Ireland’s worst environmental offenders named and shamed by EPA


July 12th, 2017

The EPA has publicly announced the worst offenders for breaching environmental laws in this country, in an approach aimed at encouraging greater environmental compliance.

Arrow Group Limited in Kildare, Irish Cement Limited in Limerick, Rosderra Irish Meats Group in Edenderry, T & J Standish Limited in Offaly and Tipperary Co-operative Creamery Limited in Tipperary have all made it onto the EPA National Priority Sites (NPS) list for 2017.

The environmental performance is calculated based on the number of complaints, incidents and non-compliance issues over the past six months.

Although these companies represent less than one per cent of the 800 licensed facilities in the state, 60 per cent of complaints so far this year have come from just three of these.

The EPA, which is the competent authority for granting and enforcing Industrial Emissions (IE), Integrated Pollution Control (IPC) and Waste Licenses, believes that the NPS rating system will encourage compliance and will also provide targets for the EPA for further enforcement.

Mr. Gerard O’Leary, Director of the EPA’s Office of Environmental Enforcement, said: “A small number of sites have significant compliance issues and we consider them to be National Priority Sites for enforcement.  The EPA will escalate enforcement action against companies, and their directors, if necessary, if compliance does not improve.”

The NPS list will be updated regularly, with the next scheduled update in three months’ time.

Environmental enforcement trends

€178,000 in fines and costs were paid from 11 prosecutions for breaches in regulations last year, according to the Industrial and Waste License Enforcement Report 2016.

The report – released yesterday and prepared by the EPA Office of Environmental Enforcement – shows that the vast majority of environmental complaints against licensed facilities related to odor nuisance.

In total, the environmental watchdog conducted over 1500 inspections in 2016, most of which were to waste facilities and companies.

Enva Ireland in Laois, Knockharley Landfill in Meath, Ballynagran Landfill in Wicklow, Greyhound and Thorntons Recycling facilities in Dublin and a number of Oxigen Environmental sites accounted for the majority of inspections, 95 per cent of which were unannounced.

A total of 1542 non-compliances were recorded for 325 licensed sites and the Food and Drink sector was the least compliant sector.

The new license granted in 2016 shows that there is a trend towards greater Intensive Agriculture and waste management facilities.

The full report is available on the EPA website.

About the Author

Shane O’Reilly


Shane is a contributor to the Green News. He is an environmental research scientist, based in University College Dublin and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He earned his PhD in environmental chemistry from Dublin City University.