Environmental Protection questions and answers

Questions and answers relating to environmental protection - updated 27/04/2020

Are environmental regulations being relaxed during this time?

No. DAERA remains committed to ensuring our environment is protected, whilst also recognising the difficulty faced by farmers as a result of COVID-19. We ask that every reasonable effort is made to comply with environmental legislation and authorisations in place. If you have concerns regarding your ability to meet certain environmental restrictions / conditions (e.g. N loading on farm) you should seek advice from your local CAFRE adviser. Contact details can be provided via the DAERA Direct office on 0300 200 7840. The Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) remain committed to attending incidents where there is significant potential harm to the environment or human health.

If you need to contact us during this Covid-19 crisis to report a pollution incident / environmental crime, please use the 24hr hotline 0800 807060 or for non-urgent matters email us at Emergency-Pollution@daera-ni.gov.uk (for water) or environmentalcrime@daera-ni.gov.uk (for waste). Duty officers will make an assessment of the incident severity based upon the details provided.  To help with this assessment anyone who wishes to report environmental crime / water pollution is asked to forward any supporting photographs / videos to the above email addresses after calling. Depending on the severity assigned some incidents may not be responded to immediately to avoid unnecessary travel. These incidents will be logged and followed up at a later date.  Any water pollution incident assigned a medium or high severity will be investigated as per normal procedures with additional measures put in place to ensure social distancing requirements are kept.

Should a landowner wish to carry out any activity on land designated as an Area of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI) that is a notifiable operation, they must apply to NIEA for Consent. For advice on such matters contact 028 9056 9523. Carrying out Notifiable Operations on an ASSI without written consent from NIEA is an offence.

If you would like to report suspected damage in a protected area please ring: 028 9056 9546 during office hours or email: cdpcompliance@daera-ni.gov.uk

Back to top