In recent years, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has applied a methodology for identifying priority licensed sites in Ireland to enable its office of environmental enforcement to better focus its enforcement activities. The Agency has updated the methodology and will be applying it to licensed sites from 1 January 2016. It also expects to make the list of priotity sites available to the public during 2016.
The methodology is based on assigning scores to four aspects of a licensee’s environmental performance:
- Compliance investigations (CI)
- Non-compliances issued by the EPA
- Incidents notified to the EPA by the licensee
- Complaints received by the EPA related to the licensee
The EPA will use the data from the previous 12 months to calculate a licensee’s overall score and its position on the priority list:
- Sites with scores above 30 will be placed on the national priority site list and will be advised accordingly.
- Sites with scores between 20 and 30 will not be placed on the list, but will be advised of their score.
- Sites with scores less than 20 will not be placed on the list and it is not the intention of the EPA to advise them of their score.
As of the end of Q3 2015, of the 770 integrated pollution control (IPC), industrial emissions and waste licensed sites in Ireland, only 19 had been assigned scores greater than 30, while over half had a score of zero. The EPA intends to calculate the scores on a quarterly basis and add and remove licensses to / from the list over time. It also intends to make the list available to the public during 2016 and it will provide further details on this later in the year.
More information on the methodology is available on the EPA’s Brighttalk channel.