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Connect with Aster Marie Louise Heffernan

Aster Marie Louise Heffernan

Professional Description:

Chartered Environmentalist



Area of work:

Ireland and Nationwide


Marie Louise Heffernan is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin. She is a chartered environmentalist (Society of Environment UK), a full member of Chartered Institute of Ecological and Environmental Managers UK (MCIEEM) and holds an MSc in Environmental Science (1995).

She is the owner director of Aster Environmental Consultants Ltd, formed in 2001 by Marie Louise in response to an increasing demand for ecological and other environmental services. Aster are an ecological consultancy providing services in Habitats Directive and Environmental Impact Assessments.

Since 2010 Aster have prepared hundreds of Appropriate Assessment screening/NIS for projects as diverse as solar farms, wind farms, quarries, bridges, business campus, water schemes, nursing homes, boathouses and housing schemes.

Marie Louise has expertise in;
Habitats Directive and Natura 2000 Network
She has worked for 24 years specialising in the Habitats Directive. She was part of the team of ecologists who carried out the boundary surveys for the designated areas (SAC and SPA) in 1999-2004. She prepared 35 conservation plans for Natura 2000 sites for the state in the years 2000-2010.

Since 2010 she has prepared Appropriate Assessment Screenings and Natura Impact Statements in line with European guidelines. She is the registered national trainer in Appropriate Assessment for both engineers Ireland and her professional body CIEEM. She has trained hundreds of public servants, ecologists and engineers to date. She has written guidelines for planning authorities and advised waste authorities on obligations under the directive.

In 2002 she was one of two coordinators employed by National Parks and Wildlife Service  who lead a team of ecologists to review the designated boundaries for Special Areas of Conservation and three years later in a similar role she was employed  to review 68 Special Protection Areas designated for birds and extend their boundaries.

Marie Louise was employed as a scientific  advisor to the Designated Areas Appeal Board from 2006-2019. During this time she represented 180 landowners in their appeal applications.

EIA Experience
Marie Louise has EIS coordination and preparation experience particularly in relation to quarries.

Marie Louise is a scientific advisor to the Aquaculture Licences Appeals Board (ALAB). Her role is to review all the reports relating to the licence application appeal and make a recommendation to the board whether to uphold the ministers decision to grant or refuse the licence based on the scientific evidence available.

Contact for further information

Marie Louise Heffernan CEnv, MCIEEM, MSc

Aster Environmental Consultants
Co. Galway


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