Agri-food sector needs to improve its environmental compliance, says EPA

Date released: Jul 19 2018

19th July 2018: The EPA has today published its Industrial and Waste Licence Enforcement Report 2017. The report gives details of compliance levels and enforcement activities across the 800 licensed facilities in 2017.

Key findings are:

Over 1500 site inspections were completed 

  • 91% of inspections were unannounced 
  • six sites were inspected 20 or more times

22 prosecutions concluded in 2017, including one DPP case

  • over €374,000 in fines and costs were awarded 

Over 1000 complaints were received about licensed facilities 

  • odour complaints decreased by 42% 
  • noise complaints increased by 68%

The Food & Drink sector had the poorest compliance, including

  • the most number of non-compliances 
  • the highest number of prosecutions.

Commenting on the report Mr Gerard O’Leary, EPA Director of the Office of Environmental Enforcement said:

“The EPA targets its enforcement efforts at the most non-compliant facilities. The publication of the National Priority Sites system last year has driven environmental compliance and seen much needed investment in environmental infrastructure. Over half of the sites who have appeared on the Priority Sites list have been convicted or are facing prosecution.”

The EPA has also published the latest National Priority Sites List for Enforcement today. Five sites (see below) are on the latest list for failing to meet the necessary environmental standards. These companies face further enforcement action.

  • Four of the five sites are from the agri-food sector; this sector has accounted for almost half of all priority sites since publication last year. 
  • Of the 19 sites published on the list since it commenced, 13 have either been convicted or now face prosecution.
  • Four sites have come off the previous National Priority Site List following improvements in compliance.

Ms Mary Gurrie, Programme Manager, EPA’s Office of Environmental Enforcement commented:

“The National Priority Sites system has exceeded our expectations as a tool to drive environmental compliance. Companies have come off the list in the past year by improving operational practices or making significant investment in infrastructure. Sites in the agrifood sector have dominated the list (11 of 19 sites) and compliance in this sector needs to improve.”

The following are the National Priority Sites for January-June 2018. The EPA will update the National Priority Sites list on a quarterly basis.

Reg. No.    Licence Name  County
P0812-01 Arrow Group Kildare
P0815-02 Lacpatrick Dairies Limited Monaghan
P0180-02 Rosderra Irish Meats Group (Edenderry) Offaly
W0136-03 Starrus Eco Holdings Limited (Munster) Cork
P0831-01 Western Brand Group Limited

Mayo

Licensed facilities are identified as National Priority Sites for enforcement using a system developed by the EPA. Points are allocated to each site based on compliance data such as complaints, incidents and non-compliances over the previous six months. Sites which exceed a certain threshold become a National Priority Site and are targeted by the EPA for further enforcement action.

The National Priority Sites for Enforcement system was launched by the EPA in July 2017 to drive further environmental compliance at industrial and waste facilities.
Further details of the National Priority Sites scoring system and the list of sites can be found here: National Priority Sites.

Enforcement information on all sites can be found under the Licence Search pages.

Complaints about licensed sites can be made on-line or by contacting the EPA at 053-9160600.

Notes:
The four sites that have come off the previous National Priority Site List following improvements in compliance or reduced risk are:

Reg. No. Licence Name  County
P0802-02 Aurivo Dairy Ingredients Limited  Roscommon
P0690-03  C & F Automotive Limited Westmeath
P1004-02  Glenmore Biogas Limited Donegal
P0320-02  T & J Standish (Roscrea) Limited  Offaly