Pollution Register shows dramatic reductions in emissions from Irish industry

Date released: Nov 22 2006

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has today released the Irish Pollutant Emission Register for 2004.   Figures reveal a number of highly positive trends with significant decreases in the emission of several pollutants from industrial and waste facilities.  The register also details the emissions from a number of large /complex facilities that are reporting for the first time. Between 2001 and 2004:

  • Sulphur Dioxide fell by 43 per cent.
  • Nitrogen Dioxide fell by 8 per cent.
  • Methane fell by 30 per cent.

The Register is a compilation of data on 50 pollutants emitted by 183 EPA licensed facilities nationwide. It contributes to the European Pollutant Emission Register (EPER), as set out in EU legislation. 

Commenting Dara Lynott, Director, Office of Environmental Enforcement, EPA said,

“The Register of pollutants released today shows significant improvement in the levels of emissions since 2001. These changes are due to a combination of factors:  the effectiveness of environmental regulation, better treatment of emissions and changes in the types of facilities reporting.”

While Ireland’s national carbon dioxide emissions in 2004 were three per cent down on the 2001 levels, reaching 45,266 tonnes in 2004, carbon dioxide emissions from large/complex industry reporting for this register dropped by more than 14% between 2001 and 2004.  Carbon Dioxide emissions from industries reporting to the register represent 45% of the national total.  The register also indicates that. sulphur dioxide and methane emissions dropped by 43% and 30% respectively. 

“The EPA controls the operations and emissions of industrial and waste activities under strict licence to ensure the protection of the environment,” Mr Lynott said.  “Such licences meet the standards set down by EU legislation.  Regulation has encouraged the reduction of heavy oil fuel use in industry and a move towards more environmentally friendly energy sources.  Examples include the use of natural gas and tallow instead of fuel oil and the reduction in high sulphur-content fuels.”

EPER reports provide valuable information on the release of pollutants to the environment in an accessible, consistent and internationally comparable format.   The findings are used to target efforts towards further reductions in emissions to the environment. 

A summary report of the Irish pollutant emission Register can be found on the EPA website.