Ireland Farm

Katestone’s Ireland Branch shows enormous promise

Katestone’s Micheal Fogarty went to the other side of the world to set up our Ireland Branch. In little over a year he has demonstrated that there is enormous potential for innovative firms in Ireland and Europe.

In his short time in Ireland, Micheal has investigated the air quality issues that are of immediate concern across Europe while completing a number of projects for the Irish Government, and agri-food and intensive agricultural clients.

New and innovative methodologies to assess odour nuisance and ammonia impacts are currently topical amongst European air quality professionals and researchers. Micheal has spoken with industry, researchers and government of the advanced modelling methodologies that are widely used in Australia for permitting and approvals but are yet to be adopted in Europe. Micheal’s presentations have shown that by achieving a more realistic representation of the dispersion of air contaminants in the atmosphere his clients are making better decisions.

Micheal’s research in Ammonia

Governments and regulators across Europe are striving to understand and reduce the impact of ammonia, particularly from agriculture. Ammonia is a major threat to biodiversity by direct toxic effect or by advantaging species that are adapted to a nitrogen-rich environment. It is also a precursor to the formation of PM2.5 that affects human health.

Micheal has been assisting the Irish Government to develop a policy and assessment response to atmospheric nitrogen. Natura 2000 sites are required to be protected according to EU directives because they are vital natural habitats for plants and animals. New and existing agricultural activities have the potential to affect Natura 2000 sites and should be carefully sited and managed. However, at the same time as needing to reduce ammonia emissions, Ireland needs to increase its food production from the agricultural sector, so a balanced response is critical.

Micheal is one of Ireland’s representatives contributing to LivAge, a Pan-European research and innovation network funded by the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) Program. LivAge aims to share knowledge about the reduction of ammonia emissions from agriculture. Micheal attended the third meeting of LivAge representatives in Skopje, Macedonia in October 2018 and will contribute to a research paper on legal requirements for ammonia and greenhouse gas emissions from animal production buildings in Europe.   

Planning into the New Year

Katestone’s Irish branch has proven to be a very interesting and rewarding venture. Close relationships have been forged with clients and research groups alike and it is widely acknowledged that Katestone brings new techniques to Ireland for regulatory air quality assessment. As 2018 draws to a close, Micheal is busy finalising arrangements for projects that will kick off in January and planning for the year ahead. 2019 is shaping up to be a big year for Micheal!!!!