A Compliance Investigation (CI) is opened by the EPA when further information and/or action is required in relation to a compliance issue at a licensed site. The CI remains open until the issue has been fully addressed by the licensee. The charts below provide details of Compliance Investigations during 2019.
When opening a CI the EPA inspector assigns a risk rating (High, Medium & Low) depending on the risk to the environment. The CI may contain a number of items for the licensee to address, e.g. further monitoring, carry out an investigation, provide clarification, carry out improvement works, etc. A CI remains in effect until the causative compliance issue has been fully addressed by the licensee. While the EPA requires in each case a speedy conclusion to the causative issue, it is sometimes the case that the resolution of the problems involves substantial new infrastructure, additional investment or alternative production systems; in some instances, solutions may require new regulatory authorisations or processes. For these reasons, CIs may remain in place for extended periods. The EPA maintains oversight of the licensee’s progress in resolving each CI, and unsatisfactory progress may itself result in the escalation of enforcement action by the Agency.
Water quality issues continue to be the main issue with 46% of all CIs open during 2019 relating to water quality issues. 41% of the CIs that were opened during 2019 were also resolved in 2019.
Compliance Investigations open during 2019
Compliance Investigations opened in 2019
Compliance Investigations resolved in 2019