The increased use of low emissions slurry spreading (LESS) methods drove a 1% drop in ammonia emissions in 2022, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has said.

Cattle slurry spread using LESS in 2022 avoided the release of 6,000t of ammonia to the atmosphere, according to the EPA.

Lower pig and poultry populations, which were down 5.9% and 2% respectively, as well as a 52% increase in protected urea, were also drivers of the reduction in ammonia.

Commenting on the findings, director of the EPA’s office of evidence and assessment Dr Eimear Cotter said: "Encouragingly, good farm practices are beginning to have a positive impact on emissions.

"For example, the use of low emissions slurry spreading for cattle slurry in 2022 avoided the release of 6,000 tonnes of ammonia to the atmosphere.

"However, we have much further to go. Faster and sustained implementation of all ammonia reduction measures set out in Government plans and policies are needed if we are to achieve compliance and protect our air quality.”


The EPA added that high ammonia emissions affect local air quality and human health and causes significant environmental damage to valuable ecosystems.

Ireland’s ammonia emissions have exceeded the EU emissions reduction commitments in 10 of the past 11 years.