Enforcing Licences

Enforcing waste and industry licences

A significant amount of resources are expended by the EPA on the enforcement of the licences issued under the Waste Management Act and the Environmental Protection Agency Act. You can search for any licence issued by the EPA. 

Enforcement activities

Enforcement activities carried out by EPA Inspectors involve inspections, audits and emission monitoring. Inspectors assess the results of emissions monitoring carried out at licensed facilities to determine the impact, if any, of emissions on the environment.

Other activities include the evaluation of proposals for new processes, work practices and infrastructure to ensure that the requirements of Irish and European legislation are included. Inspectors in their daily interaction with licensed facilities encourage individuals and businesses to integrate good environmental practices into normal working methods. Part of this work is to ensure that the appropriate management structures are in place. This is done through the development of Environmental Management Systems at licensed facilities all of which helps to prevent environmental pollution before it has a chance to occur.

Inspectors respond to incidents and emergencies at licensed facilities as they occur to assist in minimising any environmental impacts. Complaints regarding licensed facilities are reviewed by Inspectors, to ensure that licenced facilities address these complaints and proactively communicate to individuals and local communities the actions taken to minimise any impact associated with their facilities. 

The Inspection Plan for Waste and IPC/IED installations is available here: Environmental Inspection Plan for IED, IPC and Waste installations.

Benefits of enforcement

These enforcement activities help to ensure:  


  • That the licences as issued are complied with to the greatest possible extent.
  • That the required abatement equipment and infrastructure is in place to ensure that the environment is protected.
  • That the required management structures are in place to prevent pollution from taking place.
  • That the required monitoring is completed and available to any interested parties.
  • That appropriate enforcement action is taken in a coherent, consistent, objective and timely manner.
  • That enforcement actions are communicated to all stakeholders including the general public.