EPA Celebrates 20 Years in The Glen, Monaghan

Date released: Feb 16 2017, 11:00 AM

The EPA recently celebrated 20 years in The Glen in Monaghan.

Ray Smith, EPA Regional Manager, explained the role played by the EPA’s Monaghan office, part of a network of six EPA offices across the country,

“The regional office was officially opened in late 1996 and includes a purpose built laboratory as well as office facilities. In the early days, the primary role was in the provision of laboratory analytical services to local authorities in the North East. Over the last 20 years, our work in the North East has evolved to meet the needs of our customers and stakeholders. Today, in addition to a much expanded role in water quality monitoring and analysis, the 12-strong team in The Glen monitors emissions from licensed sites in the region and compiles national emission inventories of greenhouse gas and air pollution from all sectors of the economy for submission to European and international bodies.”   

Ray Smith reflected on the changes the EPA has seen in Monaghan:

“The EPA has been monitoring rivers and lakes in the northeast region over the past 20 years. While we have seen some improvements in water quality, significant challenges remain if we are to ensure that the north-east’s waterways will be accessible and healthy into the future and will provide a diverse landscape that supports livelihoods, habitats and rich wildlife.  In particular, pressures associated with agricultural practices, urban wastewater treatment plants, domestic waste water treatment systems and forestry threaten the ability of those of us living in the region to protect and improve our waterways.   Further improvements are needed to meet EU Water Framework Directive objectives and, more than ever, it is critical that local communities are involved in management and decision making related to protecting and improving water resources.”

Ray Smith concluded,

“We in the EPA are committed to playing our part in protecting the environment and we recognise the need to work with other stakeholders to deliver better environmental outcomes for all citizens. In essence the need for a strong EPA presence in the North East has never been greater.”

The main functions and roles of the EPA’s Monaghan office can be broadly categorised as follows:

  • Chemical and biological monitoring of rivers and lakes in counties Monaghan, Cavan, Louth, Leitrim, Donegal, Longford and Westmeath.
  • Chemical monitoring of transitional & coastal waters around Ireland, in conjunction with the EPA’s Dublin Laboratory.
  • Chemical and microbiological analysis of groundwaters across the entire country.
  • Assessment of water quality in the North East and border region to assess compliance with Water Framework Directive objectives.
  • Collaborating with local authorities in the region in respect of their environmental functions and responsibilities.
  • Monitoring of emissions from licensed industrial and waste facilities as well as urban wastewater discharges in counties Monaghan, Cavan, Louth, Leitrim, Donegal and Longford. The enforcement of these licences is carried out by EPA enforcement teams in Castlebar and Dublin.
  • Measurement of river flows and groundwater levels in counties Cavan, Monaghan, Louth and Meath.
  • Compilation of national emission inventories of greenhouse gases and air pollution from all sectors of the economy for official submission to the European Commission and other international bodies.  The outcomes of this work serve as a measure of Ireland’s compliance with international agreements such as the Kyoto Protocol, the National Emissions Ceilings Directive and the EU 2030 Climate and Energy Framework.

Notes to Editor

Environmental Protection Agency: The Environmental Protection Agency 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 and pollution. We play key roles in environmental regulation, provision of knowledge and advocacy for the environment.

EPA Headquarters:  Johnstown Castle Estate, Wexford, Phone: 053-916 0600

Regional Inspectorates: Dublin, Cork, Castlebar, Monaghan, Kilkenny

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Queries/complaints about licensed sites: The EPA protects the environment by regulating complex activities in sectors such as industry, waste, wastewater discharge, agriculture, extractive waste, dumping at sea and fuel storage.  We welcome queries and complaints from the public.  Such reports are a valuable source of information for the EPA in conducting enforcement activities. 

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Water Catchments:  There are many ways to get involved in looking after your community’s catchment.  Visit the award-winning catchments.ie website for more information.   For example:

  • Sign up for the quarterly Catchments Newsletter on the Catchments website
  • Make sure your primary or secondary school is involved in the Green Schools programme
  • See if your local Tidy Town is interested in taking part in the “Value Water Award”
  • Organise an annual spring clean of your area
  • If you are near the sea, get involved with Clean Coasts
  • Check Volunteer Ireland to see if there are any relevant groups in your area
  • Check ChangeX.org to see if there are social innovations you’d like to copy for your area, or to join an existing group helping change things in your community
  • Get in touch with the new Waters and Communities Office, who will be helping local communities get involved all across Ireland.
  • Set up a locally-led agri environment scheme – you can read a how-to guide on the catchments.ie blog
  • Set up a Rivers Trust for your area – read Mark Horton’s blog on catchments.ie.

My Local Environment: The EPA provides information online about the state of your local environment, from local air or water quality to information about licensed sites. To find out more about your local environment, visit the EPA’s mapping application My Local Environment, on the EPA website epa.ie.

Ireland’s Environment: To find out about the state of Ireland’s environment visit the Ireland's Environment website.

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