Industrial and Waste Enforcement Overview

This overview provides a summary of the key enforcement infomation for all licensed industrial and waste sites regulated by the EPA for 2020. More up to date data to the end of Q1 2021 is provided at teh following links, Site Visits , Complaints , Compliance Investigations , National Priority Sites , Financial Provisions  and Non-compliance .

The EPA is responsible for the environmental regulation of large industrial and waste activities. The EPA’s Office of Environmental Enforcement (OEE) works to ensure that operators comply with the conditions of their licence. The total number of Industrial and Waste licences in force in 2020 together with new licenses issued and licenses surrendered during the period is provided below. View licences, applications and asssociated enforcement reports for EPA licensed industrial and waste sites.

 Industrial and Waste Licences at the end of 2020 
 835   No. of licences in force at the end of  2020
 25   New licences issued during during 2020
 14   Reviewed licensed issued to existing sites during 2020
 6   Licence surrender applications completed by the EPA during 2020

The EPA’s objective is to ensure that operators carry on their activities in accordance with their licences. These objectives are advanced through a combination of promoting compliance, guidance and assistance, monitoring compliance, inspections and sampling, and taking enforcement actions where necessary.

During the Covid 19 pandemic the EPA was designated by the Government as an ‘essential service’ underscoring the continued importance of ensuring that the protection of human health and the environment is not diminished as a result of the current pandemic. The EPA continued to to carry out enforcement activities in a risk based and proportionate manner in line with the EPA Compliance and Enforcement Policy.

The EPA’s enforcement approach is underpinned by the principles of our Compliance and Enforcement Policy:


Our enforcement work is risk-based, focusing resources and regulatory action on activities that pose a risk to human health and/or the environment.


Enforcement action taken is proportionate with the risk posed to human health and/or the environment, the damage already caused and the costs of remedial works required. We also consider enforcement action where there are persistent regulatory breaches.


We have systems which provide consistency in the approach to the use of enforcement powers and in deciding the appropriate enforcement response. This means the public, the regulated community and other stakeholders know what to expect from the EPA. We promote consistency nationally through effective liaison with those we regulate and other regulatory authorities.


We support compliance within the regulated community by being clear and open about what is expected of them in terms of legal requirements and compliance and what they should expect from us in terms of regulatory oversight.

We publish enforcement information including site visit reports, monitoring results, enforcement correspondence, priority lists, performance reports and legal convictions on the EPA’s website in a timely manner.

Polluter pays

We work to ensure that polluters are held financially accountable for their actions (including bearing the cost of environmental remediation), that they do not profit from illegal activity and that they do not gain a competitive advantage over law-abiding operators.

The Industrial and Waste Enforcement Summary Report for 2020 is provided below and can be downloaded at Enforcement 2020 Report .

2020 Review Summary P1

2020 Review Summary P2

2020 Review Summary P3

2020 Review Summary P4