The EPA oversees the performance of licensed and authorised sites in two main ways: 

  1. We assess performance reports, records and information that we receive from operators as part of their licence. These include monitoring reportsreports of incidents and Annual Environmental Reports (AERs) We also review complaints about off-site impact from neighbours or the local community. 
  2. We carry out site visits to inspect onsite activities and monitor emissions to ensure that the operator is complying with their licence, permit or authorisation. 

We use the information we get from these actions to continually review the environmental performance and compliance status of licence holders across the country. 

Where we detect non-compliance with the licence, we instruct the operator to take action to address the cause.  If the problem is complex or if the operator’s response isn’t quick or effective enough, we open a Compliance Investigation (CI) into the issue. 

Under the CI, we can direct the licensee to:  

  • Take specified corrective and preventative actions intended to restore compliance with the licence  
  • Provide clear evidence demonstrating that they have completed the improvements 

A licenced site with a CI is at risk of being included on our list of National Priority Sites (NPS). 

We combine the CI score with measures of non-compliances, incidents and complaints to produce a performance index called the NPS Score for each licensed site. See how NPS Scores are calculated. 

We do similar performance rankings for other sectors: 

  • For Drinking Water, we publish the Remedial Action List (RAL) of sites where Irish Water is required to take corrective action to ensure the safety and security of the supplies.  
  • Our Annual Reports on Urban Waste Water Treatment identify the list of priority areas where improvements are needed to prevent water pollution, eliminate discharges of raw sewage, meet EU treatment standards and protect bathing waters and freshwater pearl mussels. 

If the licensee does not resolve the issues speedily and fully, we further escalate our enforcement by legal enforcement measures. These measures may include prosecution of the licensee, the issuing of statutory notices and ultimately the suspension or revocation of the licence. 

See the latest information on Prosecutions and Penalties.