Last revised: December 2023
We are the Environmental Protection Agency, a statutory body established pursuant to the Environmental Protection Agency Act, 1992, whose headquarters is at Johnstown Castle Estate, Co. Wexford, Y35 W821 (hereinafter referred to as EPA, we, us or our). We are principally responsible for protecting and improving the environment as a valuable asset for the people of Ireland and in doing so we play key roles in environmental regulation, provision of knowledge and advocacy for the environment.
Your privacy is of paramount importance to us. This privacy and cookies policy (the Policy) applies to all products and services offered by the EPA to you, any phone calls between you and the EPA, engagement with any of our staff, use of our websites and or/portals (individually a Website and together, the Websites), mobile applications and services related thereto (the Services).
This Policy is designed to protect you, our users, by informing you what Personal Data is collected, how we will use Your Personal Data, with whom we share it, how long we keep it, your rights in respect of Your Personal Data and how to contact us if you have any queries or concerns about our use of Your Personal Data. Your use of the Websites and Services is subject to your agreement with this Policy.
In this Policy, the term Personal Data means data relating to a living individual who is or can be identified either from the data or from the data in conjunction with other information that is in, or is likely to come into, our possession, and includes Personal Data as described in Data Protection Laws (as defined below).
Any Personal Data that we collect from you for the below purposes is referred to in this Policy as Your Personal Data. Your Personal Data is separate from and should be distinguished from User Uploaded Data (as defined below).
Please read the following carefully.
Registering for an account (Your Account) on our Websites or any mobile applications, use of Your Account, our Websites, mobile applications or otherwise accepting the terms of this Policy indicates that you have reviewed this Policy and have agreed to be bound by it. If you do not agree to these terms, you must leave our Website immediately and stop using our mobile applications. If you no longer consent to our processing of Your Personal Data, you may request that we cease such processing by contacting us. See ‘How to Contact Us’ below.
We will handle Your Personal Data in accordance with Data Protection Laws. Data Protection Laws means the Data Protection Acts 1988 to 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (GDPR), and any other applicable law or regulation relating to the processing of Personal Data and to privacy, including the E-Privacy Directive 2002/58/EC and the European Communities (Electronic Communications Networks and Services) (Privacy and Electronic Communications) Regulations 2011, as such legislation shall be supplemented, amended, revised or replaced from time to time and all guidance and codes of practice issued by a relevant supervisory authority, from time to time and which are applicable to us.
We are a controller (as defined in Data Protection Laws) in relation to any Personal Data which we collect from you through your or any other user’s use of the Services and the set-up of Your Account. This Policy sets out the basis on which any such Personal Data will be processed by us.
You may be a data subject (as defined in Data Protection Laws), or you may be a controller. When you are a controller in respect of the Personal Data of other data subjects, then you must comply with all of your controller obligations under Data Protection Laws. When you are a controller, we and you act as independent controllers, unless agreed otherwise.
We fully respect your right to privacy in relation to your interactions with the Services and endeavour to be transparent in our dealings with you as to what Personal Data we will collect and how we will use Your Personal Data. We only collect and use Personal Data where we are legally entitled to do so. Information in relation to Personal Data collected by Irish entities is available on www.dataprotection.ie, the website of the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC).
We may collect Personal Data from you in the course of your use of the Services. This may be through email, use of the Websites, mobile applications, online forms or phone calls with you. The information that we process includes the following:
We endeavour to keep Your Personal Data accurate and up-to-date. As such, you must tell us about any changes to such information that you are aware of as soon as possible.
If you are aged under 18, please ask for your parent or guardian’s permission before you provide Your Personal Data to us/use the Websites/mobile applications/Services.
We may collect information from you as necessary in the course of providing our Services. We may collect Your Personal Data while monitoring our technology tools and services, including our Websites, mobile applications and email communications sent to and from us. We gather information about you when you provide it to us, or interact with us directly.
We may use Your Personal Data on any one or more of the following legal bases:
We have set out below, in a table format, a description of all the ways we plan to use Your Personal Data, and which of the legal bases we rely on to do so. We have also identified what our legitimate interests are, where appropriate.
Note that we may process Your Personal Data for more than one legal basis, depending on the specific purpose(s) for which we are using Your Personal Data. Please contact us if you need details about the specific legal basis we are relying on to process Your Personal Data where more than one ground has been set out in the table below. See ‘How to Contact Us’ below.
Where we process any special category data, such as health data, we will ensure that we have a legal basis for processing, that a data protection impact assessment is carried out, where required and that additional safeguards are put in place to protect the data, where required.
Categories of data
Legal basis for processing and, where necessary, the basis of legitimate interest
To respond to an enquiry or complaint from you, to provide customer support or information requested by you.
basic information, profile information, and contact information.
Performance of a task carried out in the public interest.
|To register you as a customer of our Website or mobile applications.
basic information, contact information, profile information, and financial information.
Performance of a contract with you or to take steps at your request before entering into a contract.
Necessary for our legitimate interests (in protecting our business from insolvent customers and fraud/to develop our products/Services).
|To make suggestions and recommendations to you about environmental research projects, funding opportunities or other projects that may be of interest to you/personalise the products and Services we offer you.
basic information, contact information, profile information, marketing information, and newsletter information.
Consent (where we seek to send you marketing communications).
Necessary for our legitimate interests (to develop our products/Services and fulfil our role as an educator and advocate for the environment in Ireland).
|To administer and protect our business and improve our Websites, mobile applications and Services (including troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, system maintenance, support, reporting and hosting of data).
basic information, contact information, profile information, cookie data, newsletter information, and technical information.
Necessary for our legitimate interests (for running our business, provision of administration and IT services, network security, to prevent fraud).
|To provide and improve our Websites and mobile applications, including auditing and monitoring its use, providing and improving our Services to you and managing and administering our relationship with you.
basic information, contact information, cookie data, technical information, and location data.
Necessary for our legitimate interests to provide and improve our Website and mobile applications, including auditing and monitoring its use; providing and improving our Services to you; or managing and administering our relationship with you.
Necessary to fulfil our legal, regulatory and risk management obligations.
|To review applications for research and other grant funding with respect to which you or your organisation may be involved or a party to (relating to both successful and unsuccessful applications).
basic information, contact information, profile information, financial information, and grant/research application data.
|Performance of a task carried out in the public interest.
|To verify and/or certify expenditure claimed by you or your organisation for research purposes and to liaise with you or your organisation in respect of the administration and maintenance of grant/research funding.
basic information, contact information, profile information, financial information, and grant/research application data.
|Performance of a task carried out in the public interest.
|To issue invites to research project reviewers, evaluators and steering committee members.
basic information, and contact information.
|Performance of a task carried out in the public interest.
|To ensure compliance with EPA Open Access of Publications and Data Policy and with EPA Research Programme reporting requirements.
basic information, grant/research application data, and contact information.
|Performance of a task carried out in the public interest.
|Collection of information from Water Service Authorities (WSA) following inspections by WSA of domestic wastewater treatment plants/septic tanks of private dwellings (including personal data of residents who are inspected).
basic information, contact information, and location data.
|Compliance with a legal obligation (Section 701 of the Water Service Act 2007 (as amended by the 2012 Act)).
Your Personal Data is separate from and should be distinguished from User Uploaded Data. User Uploaded Data is data uploaded by you or others through Your Account/your use of the Services or mobile applications when you use the comment function and the blog function on our Websites or upload information through our mobile applications. We strongly recommend that you avoid uploading any Personal Data in any User Uploaded Data. We reserve the sole right to review, edit or delete User Uploaded Data. We also moderate all User Uploaded Data in order to ensure that it does not contain Personal Data. Notwithstanding this, we are a processor (as defined in the GDPR) and you are a controller in respect of User Uploaded Data (to the extent that it includes Personal Data). If we are deemed for any reason to be a controller of any User Uploaded Data (to the extent that it includes Personal Data) then we will comply with all of our controller obligations under Data Protection Laws.
If you are a controller in respect of any Personal Data of other data subjects contained in User Uploaded Data, then you must comply with all of your controller obligations under Data Protection Laws in that regard.
We use the following types of cookies.
Strictly necessary cookies: These cookies are required for the operation of our Websites and mobile applications. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our Websites or mobile applications, use a shopping cart or make use of e-billing services
Analytical or performance cookies: These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors and to see how visitors move around our Websites or mobile applications when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our Websites or mobile applications work, for example, by ensuring that users are finding what they are looking for easily and to see how effective and relevant advertising on our Websites or mobile applications is.
Functionality cookies: These cookies are used to recognise you when you return to our Websites or mobile applications. This enables us to personalise our content for you, greet you by name and remember your preferences (for example, your choice of language or location) and remember if we have already asked you for feedback or to complete a survey.
Targeting cookies: These cookies record your visit to our Websites or use of our mobile applications, the pages you have visited and the links you have followed. We will use this information to make our Websites or mobile applications and the advertising displayed on them more relevant to your interests. [We may also share this information with third parties for this purpose.]
First Party Cookies
You can find a list of first party cookies we use and the purposes for which we use them in the table below.
Third Party Cookies
You can find a list of third-party cookies we use and the purposes for which we use them in the table below.
The ‘Help’ menu bar of most browsers will tell you how to prevent your browser from accepting new cookies, how to have the browser notify you when you receive a new cookie and how to disable cookies altogether. You can also disable or delete similar data used by browser add-ons, such as flash cookies, by changing the add-ons settings or visiting the website of its manufacturer.
You can block cookies by activating the setting on your browser that allows you to refuse the setting of all or some cookies. However, if you use your browser settings to block all cookies (including essential cookies), you may not be able to fully experience the interactive features of our Services/Websites/mobile applications or other related websites/mobile applications which you visit/use.
We may contact you:
As a data subject, you have the following rights under Data Protection Laws and we, as controller in respect of Your Personal Data, will comply with such rights in respect of Your Personal Data. These rights are explained in more detail below, but if you have any comments, concerns or complaints about our use of Your Personal Data, please contact us (see ‘How to Contact Us’ below). We will respond to any rights that you exercise within one month of receiving your request, unless the request is particularly complex, in which case we will respond within three months (we will inform you within the first month if it will take longer than one month for us to respond).
Right of Access (Article 15 GDPR)
You have the right to request a copy of Your Personal Data. Requests for Your Personal Data must be made to us (see ‘How to Contact Us’ below) specifying what Personal Data you need access to, and a copy of such request may be kept by us for our legitimate purposes in managing the Services. To help us find the information easily, please give us as much information as possible about the type of information you would like to see. If, to comply with your request, we would have to disclose information relating to or identifying another person, we may need to obtain the consent of that person, if possible. If we cannot obtain consent, we may need to withhold that information or edit the data to remove the identity of that person, if possible.
We are also entitled to refuse a data access request from you where
For security reasons, we will take reasonable steps to confirm your identity before providing you with any Personal Data we may hold about you.
Right of Rectification (Article 16 GDPR)
You have the right to request that we amend any inaccurate or incomplete Personal Data that we have about you. If you would like to do this, please
If we are required to update Your Personal Data, we will inform recipients to whom that Personal Data have been disclosed (if any), unless this proves impossible or has a disproportionate effort.
It is your responsibility that all of the Personal Data provided to us is accurate and complete. If any information you have given to us changes, please let us know as soon as possible (see ‘How to Contact Us’ below).
Right to Object (Article 21 GDPR)
You have the right to ask us to stop using Your Personal Data, and we will comply unless there is a legal basis for us to continue using it, which we will explain to you.
Right to Erasure (Article 17 GDPR)
You can ask us to erase Your Personal Data
We may continue to process Your Personal Data in certain circumstances in accordance with Data Protection Laws. Where you have requested the erasure of Your Personal Data, we will inform recipients to whom that Personal Data has been disclosed, unless this proves impossible or involves disproportionate effort. We will also inform you about those recipients if you request it.
Right to Restriction of Processing (Article 18 GDPR)
You may request that we stop processing Your Personal Data temporarily if
If you exercise your right to restrict us from processing Your Personal Data, we will continue to process the Personal Data if:
Right to Data Portability (Article 20 GDPR)
You may ask for an electronic copy of Your Personal Data that you have provided to us and which we hold electronically, or for us to provide this directly to another party. This right only applies to Personal Data that you have provided to us – it does not extend to data generated by us. In addition, the right to data portability also only applies where
Right to be informed
You have the right to clear, transparent and easily understandable information about your rights and about how we use Your Personal Data. We use this Policy to inform you of your rights.
Right to Withdraw Consent
Where processing is based on your consent, you have the right to withdraw your consent at any time with future effect by contacting us. However, if you do withdraw your consent we may not be able to continue to provide the Services we offer to you.
Right to ask us to stop contacting you with direct marketing
We have a legitimate interest to send you electronic communications in connection with the Services and related matters (which may include but shall not be limited to newsletters, announcement of new features etc. and which may also appear on social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram). We may also ask you for your consent to send you direct marketing from time to time.
You may be able to select your preferences with respect to direct marketing when registering Your Account. We may also ask you different questions for different Services, including competitions. We may also ask you to complete surveys that we use for research purposes, although you do not have to respond to them.
You can ask us to stop contacting you for direct marketing purposes. If you would like to do this, please
We will provide you with information on action taken on a request to stop direct marketing - this may be in the form of a response email confirming that you have ‘unsubscribed’. Unsubscribing from direct marketing does not unsubscribe you from essential electronic communications in respect of the administration of Your Account.
Rights in relation to automated decision making
We do not attempt to collect further data without user consent that enables personally identifiable profiling of our users.
Right to Complain to the DPC
If you do not think that we have processed Your Personal Data in accordance with this Policy, please contact us in the first instance (see ‘How to Contact Us’ below). If you are not satisfied, you can complain to the DPC or exercise any of your other rights pursuant to Data Protection Laws. Information about how to do this is available on the DPC website at https://www.dataprotection.ie
We restrict access to Your Personal Data to employees, contractors, and agents who need such access in order to operate, develop, or improve our Services. These individuals are bound by confidentiality obligations and may be subject to discipline, including termination, civil litigation and/or criminal prosecution, if they fail to meet these obligations.
We may disclose Your Personal Data to any business unit, company, or other corporate entity which is under the control and direction of the EPA. We may also, in the exercise of our official authority, disclose Your Personal Data to local government authorities, the Department of Health and/or other state agencies in relation to the promotion and co-ordination of environmental research or where required by law.
Where we have received Your Personal Data in connection with a research project that is funded or sponsored by the EPA, we may publish, record, archive and make available Your Personal Data in connection with the publication and dissemination of applicable research results, to the extent reasonably required, and pursuance of our legitimate interests.
In a case where we have received Your Personal Data in connection with a research project which the EPA is co-funding, we may share Your Personal Data with our co-funding partner(s).
As mentioned above, with your consent or where we have a legitimate business interest, we may also use Your Personal Data or permit third parties to use Your Personal Data to contact you with marketing information about goods and services which may be of interest to you.
We may use a third-party service provider to send out our newsletter and administer our marketing mailing list.
We may also use service providers to assist us in running our Websites and Services or to help us run recruitment competitions. These service providers may have access to Your Personal Data in the course of providing their services and where this is the case, the service providers will be under strict contractual restrictions to ensure that Your Personal Data is protection in compliance with Data Protection Laws.
The EPA is a statutory body to which the Freedom of Information Act 2014 (“FOI 2014”) applies and may be subject to ‘Freedom of Information’ requests pursuant to the FOI 2014. Information shared with the EPA (including Your Personal Data) may be disclosable by the EPA pursuant to FOI 2014.
Your Personal Data may be disclosed to a third party if we are required to do so because of an applicable law, court order or governmental regulation, or if such disclosure is otherwise necessary in support of any criminal or other legal investigation or proceeding in Ireland or abroad.
Your Personal Data may be transferred to, stored at, or accessed from a destination outside the EEA (a ‘third country’) for the purposes of us providing the Services. It may also be processed by staff operating outside the EEA who work for us, another corporate entity within our group, or any of our suppliers. We will take all steps reasonably necessary to ensure that Your Personal Data is treated securely and to an acceptable EU standard.
The safeguards in place with regard to the transfer of Your Personal Data to third countries shall include (but shall not be limited to) reliance by us on a decision of the European Commission confirming an adequate level of data protection in the respective third country, the entry by us into appropriate contracts with third parties incorporating standard contractual clauses approved by the European Commission where required or reliance other appropriate safeguards and the carrying out of risk assessments and adoption of supplementary and/or mitigating measures to ensure compliance with Data Protection Laws.
This Policy applies to websites, mobile applications and Services that are owned and operated by us. We do not exercise control over the sites/applications that may be linked from the Services. You may see ‘social buttons’ during your use of the Websites or mobile applications, including but not limited to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram which enable you to share or bookmark certain web pages.
These websites and social platforms have their own cookies and privacy practices, which are controlled by them. These other sites/applications may place their own cookies or other files on your computer, collect data or solicit personal information from you. You acknowledge that the Services may enable or assist you to access the website content of, correspond with, and purchase goods and services from, third parties via third-party websites and that you do so solely at your own risk.
We make no representation or commitment and shall have no liability or obligation whatsoever in relation to the content or use of, or correspondence with, any such third-party website, or any transactions completed, and any contract entered into by you, with any such third party and the use by any such third-party of Your Personal Data. We do not endorse or approve any third-party website nor the content of any of the third-party website made available via the Services.
If Your Personal Data or any User Uploaded Data contains any material which may reasonably be deemed to be offensive, inappropriate or objectionable or you otherwise engage in any disruptive behaviour in relation to the Services, we may remove such content and/or suspend the use of Your Account at any time. We may also remove any such material from any of our social media pages.
Where we reasonably believe that you are or may be in breach of any applicable laws, for example on hate speech, we may disclose Your Personal Data to relevant third parties, including to law enforcement agencies or your internet provider. We would only do so in circumstances where such disclosure is permitted under applicable laws, including Data Protection Laws.
We do our utmost to protect user privacy through the appropriate use of security technology. We implement appropriate technical and organisational measures to ensure a level of security appropriate to the risks that are presented by the processing of Your Personal Data. In particular, we consider the risks presented by accidental or unlawful destruction, loss, alteration, unauthorised disclosure of, or access to Your Personal Data transmitted, stored or otherwise processed.
We restrict access to Your Personal Data to employees, contractors and agents who need to know Your Personal Data in order to operate, develop or improve the Services. We ensure that we have appropriate physical and technological security measures to protect your information and we ensure that when we outsource any processes that the service provider has appropriate security measures in place. However, our Websites or mobile applications may contain hyperlinks to websites owned and operated by third parties. These third party websites have their own privacy policies, including cookies. We do not accept any responsibility or liability for the privacy practices of such third-party websites and your use of such websites is at your own risk.
Unfortunately, the transmission of information via the internet is not completely secure. Although we will do our best to protect Your Personal Data, we cannot guarantee the security of any data transmitted to us and any such transmission is at your own risk. Once we have received Your information, we will use strict procedures and security features to try to prevent unauthorised access.
To the extent permitted by law, we are not responsible for any delays, delivery failures, or any other loss or damage resulting from:
You will appreciate that we cannot guarantee the absolute prevention of cyber-attacks such as hacking, spyware and viruses. Accordingly, you will not hold us liable for any unauthorized disclosure, loss or destruction of Your Personal Data arising from such risks.
All information you provide to us is stored on our (or contracted third party) secure servers. Where we have given you (or where you have chosen) a password which enables you to access any part of our Services, you are responsible for keeping this password confidential. We ask you not to share a password with any person not authorised to use the Services.
We will notify serious Personal Data Breaches in respect of Your Personal Data to the DPC without undue delay, and where feasible, not later than 72 hours after having become aware of same. If notification is not made after 72 hours, we will record a reasoned justification for the delay. However, it is not necessary to notify the DPC where the Personal Data Breach is unlikely to result in a risk to the rights and freedoms of natural persons. A Personal Data Breach in this context means a breach of security leading to the accidental or unlawful destruction, loss, alteration, unauthorised disclosure of, or access to, Personal Data transmitted, stored or otherwise processed.
We will keep a record of any Personal Data Breaches, including their effects and the remedial action taken, and will notify you of any Personal Data Breach affecting Your Personal Data (which poses a high risk to you) when we are required to do so under Data Protection Laws. We are not required to notify you of a Personal Data Breach where:
Your Personal Data will be kept and stored for such period of time as we deem necessary taking into account the purpose for which it was collected in the first instance in line with our data retention policy. This may include retaining Your Personal Data as necessary to administer Your Account, comply with our legal obligations, resolve disputes, enforce our agreements, support business operations, and continue to develop and improve our Services.
Where we retain information for our Services improvement and development, we take steps to eliminate information that directly identifies you, and we only use the information to uncover collective insights about the use of our Services, not to specifically analyse personal characteristics about you.
We may change or update our Policy from time to time and at our sole discretion. The date of the most recent revisions will appear on the top of this Policy. If you do not agree to these changes, please do not continue to use the Services, Websites or mobile applications. If material changes are made to the Policy, we will notify you by placing a prominent notice on our Websites or by sending you a notification in relation to this.
If you need to contact us with regard to any of your rights as set out in this Policy, all such requests should be made sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or in writing to:
Data Protection Officer
Environmental Protection Agency
Johnstown Castle Estate
(These all point to pages within www.epa.ie)