EPA publishes Annual Report and Accounts for 2015

Date released: Dec 21 2016

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today published its Annual Report for the year ended 31 December 2015.

This report provides an overview of the work and main achievements of the EPA over the course of 2015 in the areas of knowledge provision, environmental regulation and advocacy for the environment. The EPA performs a wide range of statutory functions in fulfillment of its mandate and mission which is to protect and improve the environment as a valuable asset for the people of Ireland and to protect people and the environment from the harmful effects of radiation.

During 2015 the EPA undertook a corporate strategy development process which involved extensive consultation with staff and many stakeholders, including the EPA Advisory Committee. The ambitious Strategic Plan 2016-2020 – Our Environment, Our Wellbeing was published in early 2016 and sets out what the EPA intends to achieve over the next five years in delivering its mandate mission.

Launching the report, Ms Laura Burke, Director General of the EPA, said:

“Ireland’s environment remains generally in a good condition and the EPA plays a number of key roles in ensuring this is the case. Now, more than ever, it is vital that the environment is placed centre-stage at the heart of everyday decisions. A thriving, clean environment provides the very basis for good lifestyles and it is in this context that we have identified the overarching theme for our new Strategic Plan, ‘Our Environment –Our Wellbeing’.

The EPA will further strengthen its core functions of regulation, enforcement and assessment over the lifetime of our new strategic plan, prioritising air and water quality, climate change and enhancing the radiation protection framework. The EPA will also seek to engage more closely with citizens, communities and businesses, to mobilise sustainable behaviours”.

The EPA Annual Report 2015 is available in both English and Irish on the EPA website. It contains infographics highlighting Key Statistics and Environmental Indicators in 2015.

Ms Burke continued:

“2015 saw a major step forward in global and local actions on climate change with the adoption of the Paris Agreement on climate change. Globally, greenhouse gas emissions need to be reduced to near or below zero before the end of the century. EPA data and reports have highlighted that Ireland must follow a pathway to decarbonising energy, transport and heating. This will take planning, investment and time but can be achieved in the overall framework of national, EU and global commitments.”

Notes to Editor:

EPA Key Statistics for 2015:

  • 622 licences and 151 technical amendments
  • 1,300+ visits (inspections and audits) to industrial and waste facilities
  • 265 inspections to urban waste water sites
  • 69 drinking water site audits
  • 15 prosecution cases
  • 31 Drinking water Directions issued to Irish Water
  • 43 new research projects awarded
  • 1,224 homes tested for Radon
  • 1.2m worth of Green Business savings identified with an average of €41,500 savings identified per company
  • 53% decrease in waste being landfilled between 2011 and 2014.
  • 50% increase in 2014 in waste being exported as a fuel
  • 1.5m+ visits to the EPA website www.epa.ie
  • 2,500+ queries from the public
  • 108 information requests (65 AIE & 43 FOI)
  • 13,000 EPA Twitter Followers across 7 Twitter accounts: ( @EPAireland @EPAClimateNews @EPAResearchNews @EPAAirQuality  @EPARadiation @EPACatchments @EPABathingWater)