Local Authority Environmental Enforcement Performance Framework

The EPA has designed a Performance Framework to help local authorities to continue to improve their work in environmental enforcement. Information on enforcement activities is provided by local authorities and has informed results of assessments made through the Framework.

Did you know

  • Local authorities are the main regulators in protecting the environment.
  • The 31 local authorities in Ireland implement more than 500 environmental protection requirements contained in over 100 pieces of legislation.
  • This work includes enforcing over 9,400 licences/permits, conducting 140,000 site inspections handling 64,000 environmental complaints, undertaking 15,000 enforcement actions, and over 400 prosecutions.

Each year local authorities develop enforcement plans to allocate resources where they are needed most. Activities are planned based on the risk posed to the environment and what is deemed a priority locally or nationally.

Every year local authorities inform the EPA of their enforcement plans and their planned levels of activity, and at the end of the year, they submit data on completed activities alongside information on notable achievements.


The most recent set of data from local authorities for 2016 has been used along with data from 2014 and 2015 in the Performance Framework to produce the Focus on Local Authority Environmental Enforcement, 2014 to 2016 Performance Report. The report presents summary results for each individual local authority and combined results to give a picture of local government enforcement across Ireland.

For every local authority, an individual Environmental Performance Assessment Report, which details changes over the three-year period 2014 to 2016, has also been produced.



Focus on Local Authority Environmental Enforcement: 2014 to 2016 Performance Report

Focus on Local Authority Environmental Enforcement: 2015 Performance Report

Focus on Local Authority Environmental Enforcement - A Baseline Enforcement Report (2014)


Local Authority Environmental Enforcement: How It Works (Booklet A)

Local Authority Environmental Enforcement: Performance Indicator Workbook (Booklet B)

How the Framework Operates?

  1. See at a glance How the Framework Works
  2. View guidance documents: How It Works (Booklet A) and The Performance Indicator Workbook (Booklet B).
  3. Listen to our 40 min webcast (registration required) that explains the background to the framework and how it functions.


Performance results are generated from 26 environmental enforcement indicators. These indicators are selected from existing data under the Recommended Minimum Criteria for Environmental Inspections (RMCEI) data collection process and which is provided voluntarily by local authorities to the EPA on an annual basis.

For each indicator, a specific performance standard was defined by the EPA in conjunction with local authorities. These activity indicators are grouped into five environmental areas and are aggregated into a composite assessment for each area.

The calculation of the performance assessment is determined by comparing activity data against performance criteria. The overall assessment for each local authority is adjusted for weightings attributed to each of the enforcement areas and then adjusted for staff capacity, (as reported to the EPA by each local authority). The calculated score is compared against an overall composite scoring range.

The framework also seeks to set performance results annually within the operational context of each authority by including other key data such as staffing levels and population served.