EPA to target further enforcement action at waste facilities to reduce odour and fire risks

Date released: Dec 08 2015

  • 0.5 million tonnes of municipal waste is now exported each year
  • Storage of waste before export is leading to fire risk and odour nuisance
  • 6 fires occurred at waste facilities in 2014
  • 92% of complaints to the EPA relating to waste facilities concern odour 

The EPA Licensed Sites - Report on Waste Enforcement 2014 released today, shows that fire prevention remains a key priority at waste facilities.

539 complaints were received about EPA licensed waste sites in 2014. 92% of these related to odour. 270 inspections were carried out at the 169 waste sites licensed by the EPA. 

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

“Ireland now exports large quantities of waste.  Storage of waste before export is leading to fire risk and odour nuisance. 

There were six fires at waste facilities in 2014.  Further to EPA enforcement action, three waste operators were brought before the courts, with fines and costs exceeding €39,000.”

Ms. Mary Gurrie, Programme Manager, EPA’s Office of Environmental Enforcement added that waste companies need to operate their facilities better:

“Inspections conducted by the EPA have found poor management and storage of waste at some facilities which is leading to unacceptable odour nuisance and an increased risk of fires. The EPA is targeting our enforcement at facilities that pose a risk to the environment and public health and will continue to take action against companies and their directors to ensure compliance.”

Mr John Barry of the National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management added:

“The Directorate is working with the EPA, to consider the issue of fire safety at waste transfer sites, and to develop enhanced guidance and controls.”

The report is now available on the EPA website.