Incident at Tipperary Co-op waste water treatment plant (IE Reg P0801-01)

Date released: Jan 31 2020

UPDATE: 05.03.2020

The EPA conducted site visits on 27/01/2020, 29/01/2020, 05/02/2020, 26/02/2020 and 02/03/2020 to investigate how Tipperary Co-op had responded to the incident.  This investigation concluded that Tipperary Co-op were non-compliant with seven conditions of their Industrial Emissions licence and were required to rectify these issues without delay. 

Following the site visits, it is evident that Tipperary Co-op have failed to act in compliance with its Industrial Emissions licence and ensure effective management of the licensed installation with regard to its environmental impact.

In particular:

  • there was not adequate technical expertise or process control to ensure effective operation of the waste water treatment, identify it was failing and take corrective action in a timely manner;
  • a significant odour impact around Tipperary Town was allowed to persist and inadequate measures were taken to stop the generation of odorous emissions;
  • Tipperary Co-op did not report emission limit value breaches to Irish Water, Inland Fisheries Ireland and the EPA in a timely manner. 

The EPA has conducted five odour assessments around Tipperary Town since 27 January 2020.  Forty two odour complaints were received by the EPA between 22 January 2020 and 4 March 2020.

The EPA visited the site on Monday 02/03/2020 and found that the biotower element of the existing waste water treatment plant remains the main cause of the odours from the site. 

Since December 2019, Tipperary Co-op have been building a new waste water treatment plant to replace the existing plant and work is due to be completed by end-March 2020.

Tipperary Co-op advised the EPA verbally on 2/3/2020 that it will cease to use the biotower by 13/03/2020 and from that date it will no longer be a source of nuisance odours in the town.

The EPA will continue to ensure that Tipperary Co-op implement corrective measures to prevent a reoccurrence of this type of incident and protect the environment.  The EPA continue to monitor the situation. Tipperary Co-op are required to submit an update to the Category 3 incident referred to above for evaluation by the EPA.

If you wish to make a complaint about the odours you are experiencing in the areas around Tipperary Co-op please make it directly to the facility at 06232079.  The EPA are also monitoring how Tipperary Co-op comply with licence requirements to respond to complainants and provide information to the public concerning the environmental performance of the installation.

 

Incident at Tipperary Co-op waste water treatment plant (IE Reg P010801-01)

31.01.2020

The EPA is investigating an incident (INCI018050) which they became aware of through receipt of odour complaints in Tipperary Town.  Initial investigation by the EPA determined that the source of the odour was the from the Tipperary Co-op waste water treatment plant (IE Reg P0801-01) .  The EPA investigation confirmed that the odour impact on the surrounding area was significant.  The discharge from the on-site treatment plant to the municipal sewer also impacted on the Irish Water Waste Water Treatment plant serving the town. 
 
Tipperary Co-op have advised that production and the associated discharge to sewer has stopped until the matter is resolved. 
 
Tipperary Co-op have consulted with Irish Water and the EPA when developing their corrective actions to restore waste water treatment on the Tipperary Co-op site and reduce impact on the municipal waste water treatment plant.  The EPA will continue to ensure that Tipperary Co-op implement corrective measures to prevent a reoccurrence of this type of incident and protect the environment.  The EPA continue to monitor the situation. Tipperary Co-op are required to submit a full report on the incident to the EPA for evaluation, after which further enforcement action will be considered.