EPA Prosecutes E Smithwick & Sons Limited

Date released: Jan 18 2005

The EPA successfully prosecuted E Smithwick & Sons Limited for breaches of its integrated pollution control (IPC) licence, Reg. No. 448, at Kilkenny District Court on 18 January 2005.

The company admitted breaching its licence conditions and indirectly causing the pollution of the River Nore by exceeding the emission limits specified in the licence for discharges to sewer between January and June 2004.  The company also displayed environmental mismanagement by:

  • Failing to install monitoring equipment resulting in the company not taking samples as is required by the licence;
  • Failing to notify the EPA of an emission, which did not comply with the conditions of the licence.

Failure by the company to maintain compliance with the emission limits specified in the licence for discharges to sewer caused the Purcellsinch Sewage Treatment Plant, which is operated by Kilkenny County Council, to malfunction resulting in the discharges from the treatment plant to pollute the River Nore.

Following a complaint received from the Southern Regional Fisheries Board about discharges to the River Nore from the Purcellsinch Sewage Treatment Plant the EPA’s Office of Environmental Enforcement initiated a series of site inspections and audits and introduced an extensive sampling program for effluent emissions from the brewery.

On hearing details of the offences, Judge Harnett imposed fines totalling €9,000 and awarded the EPA’s costs of  €7,267.

This prosecution was taken following the outcome of the Office of Environmental Enforcement’s site investigations with the co-operation of Kilkenny County Council and the Southern Regional Fisheries Board.