EPA inspections find that the Food & Drink and Waste Sectors continue to dominate the EPA National Priority Site List

  • Thirteen sites were identified as National Priority Sites in 2022, six of these sites were from the Food & Drink sector and five were from the Waste sector.
  • The most common issues identified at these sites were non-compliance with emission limit values, poor operation of waste water treatment plants and the handling and storage of waste at waste processing sites.
  • The EPA carried out 1,434 inspections at EPA licensed sites during the year This was an 11 per cent increase on 2021. 87 per cent of these inspections were unannounced.
  • One billion euros has now been secured by the EPA in the form of financial provisions to protect the taxpayer in the event of an environmental accident or incident at a licensed site.

The EPA today published the 2022 Industrial and Waste Licence Enforcement Report, an annual summary report on the enforcement activities carried out in 2022, alongside  the list of sites which were designated as National Priority Sites during the year.

Commenting on the publication, Dr. Tom Ryan, Director, EPA’s Office of Environmental Enforcement said:

“Our enforcement activities are risk based and are, in particular, targeted at sites that are not complying with their licence requirements.  We carried out over 1,400 inspections of industrial and waste licensed activities and a further 58 inspections of unauthorised activities which require a licence. Eighty seven per cent of these inspections are unannounced.” 

He added:

“The thirteen sites on the National Priority Sites List in 2022 were the subject of targeted enforcement action.  While this represents only 1.5 per cent of the total sites licensed by the EPA, it is disappointing that the Food and Drink sector continues to make up a significant proportion of these. A small number of sites is threatening the green sustainable image that sector endeavours to project.  

Our aim is to ensure that all sites, across all sectors, resolve their environmental issues, return to compliance and operate without giving cause for complaints from their neighbours.”

In summary, there were 13 facilities on the National Priority Sites list in 2022, with 6 from the food and drink sector and a further 5 from the waste sector.  These sites included:

  • 2 dairy processing facilities
  • 3 slaughtering facilities
  • 1 food processing facility
  • 3 waste transfer stations
  • 1 anaerobic digestion plant
  • 1 landfill site.

National Priority Sites for 2022 

Licensee County Sector Issue
Arrow Group Ltd* Kildare Food & Drink Odour and noise
Aurivo Dairy Ingredients Ltd Roscommon Food & Drink Discharges to water & odour
Ballyguyroe Landfill Cork Waste Landfill management
City Bin Co Ltd Galway Waste Waste management
Euroflex Teoranta Donegal Surface coating Emissions to air
Forge Hill Recycling Ltd Cork Waste Waste management
Gairdini t/a Munster Joinery Cork Surface coating Discharges to water
Kepak Athleague Roscommon Food & Drink Discharges to water
North Cork Co-Op Creameries Ltd Cork Food & Drink Discharges to water
SRCL Dublin Waste Waste management
Staunton Foods Ltd Cork Food & Drink Noise
Timoleague Agri Gen Ltd Cork Anaerobic digestion Infrastructure & management
Western Brand Group Ltd Mayo Food & Drink Discharges to water

*Arrow Group Limited includes the activities at this licensed site of Dawn Farm Foods Ltd, TCFG Naas Ltd (also known as The Culinary Food Group), QK Coldstores Ltd, Dawn Farms Distribution Ltd and Maudlins Waste Management Ltd.

The annual report also highlights some of the other key enforcement activities of the EPA including the fact that the amount of financial provisions secured by the EPA exceeded one billion euros for the first time in 2022.

Commenting on this milestone Mr. Darragh Page, Programme Manager, EPA’s Office of Environmental Enforcement said:

“EPA licensed sites need to put in place and maintain sufficient financial provision so that they can pay for remediation or aftercare of their site, and for any potential clean-up that may be required following an accident or incident.  This funding is secured and fully accessible to the EPA should the need arise.  The EPA has secured over one billion euros in financial provisions from licensed sites.

These financial provisions mean that the public purse is protected and that the taxpayer will not have to pick up the costs in the event of an environmental accident or incident at any of these licensed sites.”

The Industrial and Waste Enforcement Report 2022 and the associated statistics are available on the EPA website.

The National Priority Sites for Enforcement system was launched by the EPA in July 2017 to drive further environmental compliance at industrial and waste facilities. It is based on the previous six months enforcement history at all licensed sites.

Licensed facilities are identified as National Priority Sites for enforcement using a system developed by the EPA.  Points are allocated to each site based on compliance data such as complaints, incidents and non-compliances over the previous six months.  Sites which exceed a certain threshold become a National Priority Site and are targeted by the EPA for further enforcement action. The EPA updates the National Priority Sites list on a quarterly basis.

Further details of the National Priority Sites scoring system and the list of sites can be found on the EPA website.

Enforcement information on all sites can be found under the Licence Search pages. In addition we publish quarterly updates on the enforcement activities of the EPA.

Complaints about licensed sites can be made on-line or by contacting the EPA at 053-9160600.

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