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The Environmental Protection Agency has expanded the national waste line (a confidential telephone service) to a full national environmental complaints line. This will serve to encourage reporting of environmental pollution, including water and air pollution, fly-tipping, and illegal dumping of waste. Members of the public can report pollution or illegal dumping via this 24 hour lo-call telephone number 1850 365 121. Local authorities and/or the Gardaí and the EPA will follow up on the information provided by the public.
When a member of the public calls the line, they will be answered by a person, round the clock, seven days a week. The details of the complaint, such as location, nature of the complaint, and the complainant's contact details will be recorded and passed to the relevant local authority. The Council will then assess and investigate the complaint as appropriate. It is worth noting that almost 40% of calls are received outside office hours. The line ensures that there is a person available to take such calls at all times.
This national environmental complaints line is the latest initiative by NIECE (the Network for Irelands Environmental Compliance and Enforcement) which includes the EPA, all local authorities, the Gardaí and the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government.
It is important to remember that members of the public can also contact their local Council directly with their complaints. However, the new national environmental complaints line ensures that day or night, the caller will reach a person who can take the details of their complaint and pass it on to the Council.
[The development of this national environmental complaints line leads on from the success of the ‘Dump the Dumpers’ phoneline, set up specifically to handle complaints relating to large scale dumping and other illegal waste activities; and the "See Something? Say Something" environmental complaints campaigns. The wider scope of this line was tested during a pilot project involving 4 local authorities. This proved successful and has been therefore expanded to all 34 local authorities.]
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