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Complaints against licensed industrial & waste sites increased significantly during first half of 2020 – EPA

The EPA has published the most recent National Priority Sites List (Table 1 below), as well as updated information on the enforcement activities of the EPA during the first six months of 2020.  It has welcomed the fact that three sites have come off the National Priority Sites List, which was published in April 2020, following improvements in compliance or reduced risk (Table 2 below).

The latest National Priority Sites list identifies eight sites that are the focus of the EPA’s enforcement activities. Three of these sites (Tipperary Co-operative Ltd, Merck Millipore Ltd and Limerick Gasworks) account for 62% of all odour complaints to the EPA from industrial and waste facilities.  Mr. Darragh Page, Programme Manager, EPA’s Office of Environmental Enforcement said: “The number of odour complaints received by the EPA in the first six months of 2020 was more than three times that of the same period the previous year.  The Covid-19 Pandemic has resulted in widespread disruption to society and businesses with many licensees temporarily closing or scaling back their activity. However, at a time when everyone was being asked to restrict their movements and to stay at home, it is unacceptable that a number of industrial and waste sites caused great distress to those living around them by emitting offensive and potentially harmful odours.  Sites that continue to breach their licence conditions and cause environmental pollution can expect further enforcement action from EPA.”

The National Priority Sites list is a key enforcement tool for the EPA and is used to target enforcement efforts at the poorest performing sites and to drive improvements in environmental compliance. Prosecution is often the end result of a site appearing on the list, with prosecutions being initiated against the majority of the sites on the current National Priority Sites list.

Commenting on the challenges faced by businesses, Dr Tom Ryan, Director of the EPA’s Office of Environmental Enforcement said: “During the Covid-19 Pandemic, the EPA continued to fulfil its essential role in environmental protection. As a principal environmental regulator, we responded to environmental incidents and emergencies throughout the Pandemic and will continue to do so. While we acknowledge that many activities were, and remain, challenged at this time, it is not an excuse to neglect environmental protection.  “Licensees who engage with the EPA will find a positive and pragmatic regulator whose main priority is to ensure that human health and the environment are protected. The EPA will not hesitate to exercise our full range of enforcement powers if licensees or regulated bodies do not engage with the EPA, or seek to take advantage of the current circumstances.”

The full list of National Priority Sites for the period January to June 2020 is in Table 1 below.

Table 1: National Priority Sites – 6-month period 01 January 2020 to 30 June 2020.


*Arrow Group


Food & Drink

W0205-01 Greyhound Recycling and Recovery Dublin Waste

Arran Chemical Company Limited

Roscommon Chemical


Killarney Waste Disposal Unlimited Company

Kerry Waste
W0281-01 Limerick Gasworks Limerick Waste
P0571-04 Merck Millipore Limited Cork Surface coating

 Raffeen Landfill Site (Cork Co. Co.)

Cork Waste
P0801-01 Tipperary Co-operative Creamery Limited Tipperary Food & Drink

*Arrow Group Limited includes the activities at this licensed site of Dawn Farm Foods Ltd, TCFG Naas Ltd (also known as The Culinary Food Group), QK Coldstores Ltd, Dawn Farms Distribution Ltd and Maudlins Waste Management Ltd.

Table 2


 The Hammond Lane Metal Company Ltd


 Decotek Automotive Ltd

Surface Coating


Saint-Gobain Construction Products (Ireland) Ltd

Minerla and other materials

Source – EPA

Verde Environmental Consultants is focussed on helping our EPA licenced clients to achieve compliance according to their licence conditions in the most economical way possible. We have a proven track record of successfully reducing many of our clients’ expenses in this area by securing reductions in monitoring requirements and by the easing of licence conditions where appropriate.

We currently represent a range of licenced companies from smaller Irish companies to large multinationals in the pharmaceutical, food, manufacturing, extraction and waste sectors.

Services of particular interest to the IE/IPC Sector include:

  • Perpetration of licence application, review/amendment, site plans and reports (AER, ELRA, CRAMP & Firewater).
  • Compliance Monitoring and Reporting (surface water, groundwater, noise etc).
  • Waste Classification and Reporting.
  • Environmental Management System and EHS implementation and support.
  • Risk Assessment, Contamination Management and Appropriate Assessment.
  • Troubleshooting and negotiation on your behalf with the Agency.