The licensing and permitting process explained

If you require a waste licence, you must satisfy legislative requirements that are largely set out in the Waste Management (Licensing) Regulations, 2004 to 2011.

You must make your application on the specified application form, and guidance notes are available to assist you. Pay special attention to the relevant  BAT Guidance Note(s), if available at that time from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), when completing the form.

The application process involves a number of stages, as outlined below.

Stage 1: Pre-application

Before making an application you must:

  • Publish a notice in a newspaper circulating in the area,
  • Erect a notice on the site indicating that you propose to apply for a licence
  • Notify the planning authority

The content of the notices is set out in the Waste (Licensing) Regulations, 2004 to 2011

Stage 2: Making an application

This stage includes EPA assessment of the the application and submissions on the application. In making an application, make sure that:

  • You answer all questions (incomplete applications may be returned)
  • You attach all necessary supporting documentation (including fee)

If your application does not comply with the regulations we may request additional information to acheive compliance. Where such a request is not fully complied with, we may:

  • Repeat the request
  • Decide to proceed with the determination 
  • Consider the application abandoned

Once we have acknowledged the application as complete, we cannot issue the proposed decision until a month has passed, to allow for further submissions. Before making a proposed determination we must take into account any written submissions we receive.  

Stage 3: EPA proposed decision

We are required to indicate how we propose to determine an application, and will:

  • Forward the proposed decision to all those who made a submission
  • Make the proposed decision available on this website
  • Notify public bodies specifed in the above mentioned regulations

Stage 4: Any objections (including submissions on objections)

Anyone,  including the applicant for a licence or a licensee, can make an objection within 28 days of the proposed decision being issued.

The applicant and those submitting a valid objection will be issued with a copy of all valid objections. Submissions in relation to an objection can be made within one month of copies of the objection being circulated.

We cannot consider submissions on objections received after this one-month period, and cannot consider further submissions or elaborations.

We do, however, have the discretion, in the interests of justice and in particular circumstances we consider appropriate, to request a party to an objection to make a submission in relation to any matter arising in the course of the objection.

Where appropriate, we may request a party to an objection to submit further information within a specified period.

Where no valid objection is made within the prescribed period, we will issue our decision as per the proposed determination.

Stage 5: Oral hearing

A person making a valid objection may request an oral hearing. This involves a fee.

Stage 6: Our final determination/decision

In arriving at our decision, we will consider the application and all objections, submissions received and, where an oral hearing has been held, the report and recommendation of the person/s who conducted the hearing.

When we make a final decision, we notify:

  • The applicant/licensee
  • Anyone who made a written submission or a valid objection
  • Public bodies specifed in the regulations

The decision will be made available for inspection on this website. Waivers and refunds for applications and objections of the fees may be allowed in certain limited circumstances.

Once a decision has issued, any person can apply to the High Court within two months of a decision to refuse or grant the licence, and seek a judicial review of the validity of the decision.  Please see Stage 7 below.

Stage 7: Review of an existing licence

Where a Licensee is of the opinion that their existing Waste Licence requires a review, they should contact the Office of Environmental Enforcement in writing outlining the reasons why they think their Licence needs to be reviewed.  The Office of Environmental Enforcement in consultation with the Environmental Licensing Programme of the Office of Climate, Licensing and Resource Use will consider the grounds for review and make a decision on whether or not a review is required.  This decision will be notified to the Licensee.

Once it is established that a review is required, the Licensee proceeds to apply for a review of their Licence in accordance with the Waste Management (Licensing) Regulations 2004 to 2011.  The procedure for lodging an application for a review of a licence is similar to that of applying for a Licence.

The Agency can also initiate a review of a Licence in certain circumstances as outlined in Section 42(1)(b) of the Waste Management Act 1996 as amended. 

Stage 8: Amendment of an existing licence

The Agency may amend a waste licence for the purposes of-

  1. correcting any clerical error therein,
  2. facilitating the doing of any thing pursuant to a condition attached to the licence where the doing of that thing may reasonably be regarded as having been contemplated by the terms of the condition or the terms of the licence taken as a whole but which was not expressly provided for in the condition,
  3. facilitating compliance by the holder of a licence with technical requirements that may be extablished, or amended, arising from the introduction of new Community acts or amendments to existing Community acts, or
  4. otherwise facilitating the operation of the licence and the making of the amendment does not result in the relevant requirements of Section 40(4) ceasing to be satisfied.

View EPA guidance for licensees on requests for alterations.

Judicial Review Notice



Judicial Review of Environmental Protection Agency decisions under the provisions of the Waste Management Act 1996 as amended
 
A person wishing to challenge the validity of an EPA decision may do so by way of judicial review only. The validity of a decision taken by the EPA may only be questioned by making an application for Judicial Review under Order 84 of the Rules of the Superior Courts (as amended). The Rules of the Superior Courts and all relevant amendments can be found at www.courts.ie or www.irishstatutebook.ie  

Section 43(5)(b)(i) of the Waste Management Act 1996 (as amended) provides that any application for judicial review must be made within two months of the decision of the EPA. 

Further information on Judicial Review in environmental and planning matters may be found at www.citizensinformation.ie (see http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/environment/environmental_law/judicial_review_in_planning_and_environmental_matters.html
 
Disclaimer:  The above is intended for information purposes. It does not purport to be a legal interpretation of the relevant provisions and it would be advisable for persons contemplating judicial review proceedings to seek independent legal advice.

Learn more

Find out more about:

For further information contact our Environmental Licensing Programme at:

Office of Climate, Licensing & Resource Use
PO Box 3000
Johnstown Castle Estate
County Wexford
Telephone Locall 1890 33 55 99 or 053 91 60600
Email info@epa.ie for the attention of the Environmental Licensing Programme.