Environmental Protection Agency
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is
responsible for protecting and improving the
environment as a valuable asset for the people of
Ireland. We are committed to protecting people and
the environment from the harmful effects of radiation
The work of the EPA can be divided into
three main areas:
We implement effective regulation and
environmental compliance systems to deliver good
environmental outcomes and target those who don’t comply.
We provide high quality, targeted and timely
environmental data, information and assessment to inform
decision making at all levels.
We work with others to advocate for a clean,
productive and well protected environment and for
sustainable environmental behaviour.
We regulate the following activities so that they do not endanger
human health or harm the environment:
• waste facilities
(e.g. landfills, incinerators, waste transfer stations)
• large scale industrial activities
(e.g. pharmaceutical, cement
manufacturing, power plants)
• intensive agriculture
(e.g. pigs, poultry)
• the contained use and controlled release of Genetically Modified
• sources of ionising radiation
(e.g. x-ray and radiotherapy equipment,
• large petrol storage facilities;
• waste water discharges;
• dumping at sea activities.
NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL ENFORCEMENT
• Conducting an annual programme of audits and inspections of
EPA licensed facilities.
• Overseeing local authorities’ environmental protection
• Supervising the supply of drinking water by public water suppliers.
• Working with local authorities and other agencies to tackle
environmental crime by co-ordinating a national enforcement
network, targeting offenders and overseeing remediation.
• Enforcing Regulations such as Waste Electrical and Electronic
Equipment (WEEE), Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS)
and substances that deplete the ozone layer.
• Prosecuting those who flout environmental law and damage the
• Monitoring and reporting on the quality of rivers, lakes, transitional
and coastal waters of Ireland and groundwaters; measuring water
levels and river flows.
• National coordination and oversight of the Water Framework
• Monitoring and reporting on bathing water quality.
MONITORING, ANALYSING AND REPORTING ON THE ENVIRONMENT
• Monitoring air quality and implementing the EU Clean Air for
Europe (CAFE) Directive.
• Independent reporting to inform decision making by national and
(e.g. periodic reporting on the State of Ireland’s
Environment and Indicator Reports)
REGULATING IRELAND’S GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS
• Preparing Ireland’s greenhouse gas inventories and projections.
• Implementing the Emissions Trading Directive, for over 100 of the
largest producers of carbon dioxide in Ireland.
ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
• Funding environmental research to identify pressures, inform policy
and provide solutions in the areas of climate, water and
STRATEGIC ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT
• Assessing the impact of proposed plans and programmes on the
(e.g. major development plans)
• Monitoring radiation levels, assessing exposure of people in Ireland
to ionising radiation.
• Assisting in developing national plans for emergencies arising
from nuclear accidents.
• Monitoring developments abroad relating to nuclear installations
and radiological safety.
• Providing, or overseeing the provision of, specialist radiation
GUIDANCE, ACCESSIBLE INFORMATION AND EDUCATION
• Providing advice and guidance to industry and the public on
environmental and radiological protection topics.
• Providing timely and easily accessible environmental information
to encourage public participation in environmental decision making
(e.g. My Local Environment, Radon Maps)
• Advising Government on matters relating to radiological safety
and emergency response.
• Developing a National Hazardous Waste Management Plan to
prevent and manage hazardous waste.
AWARENESS RAISING AND BEHAVIOURAL CHANGE
• Generating greater environmental awareness and influencing
positive behavioural change by supporting businesses, communities
and householders to become more resource efficient.
• Promoting radon testing in homes and workplaces and encouraging
remediation where necessary.
MANAGEMENT AND STRUCTURE OF THE EPA
The EPA is managed by a full time Board, consisting of a Director
General and five Directors. The work is carried out across five Offices:
• Office of Environmental Sustainability
• Office of Environmental Enforcement
• Office of Evidence and Assessment
• Office of Radiological Protection
• Office of Communications and Corporate Services
The EPA is assisted by an Advisory Committee of twelve members
who meet regularly to discuss issues of concern and provide advice
to the Board.