Sunday 21 April 2019

Industrial polluters to be named and shamed

Around half of all complaints to the EPA are made against 11 facilities across the State (Stock picture)
Around half of all complaints to the EPA are made against 11 facilities across the State (Stock picture)
Paul Melia

Paul Melia

Industrial polluters who are the subject of repeated complaints will be named and shamed and risk losing their licences if they fail to clean up their act.

Around half of all complaints are made against 11 facilities across the State, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is planning to publish a national priority list in the coming weeks to highlight ongoing issues in these plants.

In an interview with the Irish Independent, EPA Director General Laura Burke said 780 facilities ranging from cement kilns to incinerators and waste facilities held industrial licences, and while overall compliance with licensing was "good", a "small number" of sites were posing problems.

While 11 will be named, another 27 are on a 'candidate' list and may be identified at a future date.

"Around 1.5pc of facilities are on our national priority list, which was developed in 2015 and is dynamic, which means it changes all the time," Ms Burke said. "These are national priorities from an enforcement perspective.

"It's 11 facilities which account for around half of all complaints. They have a disproportionate impact.

"We have told all the sites, and candidate sites, and written to directors and told them ... the list will be published before the end of the year.

"The waste sector is dominating, and it is things like odours which have a significant impact on local populations. This year, we have had 15 prosecutions and there's another 32 cases ongoing with regard to sites.

"It's up to sites to bring themselves into compliance. If they don't, we will take whatever steps are necessary, including prosecution or suspension of licences."

Ms Burke said more information about enforcement was being provided on the agency's website.

Irish Independent

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