Maritime Area Regulatory Authority to be established in July

Maritime Area Regulatory Authority to be established in July

The new Maritime Area Regulatory Authority (MARA) will be established in July, the government has announced.

After its establishment on 17 July 2023, the new agency will have responsibility for assessing applications for maritime area consents (MACs) which will be required before developers of offshore wind and other projects in the maritime area can make a planning application.

Darragh O’Brien, the minister for housing, local government and heritage, announced the establishment date of the agency at the Wind Energy Ireland Offshore Wind 2023 conference today.

The minister also announced that Laura Brien, currently chief executive of the Health Insurance Authority, will take up the role of chief executive officer of MARA.

Commenting on the announcement, Mr O’Brien said: “MARA will be responsible for regulating development and activity in Ireland’s maritime area and comes about as part of the biggest reform of marine governance in Ireland in almost a century.

“MARA will have in place the process and procedures relating to MAC applications for Offshore Renewable Energy and for marine infrastructure that supports the delivery and deployment of offshore wind projects, such as port development work.

“This is in line with government’s decision on ‘Prioritisation of Renewable Energy Maritime Plans and Projects as a response to the Energy crisis’.”

Eamon Ryan, minister for the environment, climate, communications and transport, added: “In recent months we have seen the introduction of a robust policy framework for offshore wind, which has given investors confidence, as demonstrated by last week’s excellent result of the first offshore renewable energy auction.

“I welcome today’s announcement regarding the establishment of MARA and commend minister O’Brien and his officials for the hard work that has gone into establishing this important organisation. I also wish to congratulate Laura Brien on her appointment to the role of CEO.

“MARA will play a critical role from its beginnings and I look forward to our offshore renewable targets being met, and to a clean energy transformation for the health and economic prosperity of our citizens.”

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