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EPA develops Licensing and Enforcement Charging Policy 2020

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is responsible for regulating activities that have significant polluting potential. Our responsibilities encompass:

    • Integrated Pollution Prevention Control (IPPC) licences
    • Waste licences (including Historic Landfill licences and Certificates of Registration)
    • Dumping at Sea licences
  • The contained use and deliberate release of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)
  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) permits;


  • Waste Water Discharge licences and certificates Licensed activities are required to conform to best practice and the conditions of the licences and permits granted by the EPA. These activities may be operated by local authorities or private enterprise.

This policy document on EPA licensing and enforcement charges will outline:

  • The application fees, and enforcement charges of the EPA
  • The enforcement charging principles that guide the EPA
  • What ongoing enforcement charges fund
  • What ongoing enforcement charges do not fund
  • How the EPA calculates these enforcement charges
  • How and on what basis licensees can query such charges

The aim of this policy is to ensure that the cost of regulation implemented by the EPA is fair, reasonable and equitable. This document will
serve to increase the transparency of the charging systems implemented by the EPA.

Integrated Pollution Prevention Control licensing

The EPA has been licensing certain large-scale industrial and agriculture activities since 1994. These include such activities as chemical and
pharmaceutical plants, food and drink plants, cement manufacturing, power plants and intensive agriculture activities such as pig and poultry rearing. Originally, the licensing system was known as Integrated Pollution Control (IPC) licensing, governed by the Environmental Protection Agency Act, 1992. The Act was amended in 2003 by the Protection of the Environment Act, 2003 which gave effect to the Integrated Pollution Prevention Control (IPPC) Directive. Detailed procedures concerning the IPPC licensing process are set out
in the EPA Acts, 1992 to 2007 and the associated licensing regulations.

Aim of IPPC licensing

IPPC licences aim to prevent or reduce emissions to air, water and land, reduce waste and use energy and resources efficiently. An IPPC licence is a single integrated licence that covers all emissions and environmental management at the facility. All related operations that the licence holder carries on in connection with the activity are controlled by this licence. Before a licence is granted, the applicant must satisfy the EPA that the activity will not cause environmental pollution when carried out in accordance with the licence conditions.

Waste licensing

In 1996 the EPA began licensing certain activities in the waste sector under the Waste Management Acts (1996 to 2008). These include landfills, transfer stations, hazardous waste disposal and other significant waste disposal and recovery activities.

Aim of waste licensing

A waste licence is a single integrated licence dealing with emissions to all environmental media and the environmental management of the facility. All related waste operations connected to the activity are considered in determining a licence application. The applicant must satisfy the EPA that the activity will not cause environmental pollution when carried out in accordance with the licence conditions. Detailed procedures on processing waste licence applications are set out in the Waste Management Act, 1996 which was amended by the Protection of the Environment Act, 2003 and associated regulations.

Historic Landfill – certificate of authorisation

In accordance with the Waste Management (Certification of Historic Unlicensed Waste Disposal and Recovery Activity) Regulations, 2008,
the EPA is obliged to process applications from local authorities in relation to historic landfills. Applications for a certificate of authorisation
for historic landfills may only be made by local authorities.

Waste activities – certificates of registration

Waste Management (Facility Permit and Registration) Regulations S.I. No. 821 of 2007 requires local authorities to apply for a certificate
of registration for certain waste activities.

Source – EPA

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