A Compliance Investigation (CI) is opened by the EPA when further information and/or action is required in relation to a compliance issue at a licensed site. The CI remains open until the issue has been fully addressed by the licensee. The charts below provide details of Compliance Investigations during Q1 2021.
When opening a CI the EPA inspector assigns a risk rating (High, Medium & Low) depending on the risk to the environment. The CI may contain a number of items for the licensee to address, e.g. further monitoring, carry out an investigation, provide clarification, carry out improvement works, etc. A CI remains in effect until the causative compliance issue has been fully addressed by the licensee. While the EPA requires in each case a speedy conclusion to the causative issue, it is sometimes the case that the resolution of the problems involves substantial new infrastructure, additional investment or alternative production systems. In some instances, solutions may require new regulatory authorisations or processes. For these reasons, CIs may remain in place for extended periods. The EPA maintains oversight of the licensee’s progress in resolving each CI, and unsatisfactory progress may itself result in the escalation of enforcement action by the Agency.
Key facts Q1 2021
- At the end of Q1 2021 there were 120 CIs that remained open, 14 of which were opened during Q1 2021.
- 55% of CIs which remained open at the end of Q1 2021 were for water quality issues or the risk to water quality at licensed sites.
- There were 14 CIs resolved during Q1 2021.
Compliance Investigations Opened and Resolved in Q1 2021