Environmental Protection Agency

The following is for general information purposes only. All further queries regarding this information should be directed to the competent authorities listed below.

Competent Authority

The Environmental Protection Agency is responsible for regulating activities that have significant polluting potential. Their responsibilities include:

Licensed activities are required to conform to best practice and all licences and permits are routinely monitored to ensure ongoing compliance with requirements.

Environmental Enforcement

The EPA's Office of Environmental Enforcement is dedicated to the implementation and enforcement of environmental legislation in Ireland. Our aim is to improve compliance with environmental legislation in Ireland and ensure that those who flout the law and cause environmental pollution are held to account. (Relevant link http://www.epa.ie/whatwedo/enforce/)

Environmental Research

The EPA research programme for the period 2007-2013 is entitled Science, Technology, Research and Innovation for the Environment (STRIVE). The purpose of the programme is to protect and improve the natural environment by addressing key environmental management issues through the provision of world-class scientific knowledge generated through a vibrant, competitive programme of research developed supported and co-ordinated by EPA. (Relevant link : http://www.epa.ie/researchandeducation/research/

IPPC Licensing

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is the competent authority for granting and enforcing Integrated Pollution Prevention Control (IPPC) licences for specified industrial and agriculture activities listed in the first schedule to the Environmental Protection Agency Acts, 1992 to 2007.

Waste Licensing

In 1996 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began licensing certain activities in the waste sector. These include landfills, transfer stations, hazardous waste disposal and other significant waste disposal and recovery activities.

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)

Since 1995, the EPA is the Competent Authority in Ireland for the implementation of the GMO Regulations on the contained use, the deliberate release and the transboundary movement of GMOs (since 2004) into the environment.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) permits

The Environmental Protection Agency oversees regulations to control volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions resulting from petrol storage and distribution terminals. We issue VOC permits under the Environmental Protection Agency Act, 1992 (Control of volatile organic compound emissions resulting from the storage of petrol and its distribution) Regulations, 1997 S.I. No. 374 of 1997. Petrol storage installations involved in the loading of petrol into, or unloading of petrol from, mobile containers are required to apply for a permit.

Waste Water Discharge Licensing

A system for the licensing or certification of waste water discharges (WWD) from areas served by local authority sewer networks imposes restrictions or prohibitions on the discharge of dangerous substances - thus preventing or reducing the pollution of waters by waste water discharges. All discharges to the aquatic environment from sewerage systems owned, managed and operated by water service authorities will require a waste water discharge licence or certificate of authorisation from the EPA. The aim is to achieve good surface water and ground water status in addition to complying with standards and objectives established for associated protected areas by 2015 at the latest.

Emissions Trading

The Emissions Trading Scheme is one of the policies being introduced across the EU to tackle emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, in an effort to combat the serious threat of climate change.

The scheme began on 1 January 2005. The first phase runs from 2005-2007 and the second phase will run from 2008-2012 to coincide with the first Kyoto commitment period.

The scheme works on a "Cap and Trade" basis. All EU 25 governments are required to set an emission cap for all installations covered by the scheme.

Each installation is allocated allowances for the particular commitment period. The number of allowances allocated to each installation for any given period is determined on the basis of the National Allocation Plan. Anyone not covered by the scheme who wishes to hold allowances will be able to open an account on the registry to facilitate this.