Friday 15 November 2019

EPA warns operators of five industrial plants it may escalate action

Environment Editor

THE Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has warned the operators of five industrial plants that it will escalate enforcement action them unless they clean up their act.

The environmental watchdog as classed food processors the Arrow Group in Kildare, Irish Cement in Limerick, Rosderra Irish Meats Group in Offaly, T & J Standish in Tipperary and Tipperary Co-operative Creamery as National Priority Sites, meaning they have among the poorest compliance with environmental rules.

The five represent less than 1pc of all EPA licensed sites, but account for 8pc all site inspections completed so far this year.

Three of the five account for more than half of all complaints received this year.

The companies were named as part of a new enforcement initiative to drive further environmental compliance at industrial and waste facilities. 

Licensed facilities with the poorest compliance status are identified as National Priority Sites for enforcement. They are chosen based on a ranking system which includes the number of complaints made in the previous six months, incidents and non-compliances with their licences.

Gerard O’Leary, Director of the EPA’s Office of Environmental Enforcement, said the agency would take action if required,

"A small number of sites have significant compliance issues and we consider them to be National Priority Sites for enforcement.  The EPA will escalate enforcement action against companies, and their directors, if necessary, if compliance does not improve," he said.

The EPA Industrial and Waste Licence Enforcement Report 2016 published today gives details of compliance levels and enforcement activities across the 800 licensed facilities in 2016.

The key findings are:

·         €178,000 was levied in fines and costs after 11 prosecutions were concluded last year.

·         Over 1,500 site inspections were completed, of which 95pc were unannounced.

·         More than 1,000 complaints were made, of which 65pc relate to odour.

·         The top five most-visited sites were in the waste sector, but the highest level of non-compliance was in the food and drink sector.

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