Odour and noise nuisance from industrial & waste facilities top complaints from the public

Date released: Aug 25 2015, 11:45 PM

  • More than 750 complaints from the public were made to the EPA during 2014 in relation to odour.
  • 98 per cent of odour complaints related to the Waste Management and Food and Drink activities.
  • Ten sites accounted for nearly 70 per cent of odour complaints.
  • 3 prosecutions were taken by the EPA in relation to odour nuisance - Court fines and costs in excess of €28,000 were imposed.  Other prosecutions in relation to odour are ongoing.
  • Five sites accounted for nearly 80 per cent of noise complaints.

The EPA Licensed Sites – Report on Air Emissions 2014, released today, shows that the performance of over 750 EPA licensed activities, in terms of controlling pollutant emissions to atmosphere, is generally very good. However, a small number of sites are breaching the requirements of their licences. The main issues of public concern are odour and noise nuisance. 

Commenting on the report, Gerard O’Leary, Director of the EPA’s Office of Environmental Enforcement said,

“People living near industrial and waste sites should not be exposed to nuisance odour or noise. Historically, waste management activities were the dominant source of odour complaints received by the EPA. However, the Food & Drink sector now accounts for 40 per cent of all odour complaints and 64 per cent of all noise complaints. The EPA will continue to use enforcement powers to bring the operators of these facilities into line and ensure they improve their environmental performance and achieve compliance with their licence requirements.”

The EPA investigates all complaints received from members of the public in relation to EPA licensed sites and will take the necessary enforcement action to address problems identified at these sites.

Gerard O’Leary explained:

“We take every complaint seriously and will investigate and take the necessary enforcement action to resolve nuisance issues in relation to licensed sites. We would encourage the public to continue to report environmental problems so that they can be resolved speedily.  People have a range of options to make complaints easily: via our on-line complaints form, directly to their local EPA office by phone, through the EPA National Environmental Complaints 24 hour Phone Line, or through our Android and iPhone ‘See It! Say It!’ Apps. 

Step by step information on these options and information about what people can do to help resolve environmental problems is available on our website."

The report is now available on the EPA Website.


Further information: Niamh Hatchell/ Emily Williamson, EPA Media Relations Office 053-9170770 (24 hours) or media@epa.ie

Editor Notes:

Some key findings of the 2014 report:

  • The EPA carried out over 500 independent tests of emissions to air at EPA licensed sites. Twenty-three of these tests (4%) found emissions which were not in compliance with the licence requirements.
  • The EPA initiated 49 formal investigations in relation to air quality, odour and noise issues at licensed sites. Twelve of these related to food and drink processing sites, 12 related to waste transfer stations and 7 related to landfill sites.
  • The EPA received 788 complaints in relation to odour from licensed sites. Forty-one per cent of these complaints are associated with non-hazardous waste transfer stations, with 40 per cent related to food and drink processing activities. Ten individual sites account for nearly 70 per cent of the odour complaints.
  • The EPA received 149 complaints in relation to noise from licensed sites, with 80 per cent of these complaints relating to five individual sites.  The food and drink processing sector accounted for 64 per cent of these complaints.

Table 1: Odour prosecutions in 2014

Licence NumberSite NameDirector(s) ProsecutedIssue

Fines, Costs, Donations (€)

W0144-01 Oxigen Environmental (Coes Road, Co. Louth) Yes Odour  9,000
P0172-01 Irish Country Meats (Navan, Co. Meath) No Odour 10,439.29
P0041-03 Dublin Products Limited (Co. Wicklow) No Odour 8,643.60

 Table 2: Top 10 sites in relation to odour complaints in 2014

 Site Name and Licence Register NumberCounty 
Arrow Group - P0812  Kildare
Ballynagran Residual Landfill - W0165  Wicklow
Country Clean Recycling Limited - W0257  Cork
Oxigen Environmental (Coes Road) - W0144  Louth
Greyhound Recycling & Recovery - W0205  Dublin
College Proteins Limited - P0037  Meath
Dawn Meats Ireland t/a Dawn Charleville - P0173  Cork
Nutricia Infant Nutrition Limited - P0792  Cork
Thornton's Recycling Centre - W0044  Dublin
Oxigen Environmental (Robinhood) - W0152  Dublin

Table 3: Top 5 sites in relation to noise complaints in 2014

Site Name and Licence Register NumberCounty
Nurendale (Rathdrinagh) - W0140 Meath
Cooley Distillery - P0826 Louth
Rosderra Irish Meats Group (Edenderry) - P0180 Offaly
Arrabawn Co-operative Society Limited - P0791 Tipperary
Arrow Group - P0812 Kildare


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