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How A ‘No-Deal Brexit’ Will Harm AD Sites In Republic Of Ireland

There are two months to go before Britain leaves the European Union (EU), but no withdrawal agreement has been finalised, resulting in concerns about how Brexit will impact a lot of people and businesses.

One of the industries that could be damaged if no exit plan is formalised is the renewable energy sector in the Republic of Ireland. This is because up to 75,000 tonnes of animal waste is sent across the border from Northern Ireland every year to anaerobic digestion (AD) plants in the Republic of Ireland.

This is then treated in biomass boilers that use tank breather valves, which turn the pig and chicken manure into electricity.

However, if no agreement is reached regarding the border between the two countries, this arrangement could be jeopardised.

The Ulster Farmers’ Union was reported by the Express and Star as saying the manure could instead be spread on the land or incinerated.

However, SDLP Assembly member John Dallat said this would impact the quality of water in Northern Ireland, which already has a higher level of ammonia than anywhere else in the UK or the Republic of Ireland.

He said: “There is now a real risk to our rivers, watercourses, lakes and indeed the sea as ammonia and other nitrates build up to levels that are well above what is considered safe, and we have no Assembly to address the issue.”

The Northern Ireland and Irish 310-mile border is one of the biggest challenges politicians have to address in Brexit negotiations, as it will impact trade agreements, commuters, and potentially peace between the two nations.

According to the Telegraph, as many as 14,800 people cross the border regularly just for work and study.