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Cork accounts for three of the seven premises listed on EPA National Priority Sites List

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) up to date list of licenced facilities which represent environmental blackspots sees the debut of a new Cork entity in the East Cork Landfill Site, bringing the county’s percentage of overall sites on the list up from 29% to 43%.  County Cork accounts for more almost half of the latest sites announced for priority enforcement by Ireland’s ecology watchdog.

Reg. No. Licence Name County
P0812-01 Arrow Group* Kildare
P0110-02 Arran Chemical Company Limited Roscommon
W0022-01 East Cork Landfill Site Cork
P0519-03 Saint-Gobain Construction Products (Ireland) Limited Monaghan
P0977-01 The Hammond Lane Metal Company Limited Cork
P0801-01 Tipperary Co-operative Creamery Limited Tipperary
W0068-03 Youghal Landfill Cork

*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.

Cork accounts for three of the seven premises listed by the EPA, with the Hammond Lane Metal Company in Ringaskiddy and Youghal Landfill maintaining their spots on the list.  East Cork Landfill is included for issues around landfill gas and leachate management, with the Youghal site also present for the same reasons.

Hammond Lane meanwhile remains on the list for unresolved issues relating to the site’s infrastructure and surface water management resulting from inadequate wastewater drainage.

The remaining four sites on the list are Arrow Group (Dawn Farm Foods) in Kildare, Tipperary Co-Op, Arran Chemical Company in Roscommon, and Saint-Gobain Construction Products in County Monaghan.

East Cork Landfill is a non-hazardous waste site located at Carrigtohill which closed for new deposits in February 2007. The site at Youghal meanwhile closed in February 2012, after nearly 40 years in operation, but has yet to be fully capped and restored, according to the EPA.  Both sites are operated by Cork County Council. It is understood the council was asked to carry out a number of remedial actions in order to return to compliance with environmental regulations, but has yet to fulfil those commitments.

In addition to issues with leachate – the effluent containing solids resulting from liquid passing through waste – and landfill gas management, both Cork dumps are on the list due to inadequate aftercare of the facilities in place.

Hammond Lane Metal meanwhile is a scrap metal acceptance and processing site, specialising in the depollution of end of life vehicles, and the shredding and stockpiling of waste prior to off-site recovery.

Landfill gas results when waste biodegrades, and is typically burnt, or flared, off into the atmosphere. In larger installations the energy generated from the flaring can be used to power local grids. However it is not believed that this practice was employed at either of the Cork landfills.  If the gas is not burnt off to a sufficient extent odour pollution of the surrounding area can result.

Leachate meanwhile is typically a problem in terms of the pollution of groundwater, and is generally more of an issue at older landfill facilities which don’t possess modern filters used to collect such water for treatment.

The EPA, in addition to the naming of offending sites, has a number of options at its disposal, ranging from warning letters to compliance investigations up as far as court action.  The environmental body’s list of offenders was first released in July 2017.1,490 site inspections were meanwhile carried out across the country in 2018, 95% of them unannounced, with resultant fines and costs of over €241,000 being imposed.  The majority of sites inspected are in the food and drink and waste sectors.

Darragh Page, programme manager with the EPA, said the quarterly-produced list helps to “drive environmental compliance and much-needed investment”.  He said, however, that concerns remain that “environmental issues at some companies have resulted in unacceptable odour, noise, air and water quality impacts”.

Source – Irish Examiner

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).
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