EPA Prosecutes AIBP, Rathkeale

Date released: Mar 04 2005

On the 24th February 2005 at Newcastle West District Court, Co Limerick, AIBP Limited t/a AIBP Rathkeale pleaded guilty to offences under Sections 8 and 84 of the Environmental Protection Agency Acts, 1992 and 2003 and Section 3(1) of the Local Government (Water Pollution) Act 1977.

The company admitted breaching conditions of its Integrated Pollution Control (IPC) licence and causing the pollution of the River Deel by:

  • Causing or permitting polluting matter to enter waters, and
  • Exceeding the emission limits specified in the licence for discharges to water from the facility’s wastewater treatment plant.

Following receipt of complaints from local residents and a follow up site visit by EPA inspectors, a brown/red discharge from the company’s wastewater treatment plant to the River Deel was detected.

The company also displayed a lack of adequate management and operational practices at the wastewater treatment plant by:

  • failing to ensure that the monitoring equipment was operating at all times,
  • failure to record all complaints of an environmental nature related to the operation of the activity and
  • not notifying the EPA of any breakdowns of the control equipment.

This resulted in the inability of the EPA to fully monitor and enforce the activity on-site. 

On hearing details of the offences, Judge Malone imposed fines totalling €3,000 and the EPA’s costs of €6,878 were also awarded.

The company is primarily involved in the slaughter of cattle at its meat processing facility in Rathkeale, Co Limerick and was granted an IPC licence on 30th September 1998 (Reg. No. 191) for the slaughtering of animals in installations, where the daily capacity exceeds 1500 units (1 head of cattle = 5 units).

This prosecution was taken following the outcome of site investigations and monitoring of the River Deel undertaken by the EPA’s Office of Environmental Enforcement with the co-operation of residents from the area and Limerick County Council.