EPA Statement: ESB Lough Ree Power

Date released: July 11, 2019

There is a prosecution on-going against ESB Lough Ree Power following a non-compliance with Condition 5.5 of their IE licence for the period May to August 2018. This condition has been a requirement of the plant’s licence since 2013. The EPA opened a compliance investigation in relation to breaches of this licence condition in 2014 and 2015. Following this investigation, ESB installed continuous monitoring to monitor the temperature on a continuous basis. There has been extensive engagement between EPA and ESB over this time.

The EPA can confirm that there is a licence review underway and a decision is expected shortly. Before the EPA can decide on a licence review, we must carry out a thorough environmental assessment of the proposals in the review application.  This includes, in this case, an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and an Appropriate Assessment (AA). Public participation and consultation with statutory consultees is also a central element of this EPA licence assessment process. 

The EPA cannot grant a licence or a reviewed licence unless it is satisfied that the activity will meet all the required environmental protection standards, including that emissions from the activity will not endanger human health or harm the environment in the vicinity of the facility or over a wider area.

The EPA has not instructed this plant to close or shutdown pending the outcome of the licence review or prosecution.

Next Steps

Once the EPA has assessed all the required information, it will move to publish a proposed determination on the request by ESB to review the conditions of their licence. 

Further details on the EPA’s licensing process is included here.

As this licence review is currently underway, and a prosecution is pending, the EPA cannot comment further on either matter presently.