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Shale Gas Fracking & UGEE Research
The Environmental Protection Agency is responsible for implementing legislation on ambient/outdoor air quality. There is no legislation on indoor air quality in homes therefore there is no organisation with responsibilities for this.
There are some private companies who test air quality in private dwellings. These are mainly large environmental consultancy firms who operate nationally. You can find a list of these in your classified directory. The Environmental Protection Agency does not endorse or maintain a list of any of these companies.
The Environmental Protection Agency monitor ambient air quality throughout the country. Real time air quality results are available on our website
No, there are no indoor air quality standards in Ireland. The EPA measures outdoor air quality for a number of atmospheric pollutants. The list of pollutants we monitor include; Ozone, Carbon monoxide, Sulphur dioxide, Nitrogen dioxide, Nitrogen Oxides, Particulate Matter (PM10 and PM2.5), Benzene (C6H6), Lead (Pb), PAH (Poly Aromatic Hydrocarbons), Arsenic (As), Nickel (Ni), Mercury (Hg). Detailed information about real-time Air Quality data can be found on our website.
If you are concerned about indoor air quality in your workplace you should contact the Health and Safety Authority. Tel: 1890 289 389 or visit the HSA website
Condensation trails (or ‘contrails’), sometimes also referred to as ‘vapour trails’ are long, thin artificial clouds that sometimes form behind aircraft and are visible from the ground.
Contrails are plumes of ice-crystals formed by the condensation and freezing of water vapour in the exhaust-gases of an aircraft flying at high altitudes and under certain atmospheric conditions. Fossil fuels contain hydrocarbons and burning these fuels produces carbon dioxide (CO2) and water vapour (H2O), along with other materials, such as nitrogen oxides, sulphates, hydrocarbons, soot, metal particles, etc. This occurs when these fuels are used in powering the engines of aircraft as well as trains, cars, trucks, boilers, etc. The difference with aircraft is that they operate in atmospheric conditions (where temperatures are commonly below -40oC) that are very different to those of other vehicles.
Depending upon atmospheric conditions, contrails can rapidly dissipate or remain for some time, gradually spreading horizontally into an extensive thin cirrus cloud layer. As a general rule, the drier the air the more rapid the evaporation process will be. Under more humid conditions, there will be less effective evaporation, so contrails will generally remain visible for longer periods.
The type of aircraft and its fuel source are important considerations. These affect how much additional heat and moisture is ejected into the atmosphere. The water vapour in the aircraft exhaust will artifically (and temporarily) elevate the humidity of the air in the wake of the aircraft, but as this mixing process continues and more of the ambient environment air is added the “fate” of the contrail (i.e., whether it will dissipate or whether it will persist) becomes increasingly dependent on the relative humidity (ratio of moisture to temperature of the environmental air). If the ambient air is too dry, the contrail will evaporate. On the other hand, if the atmospheric humidity in the ambient air is high enough (i.e., above the threshold for ice to persist) the the contrail will persist.
The interesting thing is that between these two humidity thresholds (above the ice threshold but below the water threshold), “natural” clouds cannot form spontaneously, but a contrail that is formed (from air being temporarily elevated above the water threshold) cannot only persist, but can spread out and trigger additional cirrus clouds to form (because the ice particles within the contrail can act as condensation nuclei). Contrail-cirrus is virtually indistinguishable from natural cirrus clouds, making it very difficult to quantify the amount of cirrus coverage that is contrail-induced.
An ‘aircraft contrail-factor’ is calculated for each type of aircraft and used in determining whether or not a contrail will form in a given set of atmospheric conditions. A standard contrail-factor can be used to represent modern commercial aircraft.
Upper-atmospheric humidity and temperatures are retrieved at 4 x daily intervals from Met Éireann’s weather balloons launched at the Valentia observatory in Co. Kerry. Using this information, together with the contrail-factor for commercial aircraft, it is possible to calculate the atmospheric susceptibility to both contrail formation and persistence in Irish skies. By doing this, the height and thickness of ‘contrail-layers’ when formed can be evaluated.
From examination of these 4 x daily ascents from the last few years, it had been determined that in more than three quarters of these ascents, atmospheric conditions were favourable to support persistent contrails from commercial jet aircraft. However, the thickness of the atmospheric contrail-layers varied depending on time of day and time of year, such that the thickest layers were found to occur in night-time ascents during winter.
As aircraft engines become more efficient, their exhausts get cooler resulting in contrails forming in warmer ambient air – i.e., essentially the atmospheric ‘contrail-layers’ become thicker and thus there is an increased likelihood of the aircraft flying through a layer of the atmosphere in which contrail formation will be triggered. Whether the contrail that is formed will persist depends on whether or not the ambient atmospheric humidity is above the ‘ice threshold’. In addition, other atmospheric factors relating to anthropogenic climate change could be affecting humidity in the upper-atmosphere such that contrail persistence conditions are becoming more prevalent. A combination of these two effects could be at work here.
Additionally, Ireland is right next to the North Atlantic Flight Corridor. So large volumes of overflights cross Ireland daily - typically at altitudes high-enough to coincide with our atmospheric contrail-layers. Hence, we have a lot of contrails over Ireland. An EPA funded PhD research project relating to contrails is being carried out in the Geography Department at University College Cork, in the Geoinformatics - Research Group. The research uses thermal imagery acquired by satellites to map the presence of contrails, and weather balloon data from Valentia to gain a better understanding of the atmospheric conditions prevalent in Ireland. Contrails are essentially artificial linear ice-clouds at a lower temperature than the surrounding atmosphere, so they show up very well in 1km resolution satellite thermal imagery. Between 4 and 6 images are available daily over the past ten years and are in the process of being evaluated to determine percentage contrail coverage in Irish skies and how this varies both diurnally and interannually. The contrail optical-depth is also derived from each image which can then be used to estimate the extent if any to which contrails may be contributing to an enhanced greenhouse effect.
There is no evidence to suggest that contrails have any adverse impact on ambient air quality in Ireland. Met Éireann advises that there is some evidence that contrails may influence climatology but have little impact on day-to-day weather. The purported reason for the potential impact on climatology is that the contrails (or consequent cirrus cloud) will trap outgoing long-wave radiation, thus leading to warming in the atmosphere, and that this effect is greater than the reflection of short-wave radiation from the sun.
The EPA is the statutory body responsible for monitoring air quality in Ireland. In order to protect our health, vegetation and ecosystems, a number of EU directives set down air quality standards for Ireland and the other EU member states for a wide variety of pollutants. The monitoring, assessment and management of ambient air quality in Ireland is carried out in accordance with the requirements of the EU Air Quality Framework Directive and Clean Air for Europe Directive. Specific ambient air quality standards have been prescribed for the following pollutants in ambient air and/or deposition from air:
In addition to publishing a comprehensive report on air quality annually, the EPA also reports the results of current air quality monitoring of the above pollutants through our website. View real-time air quality data for locations around the country.
The Irish Aviation Authority's (IAA) remit is the provision of Air Navigation Services and Safety Regulation of the Irish civil aviation industry. Some relevant points from previous correspondence with members of the public and the IAA on this issue are set out below:
There are a number of steps open to you under the law when you are experiencing nuisance caused by noise. The procedures detailed below are designed to cover general neighbourhood type noise problems, such as continual noise from other houses home workshops, local businesses etc. The Environmental Protection Agency Act 1992 (Noise) Regulations, 1994 (S.I. No.179 of 1994) provide redress in the case of these types of problems. They are designed to allow straightforward access to the Courts by individuals or groups concerned atout excessive noise.
When can I take action to deal with noise as nuisance?
Whenever you consider a noise to be so loud, so continuous, so repeated or of such duration or pitch, or occurring at such times that it gives you reasonable cause for annoyance you can initiate action to deal with it.
What action can I take?
Noise emenating from construction activities or the activities of a commercial premises are dealt with under Section 107 of the Environmental Protection Agency Act 1992, which provides local authorities with the powers to limit or prevent noise.
Noise from Commercial Premises:
Section 107 of the Environmental Protection Agency Act 1992 provides local authorities with powers to require measures to be taken to prevent or limit noise. These powers are generally exercised in preventing and limiting noise from commercial and industrial premises within their functional areas. A Notice can be served by a local authority on any person in charge of any premises, processes or works, other than an activity controlled by the Environmental Protection Agency.
There is no statutory period during which certain works e.g. construction, road works, DIY etc. are prohibited. However, a Planning Authority may attach conditions to individual planning permissions for any development on a case by case basis. These tailored conditions may inlcude restrictions on the times when construction work can be undertaken.
If you are encountering noise from a construction site you should, in the first instance, contact your Planning Authority to ascertain whether any such conditions apply. A local authority can still address the issue under Section 107 of the Environmental Protection Agency Act 1992 which provides them withpowers to require measures to be taken to prevent or limit noise. You can also address the issue by taking a case under the Noise Regulations.
The source of a neighbourhood noise complaint most often dictates the way it should be addressed, depending on whether the individual causing the noise nuisance is a private rented tenant, a local authority tenant or a private home-owner.
Private Rented Tenants: In the case of noise nuisance being caused by individuals in private rented accommodation, the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 imposes minimum statutory obligations on landlords and tenants of private residential tenancies. Tenant obligations under the Act include an obligation not to engage, or allow visitors to engage, in anti-social behaviour which is defined as including persistent noise that interferes with the peaceful occupation of other dwellings in the neighbourhood. The Act also imposes an obligation on landlords to enforce the tenant obligations.
There is provision in the Act for third parties who are adversely affected by a failure on the part of a landlord to enforce tenant obligations to refer a complaint to the Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB) in accordance with the procedures in the Act. If an alternative legal remedy, such as the remedy provided for under the Environmental Protection Agency Act 1992 (Noise) Regulations, 1994 (S.I. No. 179) is being pursued, then the PRTB cannot intervene. Since December 2004 all privately-rented properties must be registered with the PRTB. You can check if a property is registered by contacting the PRTB.
Local Authority Tenants: Noise nuisance caused by local authority tenants are also covered under legislation. The tenancy agreement, which is the legal basis of the relationship between the local authority and its tenants, will generally contain provisions in relation to the type of behaviour that is acceptable, and that which is not. The local authority is empowered under Section 62 of the Housing Act 1966, to initiate proceedings to secure an eviction where a tenant has breached the conditions of the tenancy agreement. Please contact your local authority if you have a complaint regarding the behaviour of one of their tenants.
Private Home Owner: If the person causing a noise nuisance is a private home owner then obviously the potential remedies outlined above do not apply. In this case, the person experiencing the noise nuisance will have to avail of the remedy provided under the Environmental Protection Agency Act 1992 (Noise) Regulations, 1994 (S.I. No. 179) whereby any individual person, or a local authority, may complain to a District Court seeking an Order to deal with the noise nuisance.The Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government has issued a self-explanatory leaflet entitled "A Guide to Noise Regulations" which outlines the steps to be taken where a person is experiencing nuisance caused by noise. It includes a form, which can be filled in and then forwarded to the Clerk of the local District Court. There is no requirement to be represented in Court by a solicitor. In addition, as there are no statutory limits currently in place, noise-monitoring data is not necessarily required; however, it may be beneficial in comparing data with the World Health Organisation (WHO) noise exposure recommendations. Alternatively, a written record which includes dates and times during which the perceived noise nuisance occurred and/or a tape recording of the type of noise experienced, can provide important evidence which can be presented in Court.
Problems arising from barking dogs are covered under the Control of Dogs Acts 1986 & 1992. A copy of the Form used for complaints to the Courts about noise from dogs is available from your local authority.
The Environmental Protection Agency Act 1992 (Noise) Regulations 1994 (S.I. No. 179 of 1994) are not designed to cover noise from roadways. Complaints about local traffic related noise should be addressed to the relevant roads authority in the first instance. For national road schemes, potential noise emissions are addressed as part of the Environmental Impact Assessment process undertaken by, or on behalf of, the Natoinal Roads Authority.
In addition, EU Directive 2002/49/EC sets out certain requirements for the assessment and management of environmental noise from transport sources (including major roads) including the making of strategic noise maps and action plans. For major roads or roads with significant traffic flows the Environmental Noise Regulations 2006 (S.I. 140 of 2006) provide for the implementation of action plans to reduce the effects of noise from roads.
The Environmental Protection Agency has no statutory function in the regulation of aggregate and construction stone/gravel quarries and pits as these are not licensed within the licensing regimes operated by the Agency. In the main, these activities are regulated under the planning code.
Section 261 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 imposes a statutory regime for the regulation of quarries in Ireland. All quarries must now register with the planning authority in their locality and it is the planning authority’s responsibility to regulate the quarry through the planning process.
Furthermore, Section 151-164 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 provides the planning authority with a range of enforcement powers in dealing with unauthorised developments or breaches of conditions.
Please note that Section 63(10) of the Protection of the Environment Act 2003 specifically prohibits the Environmental Protection Agency from exercising any power or control in relation to the making of a decision on an application for planning permission.
The Environmental Protection Agency recommends that you should continue to report any further incidents of pollution preferably in writing, to your Local Authority.
However, if you consider the performance of the Local Authority to be unsatisfactory in resolving this issue, you are advised to put your complaint in writing to the complaints officer in that Local Authority.
If you feel that you have been adversely affected by the planning authority's actions or you are dissatisfied with the service you have received from the local authority, you can contact the Office of the Ombudsman. The Ombudsman will not consider the planning issues involved but will investigate the administrative actions of the local authority in considering your complaint.
Furthermore, please note that the Ombudsman’s staff attend monthly at a Citizens Information Centre to take complaints. Please see The Citizens Information website for more information.
The Ombudsman can be contacted at:
Office of the Ombudsman, 18 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2. Tel: 01-639 5600 Locall 1890 22 30 30 Email: email@example.com Website www.ombudsman.ie
If the use of noise devices by farmers, to scare off birds eating their crops (knows as "crow guns/bangers") is causing a nuisance, and you consider that the noise to be so loud, so continuous, so repeated, of such duration or pitch, or occurring at such times that it gives you reasonable cause for annoyance you can initiate action to deal with it.
The District Court hears both sides of the case. If it finds in your favour, it can order the reduction of the noise to a specified level, limit it to specific times or to cease altogether.
Under the Waste Management (Collection Permit) Regulations, 2007 and Waste Management (Collection Permit) (Amendment) Regulations 2008, those intending to carry out waste collection activities in a local authority area must apply for a waste collection permit. This requirement applies to individuals, companies and partnerships.
On the 1st of February 2012, Offaly County Council was designated as the Nominated Authority for the processing of all new Waste Collection Permit applications. This single Nominated Authority will be known as the National Waste Collection Permit Office (NWCPO).
Existing Waste Collection Permits have also been transferred to the NWCPO. Therefore, all additions, deletions etc. to active waste collection permits are now being processed by them.
Please contact the Environment Section, Offaly County Council on 057 9357428 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any queries in relation to applying for a Waste Collection Permit. You are advised to engage in a pre-application consultation prior to lodging an application.
Please visit http://www.nwcpo.ie/ for more information on permitted contractors and on what types of waste they can collect.
Regulating the movement of waste between EU Member States and between the EU and other countries is a large and complex business. It is referred to as 'transfrontier shipment', or TFS. Movement of waste between member states is subject to Regulation (EC) No. 1013/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14th June, 2006 on shipments of waste. This Regulation is supported in Irish law through Statutory Instruments under the Waste Management (Shipments of Waste) Regulations, S.I. 419. Some wastes are more strictly controlled than others. The regulation sets out a system for the classifying waste into three lists:
Since 12th of July 2007, Dublin City Council was designated as the National Competent Authority for the export, import and transit of waste shipments under the Waste Management (Shipments of Waste) Regulations, 2007. All transfrontier shipments of waste originating in any local authority area in the State that are subject to the prior written notification procedures must be notified to and through Dublin City Council at the National TFS Office established to implement and enforce the Regulations. Contact details are as follows; Dublin City Council, Eblana House, 68-71 Marrowbone Lane, Dublin 8, Republic of Ireland. Telephone No. (01) - 2224235 or (01)- 2224374. Any queries relating to TFS import, export or transit should be directed to the Dublin City Council, National TFS Office. The current Waste Management (Shipments of Waste) Regulations 2007, S.I. 419, Regulation (EC) 1013/2006, and TFS guidelines are available on the Dublin City Council TFS webpage included below.
No, it is not permissible for a householder to burn any waste. Under the Waste Management (Prohibition Of Waste Disposal By Burning) Regulations 2009 - S.I. No. 286 of 2009, it states: 'Household waste shall not be disposed of by burning either within a building, the curtilage of a building, any self contained part of a building used for the purposes of living accommodation or its cartilage'.
However, under Section 5 of the above regulation, it states 'without prejudice to any other enactment or rule of law, Regulation 4 shall not apply when the following conditions are fulfilled — the burning of waste relates solely to material consisting of uncontaminated wood, trees, tree trimmings, leaves, brush, or other similar waste generated by agricultural practices, but excluding garden and park wastes'.
Please note, household organic garden waste also falls under the above regulations and cannot be burned. It is recommended that householders should reuse, compost, shred &/or chip this material. Many Waste Collection companies not accept garden/organic waste, and some local authorities accept this waste at their civic amenity centres, however please contact your local authority for further information. If you wish to complain about somebody illegally burning hedge clippings & garden waste in their back garden please contact your local authority to have your complaint investigated.
View regulation details.
There is specific legislation dealing with illegally litter/rubbish dumping and, in general, should be dealt with locally. Therefore all incidents of illegal dumping of litter or rubbish should be reported to your Local Authority immediately. The EPA is a national Agency and deals in general with issues at a different level.
Alternatively, you can report illegal dumping to a 24 hour lo-call telephone number 1850 365 121. This informaton will then be followed up and checked by the enforcement authorities - local authorities, the EPA's Office of Environmental Enforcement and An Garda Síochána - through the Environmental Enforcement Network. Information that you give can be treated confidentially although you are encouraged to give your contact details as authorities may wish to follow-up with you in relation to the investigation of illegal dumping.
If your local authority finds material that is illegally dumped and establishes the identity of the owner of the material, that person will have a case to answer without necessarily having to be caught in the act. The Litter Pollution Act 1997, as amended by the Waste Management (Amendment) Act 2001 and the Protection of the Environment Act 2003, introduced strong penalties in Ireland to help combat the problems of litter pollution more effectively. The litter laws have increased the powers of your local authority to combat the problem of illegal dumping of refuse and rubbish. If you see someone dumping illegally, you should report the matter to your local authority who will investigate and take any necessary enforcement action.
Under the Waste Management (Prohibition of Waste Disposal by Burning) Regulations 2009 it is illegal for a householder to burn garden waste, this includes burning of cut tree limbs, hedging, cuttings, clippings after landscaping & gardening works. It is recommended that householders should reuse, compost, shred &/or chip this material. Many Waste Collection companies do not accept garden/organic waste, and some local authorities accept this waste at their civic amenity centres. However, please contact your local authority for further information.
If you wish to complain about somebody illegally burning hedge clippings & garden waste in their back garden please contact your local authority, where your complaint will be investigated.
The simple answer is no. Burning of cardboard pellets would be considered as waste incineration, unless there is a 'Product Standard' (which would provide proof that the material is not a waste) for the pellets.
The risks in burning cardboard pellets would be associated with what is contained within the cardboard (contaminants from ink, contaminants from the materials which were in the cardboard packaging, etc), these can be damaging to both health and the environment.
Individuals should also note that the boiler itself may not be suitable to burn anything other than wood pellet, and cardboard pellets may pose problems for the boiler.
Further information about wood chip boilers may be obtained from Sustainable Energy Ireland
Each local authority provides facilities for recycling different types of materials at their civic amenity centre. To find out what materials are accepted at your nearest facilities please contact your local authority or visit their website.
Most local authorities also provide a collection service two or three times a year to collect household hazardous wastes such as weed-killer, paints, pesticides, detergents, aerosols etc. You should contact your local authority to find out when the next collection day will take place.
Please be aware, that this serivce is only available to householders, and there is a limit to how much will be accepted.
The Environmental Protection Agency wishes to advise that the burning of waste oil falls under the scope of the European Waste Incineration Directive (Directive 2000/76/EC). The Waste Incineration Directive states, “no incineration or co-incineration plant shall operate without a permit to carry out these activities”.
Therefore, the operation of, for example, used oil burners, will require a Waste Licence from the Environmental Protection Agency for Hazardous Waste Incineration. It is an offence under the Waste Management Act to burn waste oil in the absence of a Waste Licence. The combustion of waste oils in unauthorised burners/energy units has the potential to cause harm to the environment and human health.
Further information regarding waste authorisations can be found on the EPA web page. Enquires can be emailed to email@example.com or by post to EPA Headquarters, PO Box 3000, Johnstown Castle Estate, Co. Wexford. Telephone 053 9160600.
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. The licence search facility on the EPA Website will provide you with a full list of these sites. Search for a Waste Licence here.
If you are seeking a list of companies which can collect waste in your area, please contact your local authority, as they maintain a list of such contractors within their administrative area.
Water Pollution Discharge Licences are issued under Section 4 and Section 16 of the Local Government (Water Pollution) Act 1977 as amended in 1990, in order to allow companies and other bodies to discharge a controlled amount of trade effluent to a public sewer, surface waters or ground waters. To apply for Licence to Discharge Trade Effluent please contact the relevant Sanitary Authority/Local Authority for further details.
Septic tanks should be pumped when sludge and scum accumulation exceed 30% of the tank volume or are encroaching on the inlet and outlet baffle entrances. Periodic pumping of septic tanks is recommended to ensure proper system performance and deduce the risk of hydraulic failure. Septic tanks should be de-sledged at a minimum of once every year, in cases where the septic tank is at, or near, its design load capacity, de-sledging should be more often if the rate of sludge building-up required more frequent removal. Accumulated sludge and scum material found in the tank should be removed by an appropriately permitted contractor in accordance with the Waste Management (Collection Permit) Regulations 2001.
The local authority have a list of permitted contractors in the area. The permitted contractor will arrange for the disposal of the sludge in accordance with the national legislations via either disposal to agriculture or disposal to a managed wastewater treatment municipal facility. Householders should obtain a certificate from the permitted contractor each time their tank is de-sledged.
No. The collection of wastes by any person or business for the purpose of profit, reward or otherwise in the course of business requires a waste collection permit under the Waste Management (Collection Permit) Regulations, 2001. Farmers and farm contractors fall within the scope of this definition, and they should always check in advance that the contractors they use have the required permits.
The following table is a summary of the various scenarios that may arise, and whether a permit is required in each scenario.
Farmer collecting waste on his own land, and spreading it on his own land, including outlying lands in the same tenure.
No permit required.
Gathered, sorted or mixed on the premises where it arose.
Contractor spreading waste for a farmer, on the farm on which the waste arose, including outlying lands in the same tenure.
No permit required.
Gathered, sorted or mixed on the premises where it arose.
Contractor collecting waste from a farm and transporting it for disposal or recovery on another premises.
Section 34: Collection for the purpose of reward.
Farmer collecting waste not owned by him or her, and transporting it for recovery or disposal on another premises.
Section 34: Collection for the purpose of reward.
Contractor collecting septic tank sludge for recovery or disposal off site.
Section 34: Collection for the purpose of reward.
Farmer transporting wastes or excavation spoil for recovery off site.
Section 34: Collection for the purpose of reward.
Contractor collecting wastes from an IPC-licensed facility, and spreading on his or her own, or licensee-owned, or independently owned, spread lands.
Section 34: Collection for the purpose of reward.
Farmer collecting wastes from an IPC facility and spreading it on his or her own land.
Section 34: Collection for the purpose of reward.
The Department of Environment, Community and Local Government (DoECLG) has published the Water Services (Amendment) Bill 2011. The Bill provides for the registration, inspection and remediation (where necessary) of all domestic wastewater treatment systems including septic tanks.
Pollution incidents should be reported in the first instance to the local authority in whose area the incident occurred as they can respond rapidly. The Local Authority will contact the Environmental Protection Agency if an EPA licensed activity is concerned. If you know it is an EPA licensed activity you should contact us directly as well as the Local Authority. Use the following link to obtain full details about how to Make an Environmental Complaint
This is primarily a matter for the relevant Local Authority, under the Water Pollution Act 1977. If, however, the Local Authority is not fulfilling its function, a complaint can be made to the EPA who will take up the matter with the relevant Local Authority to ensure pollution is not taking place. Use the following link to obtain full details on Making an Environmental Complaint
Shale is a type of sedimentary rock, made up of clay and silt-sized particles. Originally, shale was a muddy sediment deposited in a relatively still environment at the bottom of the sea or a lake. Over time, as it became overlain by other geological materials, the weight drove out the moisture, and compacted and cemented the muddy sediment into a solid, thinly layered rock, called shale. A distinguishing feature of shale is that it breaks along thin parallel layering or bedding; this is called fissility.
Its flaky composition means that the layers can usually be separated with a screwdriver, so shale is not “solid” in the way we usually think of rock as being solid. The colour of shale depends on the mineral composition; in Ireland it is often grey, although green and red shale is also found.
While hydraulic fracturing can be performed in a vertical well, in shale gas exploration it is generally performed via horizontal drilling whereby the terminal drillhole is completed as a 'lateral' that extends parallel with the rock layer containing the substance to be extracted. In contrast, a vertical well only accesses the thickness of the rock layer. Horizontal drilling also reduces surface disruptions as fewer wells are required. Drilling a well produces rock chips and fine rock particles that may enter cracks and pore space at the wellbore wall, reducing the permeability at and near the wellbore. This reduces flow into the borehole from the surrounding rock formation, and partially seals off the borehole from the surrounding rock. Hydraulic fracturing can be used to restore permeability.
Hydraulic fracturing is commonly applied to wells drilled in low permeability reservoir rock. An estimated 90 percent of the natural gas wells in the United States use hydraulic fracturing to produce gas at economic rates.
A hydraulic fracture is formed by pumping a fracturing fluid under high pressure. The pressure causes the formation to crack, allowing the fracturing fluid to enter and extend the crack farther into the formation. To keep this fracture open after the injection stops, a solid proppant, commonly a sieved round sand, is added to the fracture fluid. The propped hydraulic fracture then becomes a high permeability conduit through which the formation fluids can flow to the well.
The technology has been widely used in the USA and Canada. Also in Australia (a moratorium is in effect in New South Wales), UK,France (the technique is currently banned due to environmental concerns), New Zealand, and among other jurisdictions.
Class 9.1 of the EPA Acts covers “The extraction, other than offshore extraction, of petroleum, natural gas, coal or bituminous shale”. Any proposed project involving the commercial scale extraction of shale gas would therefore need to apply to the EPA for a licence in order to operate. As part of an application, applicants must erect a site notice and publish a newspaper notice in accordance with licensing regulations, and any applications received are made available to the public on the EPA website. Anyone can make a submission on an application, and the EPA must have regard to any submissions received when assessing the application. Subsequent to a proposed decision on the application, there is an objection period which allows the applicant and third parties to object to the decision. The EPA would assess any such objections received, and may opt to hold an oral hearing of these objections.
The Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (DCENR).
The relevant Local Authorities (and possibly An Bord Pleanála).
The Health & Safety Authority (HSA).
The Commission for Energy Regulation (CER).
If you are worried about the possible effects of shale gas fracking on the radon levels in your home, you can find some information on the radiation section of our website.
The University of Aberdeen was one of a number of parties approached on the basis of reputed expertise in the relevant field. The University of Aberdeen was the only party to respond with a quotation for the work, and was subsequently awarded the contract.
The EPA has provided funding for environmental research since 1994. The current research programme ‘STRIVE’ has been running since 2007 and supports projects and studies with the aims of:
Identification of research priorities and scoping of projects in the STRIVE Programme is led by the EPA with assistance from the DECLG. The basis for identification of priority areas includes environmental monitoring & reporting; expert input from EPA/DECLG staff and conclusions & recommendations from completed projects. Further consultation is undertaken through research advisory groups consisting of key government departments & agencies and other research funding bodies. In addition, the EPA consults more widely with researchers and NGOs through workshops & electronic consultations.
Once a topic is identified as a priority research need and a budget is approved by the EPA Board, the STRIVE Programme invites applications for funding on the basis of open competition. Evaluation of applications received is a two stage process with proposals firstly subject to international peer-review for a judgement on their scientific merit. A shortlist is generated from this stage which is then reviewed by panel of national experts to ensure a good fit with national priorities & needs – and to ensure the work has not been funded elsewhere. In tandem with this process, applications are financially reviewed to ensure EPA funding rules have been followed. Final ‘go-ahead’ for any project is based on this process and subject to a final overview by the EPA Board.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published a report from a preliminary study on current knowledge about the environmental considerations and impacts of shale gas exploration and extraction, and in particular the use of hydraulic fracturing technology.
The study: Hydraulic Fracturing or ‘Fracking’: A Short Summary of Current Knowledge and Potential Environmental Impacts was conducted by the University of Aberdeen.
The report provides an introduction to the environmental aspects of fracking including a review of regulatory approaches used in other countries and areas for further investigation and research.
In August 2014, following a public consultation on the Terms of Reference, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded a contract to a consortium led by CDM Smith Ireland Limited (view more details), who will carry out a 24-month research programme looking at the potential impacts on the environment and human health from UGEE projects and operations (including construction, operation and aftercare). The UGEE Joint Research Programme is composed of five projects and will involve field studies (baseline monitoring of water and seismicity), as well as an extensive desk-based literature review of UGEE practices worldwide. No fracking will be undertaken as part of the research programme.
The UGEE Joint Research Programme is funded by the EPA, the Department of Communications Energy and Natural Resources (DCENR) and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA). It is managed by a steering committee comprising the EPA, the Department of Environment, Community & Local Government; DCENR; the Geological Survey of Ireland; Commission for Energy Regulation; An Bord Pleanála; NIEA, the Geological Survey of Northern Ireland and the Health Services Executive.
More information available UGEE Research.
No fracking will be undertaken as part of the UGEE Joint Research Programme.
The UGEE Joint Research Programme is funded by the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Communications Energy and Natural Resources (DCENR) and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA).
The UGEE Joint Research Programme is managed by a steering committee comprising the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Environment, Community & Local Government; DCENR; the Geological Survey of Ireland; Commission for Energy Regulation; An Bord Pleanála; Northern Ireland Environment Agency, the Geological Survey of Northern Ireland and the Health Services Executive.
The research is being carried out by a consortium, led by the global environmental and infrastructure management firm CDM Smith Ireland Limited. The consortium includes British Geological Survey, University College Dublin, University of Ulster, AMEC, and Philip Lee Solicitors.
Staff from Queens University Belfast (QUB) were intended to contribute to the UGEE Joint Research Programme (JRP) Project A1 (Groundwater, Surface Water & Associated Ecosystems). Specifically,
Upon appointment, the University decided that the three researchers would not be able to fulfil their agreed responsibilities on project A1. They were replaced internally with CDM Smith and British Geological Survey (BGS) staff taking on additional tasks. However, the full time academic from QUB has undertaken his review role in full on Project A1 as proposed in the tender, and our understanding is that this was done with the knowledge of the University and not in any independent capacity.
The key questions, the UGEE Joint Research Programme needs to answer are:
This research has been designed to produce outputs, which will assist regulators (North and South) in fulfilling their statutory roles regarding this activity.
The 24-month UGEE Joint Research Programme has been designed to produce the scientific basis, which will assist regulators – both North and South – in making an informed decision about whether it is environmentally safe to allow fracking. As well as research in Ireland, the research programme will look at and collate evidence from other countries.
The key questions the research programme needs to answer are:
The UGEE Joint Research Programme is composed of five projects and will involve field studies (baseline monitoring of water and seismicity), as well as an extensive desk-based literature review of UGEE practices worldwide:
For a detailed description of the research projects, please refer to the Terms of Reference. No fracking will be undertaken as part of the research programme.
The contract award procedure chosen for this competition was by open procedure. Six tenders were received. The contract was awarded following a robust evaluation process in full compliance with procurement guidelines. The constitution of the evaluation panel was approved by the project Steering Committee and included personnel with the capacity to make informed decisions on the tenders received. The evaluation panel consisted of 27 existing and retired personnel from the following organisations:
The UGEE Joint Research Programme is composed of five projects and will involve field studies (baseline monitoring of water and seismicity), as well as an extensive desk-based literature review of UGEE practices worldwide. While elements of the research will relate to specific regions, it is the intention that the research will generally be applicable to the island of Ireland.
The baseline monitoring of Water and Seismicity will take place in three case-study areas (Co. Clare, Co. Leitrim & Co. Fermanagh). View more information at UGEE Research.
“ As detailed in the Section 4.2.4 of the Revised Terms of Reference, “the wording “human/public health” throughout this document refers specifically and is limited to potential health impacts deriving from impacts on environmental media (e.g. exposure to chemicals, vibration, light, noise, and pollution of environmental media (i.e. soils, air & water). In addition, the wording “protecting human health” refers and is limited to preventing environmental factors from degrading human health.”
The research requires a review of health impact studies worldwide in order to develop a protocol. This is set out in the Terms of Reference as a task under 5.2.3. Project-C: Regulatory Framework for Environmental Protection: “The potential role of Health Impact Assessment in regulation of UGEE projects/operations should be considered based on the experience in other countries, and recommendations should be made towards developing a protocol in the island of Ireland context.”
No. The joint EPA/DCENR/NIA research programme into Unconventional Gas Exploration and Extraction will NOT incorporate a Health Impact Assessment. There is requirement in the Terms of Reference (Project C, Task 3) to specifically consider the potential role of Health Impact Assessment in regulation of UGEE projects/operations based on the experience in other countries and to make recommendations towards developing a protocol in the island of Ireland context.
Yes. Part of the research programme involves the investigation of best practice in other jurisdictions.
The 24-month UGEE Joint Research Programme started in August 2014. For an update on the status, please check UGEE Research.
The UGEE Joint Research Programme (UGEE JRP) (EPA/DCENR/NIEA) is a 24-month program. Due to the inter-linkages between the projects, composing the UGEE JRP, only the Final Reports will be published once the Research Programme has been completed.
As per our Summary Response document following the 2013 Public Consultation on the draft Terms of References, it is our opinion that public consultations on interim report would not be practicable within the delivery timeframe of the Research Programme.
While an internal review process is carried out by the Consortium as Quality Control process before submission of any interim/final deliverables of the UGEE JRP, all outputs are reviewed by a Technical Review Group which includes Steering Committee members and other external experts. Each reviewer is requested to sign a Confidentiality Statement & Declaration of Conflict of Interest. This process is fully independent from the internal quality control process put in place by the Consortium.
Since August 2005, consumers can recycle their old waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), free of charge, in the following ways:
Whichever take-back option a consumer avails of must be free of charge. Additionally, each local authority must accept household WEEE free of charge at its civic amenity facilities from members of the public. Local authorities can no longer charge gate fees for WEEE.
The WEEE take-back service covers waste electrical and electronic items such as electric cookers, vacuum cleaners, fridges, dishwaters, televisions, as well as smaller electrical items such as hair dryers, portable music players, & radios.
Business to Business (B2B) producers are obliged to finance the takeback of historic and new B2B WEEE (Articles 17 & 18). From the 13th August 2005, each producer (or someone acting on his/her behalf) must finance the environmentally sound management of WEEE arising from(B2B) customers as follows:
However the supplier that supplied the original equipment may not be the 'Producer'. Also, does this equipment fall under the scope of the WEEE Regulations? This can be clarified by contacting:
WEEE Register Society Ltd,
Tel: +353 (0)1-2409320 / 2409321
Therefore, the business end user would need to determine the following;
CFL’s, must never be placed in either your waste disposal or recycling bins.
As with any other glass products, caution should be taken to avoid injuries. If a CFL accidentally breaks do not panic and take the following steps:
Please note, if you have concerns about the health effects please seek medical advice.
The periods when application of fertilisers to land is prohibited are specified in Schedule 4 of the European Union (Good Agricultural Practice for Protection of Waters) Regulations 2014 as follows:
1. In counties Carlow, Cork, Dublin, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Offaly, Tipperary, Waterford, Wexford and Wicklow, the period during which the application of fertilisers to land is prohibited is the period from—
(a) 15 September to 12 January in the case of the application of chemical fertiliser
(b) 15 October to 12 January in the case of the application of organic fertiliser (other than farmyard manure)
(c) 1 November to 12 January in the case of the application of farmyard manure.
2. In counties Clare, Galway, Kerry, Limerick, Longford, Louth, Mayo, Meath, Roscommon, Sligo and Westmeath, the period during which the application of fertilisers to land is prohibited is the period from—
(a) 15 September to 15 January in the case of the application of chemical fertiliser
(b) 15 October to 15 January in the case of the application of organic fertiliser (other than farmyard manure)
(c) 1 November to 15 January in the case of the application of farmyard manure.
3. In counties Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim and Monaghan, the period during which the application of fertilisers to land is prohibited is the period from—
(a) 15 September to 31 January in the case of the application of chemical fertiliser
(b) 15 October to 31 January in the case of the application of organic fertiliser (other than farmyard manure)
(c) 1 November to 31 January in the case of the application of farmyard manure.
In order to prevent waters from being polluted by nitrogen and phosphorus, the European Union (Good Agricultural Practice for Protection of Waters) Regulations, 2014 require that you must do the following:
The Local Authorities (County Councils) and the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine are responsible for enforcement of the regulations and they undertake farm inspections to check compliance. If Local Authorities find farmers contravening these Regulations, they must report them to the Cross Compliance Unit of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
The Regulations are also part of the Cross Compliance requirements under the Single Payment Scheme and other area-based schemes. The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine by agreement with the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, has taken on responsibility for the undertaking of Cross Compliance inspections for the Single Payment Scheme and other area-based schemes. In addition the Department carry out a proportion of farm inspections on behalf of Local Authorities.
The Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine can impose financial penalties for non-compliances.
There are no regulations specifying the distance within which landspreading of organic fertiliser can occur in relation to a dwelling.
The European Union (Good Agricultural Practice for Protection of Waters) Regulations 2014 specify buffers in relation to water supplies and/or watercourses and streams.
Where houses have a private well, organic fertiliser or soiled water shall not be applied to land within 25m of any borehole, spring, or well used for the abstraction of water for human consumption (greater buffer distances of 100m and 200m apply to larger scale abstractions).
The Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine have published and Explanatory Handbood for Good Agricultural Practice for the Protections of Waters Regulations, 2014.
If you have any concerns in regard to such an activity you should contact your local authority.
The European Union (Good Agricultural Practice for Protection of Waters) Regulations, 2014 specify a significant number of controls in relation to managing the farmyard, managing fertilisers and nutrients, and keeping records.
The Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine have published an Explanatory Handbook for Good Agricultural Practice for the Protection of Waters Regulations 2014,
What is asbestos? Asbestos is a natural fibrous material. There were three types of asbestos commonly used. These are blue asbestos (crocidolite) brown asbestos (amosite) and white asbestos (chrysotile).
Why was it used? Asbestos was used because it is resistant to heat and chemicals and is strong yet flexible. It was therefore widely used as a building and insulation material. Asbestos is no longer used and therefore only items, which have been in place for, or were purchased before 1980, may contain asbestos. If you are in doubt as to whether an item contains asbestos treat it with care and seek expert advice to identify it.
What are the risks? There is only a risk from asbestos when damaged or if drilled or sawed etc. It is at this point when fibres are released into the air. Due to its fibrous nature it can be breathed in and penetrate deep into the lungs. This can lead to asbestosis, and possibly lung cancer. The general rule is that if you have asbestos and it is not damaged, it is safest to leave it in place. The risk to health from undamaged asbestos is very low.
Where is Asbestos found? Asbestos may be found in the following areas around the home:
One of the most common forms of asbestos found is corrugated sheeting – this is mainly used as roofing material for garages and sheds.
If you think you have come across asbestos in your home or office and you're unsure about whether the material contains asbestos, don't take any chances. Seek expert advice from asbestos monitoring/surveying companies, which are listed in the Classified Telephone Directory.
A specialist contractor should be engaged to carry out work on asbestos products or to demolish asbestos products, particularly those that are worn or damaged.
In the case of asbestos products where the fibres are tightly bound (for example, in asbestos cement roofs), and the material is in good condition, specialist asbestos removal contractors may not always be necessary.
Always take precautions, and contact the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) for advice:
Health and Safety Authority
The Metropolitan Building,
James Joyce Street
Tel. (01) 6147020 or 1890289389Fax. (01) 6147020
Further information can be found at:
Health & Safety Authority
The EPA is committed to a policy of openness and transparency. All monitoring results and environmental quality information is available for access by the public on our website. Information related to EPA licensing is also available to the public from our website or can be inspected in our offices. Copies of information will also be provided but there may be a charge. Most information generated by the EPA is made publicly available through published reports many of which are also available to purchase in hardcopy. For further information, please see our pages on Access to Information on our website.
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is a process for anticipating the effects on the environment caused by a proposed development or project at a particular site. Where effects are unacceptable, design or other measures can be taken to avoid or reduce these to acceptable levels. The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is a document produced in the course of this process. The EIS is assessed by the regulatory authorities.
View the Guidelines on information to be contained in Environmental Impact Statements (EIS).
The EPA is responsible for reporting on nature conservation in its 'State of the Environment' reports. However, responsibility for nature conservation lies with the National Parks and Wildlife Service.
The National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS) is part of the Department of the Environment Heritage and Local Government and is charged with the conservation of a range of habitats and species in Ireland. Some of its most important activities include:
Designation and protection of Natural Heritage Areas (NHAs), Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) & Special Protection Areas (SPAs) and,
Managing and developing our National Parks and Nature Reserves.
For further information please go to the National Parks and Wildlife Service website.
The Industrial Emissions Directive which came into force on the 6th of January 2011 and came about as a result of a European Commission review of European legislation on industrial emissions. The review led to the commission proposing this directive on industrial emissions (The IED or Industrial Emissions Directive) which replaces seven existing directives namely:
Click here for link to the European Commission IED webpage http://ec.europa.eu/environment/air/pollutants/stationary/
Certain provisions of the Directive/Irish legislation will follow the implementation dates below:
One of the main functions of the Environmental Protection Agency has been the licensing and control of specified activities that are listed in:
Under these acts, the Agency has to date granted waste licences and IPPC licences respectively.
The Industrial Emissions Directive (2010/75/EU), as it has been transposed into Irish legislation, has changed the existing situation and has introduced a third class of licence that can be granted by the Agency, the Industrial Emissions Licence. The European Union (Industrial Emissions) Regulations have amended the First Schedule of the EPA Acts to state which activities are licensable in accordance with Annex I of the Industrial Emissions Directive and will require an Industrial Emissions Licence.
In relation to waste activities and of interest to waste licence applicants, the range of waste activities listed in the new First Schedule (class 11) has been expanded.
There is going to be a major change in the way that these First Schedule waste activities (class 11) will be licensed by the Agency. The First Schedule waste activities will in future be licensed by the Agency under:
and not, as has been the case to date, under:
The Industrial Emissions Directive has introduced a new type of licensing. Whereas in the past we had waste licenses under the Waste Management Act as amended and IPPC licenses under the Environmental Protection Agency Act 1992 as amended we now have a third type of licence - the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) licence. Under the IED there is a new set of capacity thresholds (perhaps daily or annual capacity thresholds) which bring activities under the control of the IED and the thresholds may depend on the intended destination of the waste. For example the composting of waste now has an associated threshold of 50 tonnes per day (Class 11.4(a)(i)) if the waste is destined for disposal but if the waste is intended for recovery, or a mix of disposal and recovery, then the threshold is 75 tonnes per day (Class 11.4(b)(i)).
Clearly then you will not find a direct correlation between classes of activity under IED and classes of activity under the Waste Management Act 1996 as amended.
A Class 11.1 activity must have a connection or association with another activity at the same licenced site and can only be an ‘additional’ class of activity.
Class 11.1 is not an IED class of activity. Class 11.1 will generally only be applicable where there are non-IED classes of activity being carried on at a facility in addition to IED classes of activity. Class 11.1 can be associated with any other IED activity, and not just other class 11 waste activities. It is therefore not the case that Class 11.1 can be the only class applying to your activity.
Class 11.1 is the 'recovery or disposal of waste in a facility, within the meaning of the Act of 1996, which facility is connected or associated with another activity specified in this Schedule in respect of which a licence or revised licence under Part IV is in force or in respect of which a licence under the said Part is or will be required'.
Newly prescribed activities in the food and drink sector include those installations involved in:
A landfill that is covered by the IED will be licensed as class 11.5. For a landfill to be class 11.1, it must be the following:
Further guidance will issue on how to decide if a landfill is covered by the IED.
Many of the IED classes of activity talk about production capacity, consumption capacity, treatment capacity, etc., but how do you interpret the term ‘capacity.’
Simply put the term refers to both the legal (for example limitations placed on a production capacity by legislation, planning permission or licence) and the technical capacity of an installation (for example the technical or physical limitations on waste processing capacity as a result of infrastructure or machinery).
It should be noted that it is not considered sufficient/reliable to convert IED daily thresholds into annual thresholds in order to determine capacity.
For further discussion on the interpretation of “capacity” see the European Commission’s Guidance on Interpretation and Determination of Capacity under the IPPC Directive at http://ec.europa.eu/environment/industry/stationary/ied/faq.htm
The term "pre-treatment" is not defined in the Industrial Emissions Directive. The term "treatment" is defined in the Waste Framework Directive (2008/98/EC) as:
'recovery or disposal operations, including preparation prior to recovery or disposal'.
The term 'treatment' has the same meaning as 'pre-treatment'.
Operators who carry out recovery and/or disposal activities on waste followed by dispatch of the waste for incineration or co-incineration should be regarded as carrying out “pre-treatment of waste for incineration or co-incineration” for the purposes of the new First Schedule.
When deciding whether an activity comprises “pre-treatment of waste for incineration or co-incineration” for the purposes of the new First Schedule, applicants should consider what happens within the waste facility that is to be authorised, and not any treatment or pre-treatment that took place previously at another facility or the presence of waste segregation practices at the point of waste collection.
The following should not generally be regarded as constituting "pre-treatment of waste for incineration or co-incineration":
Solid recovered fuels and refuse derived fuels are often but not always produced to a technical specification that might also comprise a quality standard and/or a quality assurance scheme. They are also often produced to be classified by the EWC codes 191210 or 191212. The absence of:
for a solid recovered fuel or refuse derived fuel is not indicative that an activity does not comprise "pre-treatment of waste for incineration or co-incineration".
Text of class 11.5 of the First Schedule of the EPA Act 1992 as amended:
Landfills, within the meaning of section 5 (amended by Regulation 11(1) of the Waste Management (Certification of Historic Unlicenced Waste Disposal and Recovery Activity) Regulations 2008 (S.I. No. 524 of 2008)) of the Act of 1996, receiving more than 10 tonnes of waste per day or with a total capacity exceeding 25,000 tonnes, other than landfills of inert waste.
Text of class 5.4 of Annex I of the IED:
Landfills, as defined in Article 2(g) of Council Directive 1999/31/EC of 26 April 1999 on the landfill of waste receiving more than 10 tonnes of waste per day or with a total capacity exceeding 25,000 tonnes, excluding landfills of inert waste.
The definition of landfill, as referenced in section 5 of the Act of 1996 and Article 2(g) of the Landfill Directive, is:
"landfill" means a waste disposal site for the deposit of waste onto or into land (i.e. underground), including:
The following activities are newly prescribed and will require an Industrial Emissions Licence by 7th July 2015:
1. The production of, organic/ inorganic chemicals, of phosphorus-based, nitrogen-based or potassium-based fertilisers, of plant health products and of biocides, of pharmaceutical products including intermediates, of explosives, provided that the activity concerns production by biological processing.
2. The gasification and liquefaction of fuels other than coal, with a rated thermal input of 20MW or more.
3. An activity specified in paragraph 7.8 (food and drink sector) that did not previously require a licence.
4. In relation to the waste sector, certain waste licences will become IE licences and regulated under the EPA Act 1992 to 2013.
Given the complexity and scale of some IED activities, and in order to avoid possible delays caused by submitting an incomplete application, the EPA recommends that you engage in pre-application clarification/consultation prior to submitting your application for an IED licence.
Contact the EPA Environmental Licensing Programme at firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to arrange a pre-application meeting.
Having regard to the scope of both the Slaughterhouses and Animal by-products Industries BREF and the Food, Drink and Milk Industries BREF, the ‘slaughter’ activity (class 7.4.1) is considered to end with the making of standard cuts for large animals and the production of a clean whole carcase for poultry. Standard cuts are defined as carcases, half carcases, half carcases cut into no more than three wholesale cuts and quarters. Chilling is considered part of the slaughtering class, if it is chilling of the carcase or standard cuts. For the purposes of clarity, the slaughter activity covers the removal of offal and appendages.
Whereas the deboning of carcases, mincing and packaging for retail etc. at meat installations are food production activities (class 7.8(a)(i)). The production of food from animal raw materials with a finished product production capacity of greater than 75 tonnes/day (class 7.8(a)(i)) at a meat installation is an additional licensable activity to the slaughtering activity where it is carried on at the same installation.
The Agency wishes to bring to your attention an impending date specified in the European Union (Large Combustion Plants) Regulations 2012 S. I. No. 566 of 2012 regarding the Limited life time derogation.
Where the operator of a combustion plant wishes to avail of the limited lifetime derogation under Regulation 11 of S.I. No. 566 of 2012, they must, inter alia, submit to the Agency by the 1 January 2014 a written Declaration not to operate the plant for more than 17,500 operating hours, starting from 1 January 2016 and ending no later than 31 December 2023, with plant closure thereafter.
Should you wish to avail of this derogation the Agency may need to amend or review your licence to ensure that the specific requirements of the LCP Regulations (S.I. No. 566 of 2012) are brought into effect and you will be notified of this in due course. These specific requirements are set out in Regulation 11 of S.I. No. 566 of 2012.
A Class 11.6 activity is the temporary storage of hazardous waste pending any of the activities referred to in paragraph 11.2, 11.3, 11.5 or 11.7 with a total capacity exceeding 50 tonnes. It does not apply to the temporary storage of hazardous waste on the site where the waste is generated and is awaiting collection.
For example installations undertaking solvent reclamation or regeneration at a capacity greater than 10 tonnes/day, may also have a dedicated storage area for the associated hazardous waste. Where the capacity of that dedicated waste storage area is greater than 50 tonnes, then class 11.6 applies. It may be the case that the hazardous waste was generated on the site but as it is also undergoing solvent recovery at the installation, the dedicated storage area associated with the solvent recovery activity must be considered in the context of class 11.6.
The storage of waste is a (pre-)treatment operation. In the Waste Framework Directive (2008/98/EC), ‘treatment’ means recovery or disposal operations, including preparation prior to recovery or disposal. Disposal and recovery operations are listed (in a non-exhaustive list) in Annex I and II respectively of the Directive. Activities D15 and R13 are storage operations, as follows:
If the storage operation takes place in what might be called the supply chain for “pre-treatment of waste for incineration or co-incineration”, then it is IED if over threshold because storage of waste is a waste recovery or disposal operation and therefore treatment.
According to the Waste Management Act 1996, as amended, the temporary storage of waste refers to the storage of waste for a period of not more than six months.
Radiation is energy that is transmitted in the form of waves or particles. Scientists divide radiation into two broad categories – ionising radiation, and non-ionising radiation.
Ionising radiation is a proven hazard because it has enough energy to break apart molecules such as DNA which may in time lead to cancer. Non-ionising radiation does not have enough energy to cause such damage.
We encounter ionising radiation constantly. It occurs naturally in the rocks and soil, in the food and water we eat and drink, and bombards the earth’s atmosphere from outer space. It is produced artificially, and widely used in medicine, industry and research. It is used in X-rays, in radiotherapy to treat cancers, in smoke detectors, and in many industrial processes. The production of electricity from nuclear power generates ionising radiation as a by-product.
Non-ionising radiation is generated by everyday energy sources, including light, heat, TV and radio signals, mobile phone signals, microwaves, and electro-magnetic fields associated with power lines. The Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government is currently responsible for the health effects of non-ionising radiation including electromagnetic fields.
Radon is the second biggest cause of lung cancer in Ireland and worldwide after tobacco smoking. Radon is responsible for up to 250 lung cancer cases in Ireland every year.
Radon comes from the ground and gets into buildings mainly through cracks in floors or gaps around pipes or cables. As the pressure inside a building is slightly lower than the pressure outdoors, radon will be drawn from the ground into the building. This phenomenon is known as pressure-driven flow.
Radon levels vary from house to house depending on where the house is located, its construction type and how it is used. The average indoor radon level in Irish houses is 89 becquerel per cubic metre (Bq/m3), although levels up to 550 times this value have been measured.
No. Radon levels vary from house to house. The only way of knowing the level in your house is to have a measurement carried out in your own house.
No. According to current scientific knowledge, there is no other proven health effect associated with radon exposure. The risk of developing lung cancer depends on the level of radon present and the time one has been exposed.
The EPA recommends a minimum measurement duration of three months. This is because there can be significant day to day variations in radon levels. Therefore the only way of confidently assessing your radon risk is by carrying out a three month test. Only the results of a measurement made over at least three months can be compared to the national Reference Level.
There is no grant available to cover for the cost of radon remediation. Some radon reduction techniques are more expensive than others and each one will need to be assessed on a case by case basis. However the typical price for retrofitting a radon sump into a standard house is approximately €850 (ranging from €450-€1150). Other, less expensive options are available, for example, improving the ventilation in your home by installing extra wall vents. However, the most suitable method will depend on the radon levels and on the type of building.
A Scheme of Housing Aid for Older People is available to assist older people, generally over 65 years, to have repairs or improvements carried out to their homes. Where a suite of works is being grant aided under this scheme, Local Authorities may also, as part of the package of works, assist with the provision of radon remediation works, where applicable. Contact the Housing Section of your Local Authority for further information. Additional information is also available from Citizen Information website.
The Home Renovation Incentive scheme allows homeowners to qualify for tax credits at 13.5% of the cost of renovation, repair or improvement works. Full details of the scheme are available from the Revenue Commissioners.
Specific guidance on radon prevention measures for new homes is contained in this document which is published by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government.
This Guidance specifies that all homes built since 1st July 1998 must be fitted with a standby radon sump which can be activated at a later stage, to reduce high radon concentrations subsequently found. For homes built in High Radon Areas, the installation of a radon barrier as well as a standby radon sump is required.
Although techniques are available for measuring radon levels in soil, it is very difficult to determine what the level in a new house will be from the results of soil measurements. For this reason, the EPA does not consider site radon measurements to be a reliable means of predicting, before construction, whether a building will have a high radon level. Instead the EPA recommends that the radon levels be measured soon after the house is occupied.
We recommend that you check whether the home is in a High Radon Area on our radon map and enquire as to whether the home has ever been tested for radon. However, if the house is located in a High Radon Area, it does not necessarily mean that it has high radon levels. The best course of action is to have a test done once you have moved in. Where a high radon level is detected, you can successfully reduce it at a cost which is very small when compared with the value of the house.
No. The EPA provides a confidential measurement service to homeowners. The EPA will not release the result of any measurement to anyone other than the person who requested the original measurement. You should ask the current owners if they have ever had the house tested for radon.
No. Even if the radon barrier has been installed, it could have been damaged during the construction of the house. A single gap or hole in the barrier can make it ineffective. The only way of knowing is by testing your home for radon.
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