Verde Environmental Consultants & Oil Leak Clean Up Specialists EPA fines St James’s Hospital €200,000 for emissions rules breach – Verde – Complete Environmental Solutions
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EPA fines St James’s Hospital €200,000 for emissions rules breach

One of the country’s biggest hospitals has been fined more than €200,000 for breaking EU rules on greenhouse gas emissions, in the first penalty of its kind in Ireland.  St James’s Hospital in Dublin blamed financial constraints for not being able to buy enough carbon credits last year to cover its pollution, which led to the penalty imposed by the Environmental Protection Agency.  It is trying to work out a “payment plan” with the EPA to pay the €201,100 fine handed down last October.

Telecoms giant Vodafone was fined €51,171 a month later for a similar breach relating to its emissions in Ireland.  Both St James’s Hospital and Vodafone are among 104 industrial polluters in the country regulated by the EU’s emissions trading system.  Each is given a gradually reducing free allocation of carbon credits every year to cover an emissions target, and if they exceed that target they must buy more allowances or find ways to cut their emissions.

Industrial polluters must report their emissions for the previous year by March 31st and surrender allowances to cover them by April 30th annually.

Missed deadline

St James’s said the “escalating cost” of carbon credits last year “and the ongoing budgetary constraints faced by the hospital in funding clinical services led to the hospital missing the carbon credit surrender date”.  It appealed the fine but the EPA has no discretion over the mandatory penalties.

In addition to the fine, St James’s still has to buy the outstanding allowances.  “While this decision is disappointing, particularly in an environment of ongoing budgetary constraints, the hospital remains committed to accelerating its emission reductions,” said a hospital spokeswoman.  St James’s is reducing its total emissions by about 20 per cent every year and was “ahead of target” to achieve a 33 per cent reduction in energy consumption by next year, she added.

Vodafone Ireland said its fine “relates to an administrative error”. “We are committed to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent by 2025, and to use 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2025,” a spokesman said.

Source – Irish Times   |    Image – University Times

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:

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