Ireland - Environment

Ireland enjoys the benefits of a climate in which calms are rare and the winds are sufficiently strong to disperse atmospheric pollution. Nevertheless, industry is a significant source of pollution. In 1996, carbon dioxide emissions from industrial sources totaled 34.9 million metric tons. Ireland produces over1.5 million tons of solid waste and 56,000 tons of hazardous wastes. Water pollution is also a problem, especially pollution of lakes from agricultural runoff. The nation has 49 cu km of renewable water resources with 21% used for industrial purposes and 15% used for farming activity. Principal responsibility for environmental protection is vested in the Department of the Environment. The Department of Fisheries and Forestry, the Department of Agriculture, and the Office of Public Works also deal with environmental affairs. Local authorities, acting under the supervision of the Department of the Environment, are responsible for water supply, sewage disposal, and other environmental matters. As of 2001, two mammal species and one bird species were threatened with extinction. Threatened species include the Baltic sturgeon, Kerry slug, and Marsh snail.

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