Air Enforcement

The EPA is responsible for the environmental licensing and enforcement of certain types of industrial and waste management activities. Licences issued to facilities include a range of conditions with which the operator must comply in order to ensure that the activity has no significant environmental impact.  These conditions include requirements in relation to limiting and preventing emissions to atmosphere. Some licences, where required, include limits on the quantities of specific pollutants which can be released from individual emission points (i.e. stacks) as well as requirements for licensees to continuously or periodically measure these emissions to check compliance with the licence limits.

As part of the EPA's annual Air Emissions Monitoring Programme(AEMP), the Air Thematic Unit within the OEE, undertakes a programme of independent air emissions monitoring at licensed sites.  In addition to this independent monitoring undertaken on behalf for the EPA, the licence usually requires the licensee to carry out their own periodic monitoring of air emissions to assess compliance with the emission limit values as specified in their licence and to report any issues to the EPA. 

Within the Office of Environmental Enforcement (OEE), the Air Enforcement Team provides dedicated expertise in relation to emissions to atmosphere and noise as part of their licence enforcement role.  The Team produces guidance to support their work and assist licensees and their consultants and contractors to comply with licence conditions.

 

The Air Enforcement section of this website is subdivided into the following categories:

Overview of EPA License Facilities in Relation to Air Enforcement

Each year the EPA produces a report which provides summary information on compliance with air emissions licence requirements within the EPA licensed industrial and waste sectors.  This section sets out briefly some key information arising from that report which members of the public may find of interest.

EPA Licensees Information

This section provides advice and guidance of a technical nature for Licensees.  The Information set out in this section covers topics such as Emissions Monitoring; Air Emissions Monitoring Programme(AEMP); and Guidance Documentation.

Solvents

The Solvent Regulations which govern solvent emissions and oversee the emission of solvent vapours from 20 specified activities, bring the activities of much smaller businesses such as Dry Cleaners and Vehicle Refinishers/Sprayers under the enforcement of the local authorities.  Implementation and guidance has been developed as part of the National Waste Prevention Programme to assist this Sector.

Decorative Paints Directive

VOCs pose a risk to human health and to the environment.  In order to reduce the risk to the user and the environment due to exposure to Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC), the Directive limits the VOC content of widely used paint products. This Directive applies mainly to Vehicle Refinishers/Sprayers and the Regulations make it illegal for any uncertified operator to carry out an activity for which a certificate of compliance is required under these Regulations. It is also an offence for motor factors and paint suppliers to place non-compliant vehicle refinishing products on the market.

Ozone Depleting Substances

There is a list of more than 20 substances that are controlled by the European law on ozone depleting substances and there are bans and restrictions on their production, import, export, placing on the market, use, recovery, recycling, reclamation and destruction.  This section provides further information on the Ozone Layer and the associated regulations.