Brexit environment (general) questions & answers

Habitats and species 

Will habitats and species be provided with the same protections as current EU law?

Existing protections will be maintained after EU exit. The Habitats and Species EU Exit Statutory Instrument limits changes to those needed to make sure the existing environmental standards and protections are maintained after we leave the EU.


What are DAERA doing to ensure my drinking water is safe to drink if chemicals and parts for machinery can’t get through to Northern Ireland during this period?

The Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) is working closely with the Department for Infrastructure and Northern Ireland Water (NI Water) to ensure that they have plans in place to continue to supply safe clean drinking water. NI Water has been working with Water UK and all the UK water companies to ensure they know where their chemicals and spare parts come from and that they have adequate supplies and plans in place to meet their needs. DWI will continue to implement the same stringent regulatory requirements to ensure NI Water meet their regulatory duties. Anyone that has a concern relating to the quality of their water supply, provided to them by NI Water should contact the Waterline in the first instance on 03457 440088.

A number of commercial and public buildings use private water supplies for their premises. DWI is working closely with private water supply owners to ensure they have sufficient plans in place to continue to treat their water where necessary. A number of properties with private supplies have the ability to switch to the mains supply as a back-up as they already use the mains water supply to supplement their private supply. DWI continue to work with all water suppliers to ensure that drinking water is safe, clean and wholesome. DWI will continue to monitor private water supplies, with support from local councils to ensure regulatory requirements are met.

What are DAERA doing to protect our rivers form significant pollution if chemicals and parts for machinery can’t get through to Northern Ireland during this period?

The Industrial Consents Team is identifying those consent holders whose discharges are upstream of NIW drinking water abstraction points.  Consenting officers will contact these businesses to highlight the importance of maintaining compliance with the conditions of their consent to discharge.  Water Regulation will implement the same procedures to ensure compliance.

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