National Environmental Enforcement Network Conference

Date released: Jun 15 2005

A National Enforcement Network conference entitled Working Together on Water Protection and Enforcement is underway today and tomorrow (15th and 16th June).  Hosted by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Environmental Enforcement, the conference is open to the public as well as environmental enforcement agencies nationwide.  

“A range of actions across all sectors is necessary to protect and improve water quality.  To deal with this issue, it is imperative that all state bodies and other interested parties that implement and enforce water related legislation use their resources effectively to tackle water pollution”, said Mr. Dara Lynott, Director of the EPA’s Office of Environmental Enforcement. 

The EPA established the National Enforcement Network last year to foster co-operation between the various agencies involved in enforcing environmental legislation so that a higher and more consistent standard of enforcement throughout the country is achieved. This conference is being organised by the EPA as part of the ongoing work on water-related legislation.

“The recent European Court of Justice judgement, in relation to the failure of Ireland to implement the Dangerous Substances Directive, highlights the importance and urgency of tackling water pollution and improving water quality in Ireland”, said Dara Lynott.

The focus of the conference is on achieving water quality improvements, and particularly on achieving the targets as set out in the Phosphorus Regulations 1998, brought in to tackle the increasing problem of eutrophication (over-enrichment) in Ireland’s rivers and lakes.

The conference will also focus on the following key areas:

  • the findings of the recent EPA Water Quality in Ireland Report 2001-2003;
  • meeting targets in both the Phosphorus and Dangerous Substances Regulations;
  • the experience of regulatory authorities in implementing the Regulations and
  • reducing pollution from wastewater and agriculture.

The conference has been extended this year to a two-day event.  This provides the opportunity to devote time to sessions on two of the primary pressures on water quality: wastewater and agriculture.  Workshops during the conference will focus on how individuals and organisations can work together effectively to improve water protection and enforcement activities.  The conference is being held in the Tullamore Court Hotel, Tullamore, County Offaly.