that.
Our work typically encompasses the following: -
Legal expertise: Experience extends to, but is not exclusive to the following: -
INVESTIGATIONS/ AUDITS: Due diligence, freedom of information, all research necessary to facilitate comment for submission or for litigation (grounding affidavit, etc). This typically includes applications, submissions, Environmental Impact Assessment, policy documents, land registry searches & photography.
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION/ EU ACCESS TO INFORMATION DIRECTIVE: we are experienced with the functioning of and adept in the drafting of information requests, which is a regular feature of investigative audits.
CASE MANAGEMENT: sourcing, instruction, collaboration and co-ordination of specialists in various fields including Hydrogeologist’s, GPS specialists, Ecologists, Engineers, Auditors, Archaeologists, etc.
DRAFTING OF SUBMISSIONS/ REPORTS: to statutory authorities and the planning appeals board. In-depth knowledge of the extractive industry (quarries), agricultural developments, housing developments, telecommunications masts, intensification, change of use, etc. Such submissions tend to be highly technical.
REPRESENTATION: client representation at mediations, court sittings and at oral hearings.
AQUACULTURE LICENSING: under the Foreshores Acts. Knowledge of Natura 2000 together with the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) and OSPAR are core components, Marine Protection Orders deriving from the latter.
Compliance and Policy
POLICY: policy advice and preparation of submissions in respect of legislative reform at local and national level. Participated in numerous consultations and forward planning framework documents such as National Spatial Strategy, Regional Planning Guidelines, County Development Plans, Local Area Plans, etc.
REMEDIATION ASSESSMENT: an area, which may extend to hiring in 3rd party professionals to deal with a contamination/ pollution incident. The direction of skilled GPS surveyors is usually a prerequisite to formulating a comprehensive plan. With horticultural expertise on our team, we are able to critically appraise remediation proposals and offer suggestions and advice on planting and or screening proposals: see also: http://www.kierancummins.co.uk/
REGULATION & ENFORCEMENT: we source, research and appraise statutory regulation, which typically includes financial, planning, environmental, Health & Safety, etc. Expert in the preparation of submissions in respect of enforcement thereof. This is a complex area, which involves numerous statutory authorities.
MONITORING: groundwater aquifer vulnerability and hydrology. Dewatering activities, stripping of aquifer and discharges are pertinent. Experienced in the monitoring of wells, which is essential to enforce planning conditions and to protect the rights of neighboring households.
PHOTOGRAPHIC ASSESSMENT: maintaining a digitally verifiable record of compliance and enforcement issues is critical. With over 2 decades of experience in the use of professional SLR equipment, our Secretary; Mr. Kieran Cummins is always keen to share his skill and work which can be viewed on his dedicated photographic website at: http://www.kierancummins.eu
Environmental and Heritage
HERITAGE: site designation, preservation and protection. We have dealt with numerous statutory authorities in the protection of vulnerable sites. We are also experienced in the preservation of historical artifacts and have worked with and directed archaeologists and osteologists, in close liaison with the authorities.
INVASIVE SPECIES: identification and treatment. This is a very important issue and will require urgent attention in the medium to long term. We have designed a professional display type exhibition to educate public opinion and create awareness. In addition to providing a speaker on the issue, we usually provide the pictorial display is available for visit public atriums, libraries and schools.
NOXIOUS WEEDS: the statutory framework, identification and enforcement.
SUSTAINABILITY & THREATS to BIODIVERSITY: using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged. Sustainability is often defined as ‘a process by which companies manage their financial, social and environmental risks, obligations and opportunities. These three impacts are sometimes referred to as profits, people and planet.
HUMAN RIGHTS: See the dedicated tab of this site.
Resource Management and Legislative Reform
RESOURCE DATABASE: we maintain digital archives of all relevant case law, all pertinent legislation ranging from International Conventions, to EU Directives, Acts of parliament, Statutory Instruments, Codes of practice and so on. Additionally, we maintain a database of policy related documents from local to national level together with a digital archive of protected landscapes, architecture, etc. Such a high level of organisation affords one the ability to work remotely and the facility of conducting word searches of large pdf documents, which has proved to be a powerful and invaluable tool.
PROTECTION: a thorough knowledge of all conservation instruments is paramount. The principle one being NATURA 2000, which gave rise to S.A.C.’s and S.P.A.’s. Others include the Register of Historic Monuments, Record of monuments and Places, Preservation Orders, Protected structures, etc together with N.H.A.’s, T.P.O.’s, etc.
LEGISLATIVE REFORM: we endeavour to chronicle and maintain a register of areas of law, which are in urgent need of reform. These range from unintended lacunas in the law, to poorly drafted legislation, and to changing demographics giving rise to a need for new regulation to keep pace with developments. They also include progressive income generating opportunities for statutory authorities.
It will be helpful if a client / referral can produce grounding documents such as previous planning permissions (if any), Environmental Impact Statement/s and Policy Document/s, though, we can conduct a search to produce whatever documents are available from the authorities.
Areas covered by specialists, which can be engaged
Environmental Impact Assessments are prepared by numerous professionals. With large projects, it is essential that such chapters are scrutinised by appropriate professionals. While funding is always an issue, it is always desirable that submissions which have been put forward by developers are properly scrutinised by competent professionals. Indeed, it is essential in the case of court proceedings. Below are some of the professionals which we have in the past engaged.
Hydrogeologist – dealing with all aspects of the ground water table, aquifer, turloughs, and their relationship with wells, quarries and mines, agricultural and other industrial developments.
Ecologist – dealing with all factors affecting the flora and fauna of an area.
Auditors - dealing with all aspects of finances, companies office returns, etc.
Legal – dealing with any legal issues, which may arise, and which may require clarification.
Land Surveyors – dealing with all aspects of land surveying, measuring, mapping, using Global Positioning technology (GPS), which is accurate to within 10mm.
Engineer – dealing with all aspects of structural damage resultant from vibrations caused by blasting or other occurrence.
Geotechnical Engineer - dealing with all aspects and properties of materials within the earth's crust to establish possible problems with any given proposal.
Odour Consultant – dealing with all aspects of odour analysis from a development proposal or from an existing development.
Architect – dealing with all aspects of planning, design of the construction of buildings.
Landscape Architecture – dealing with all aspects of the design of outdoor and public spaces to achieve environmental, social-behavioral, or aesthetic outcomes.
Archaeologists – appraisal of extant reports on discoveries already made.
Osteologists - dealing with all aspects of bones unearthed.
Transportation - dealing with issues of movement of people, animals and goods from one location to another.
Air Specialist - dealing with all aspects of air quality, which affects people together with Flora and Fauna.
Noise Engineer - dealing with all aspects of noise, which may impede on a person's amenity and reasonable enjoyment of their dwelling.
Other Report: If a report is needed from a specialist not covered by the above list, we will endeavour to source the appropriate specialist.
Eco Advocacy is a member of the Irish Environmental Network and is part funded by the IEN.