The holder of an EPA Licence is obliged to comply with the full suite of conditions in their Licence. These are designed to allow the operator to carry on their licensed activity without causing risk of harm to human health or the environment.

EPA inspectors continually track and assess each licensee’s compliance with their licence. Any breach of a licence condition is recorded by the EPA as a ‘non-compliance’.

The detection of a non-compliance is often the first step in the escalation of enforcement action by the EPA. We may, depending on the nature and significance of the non-compliance, open a Compliance Investigation into the cause or, where we think it necessary, mount a prosecution against the licensee.

The chart below shows non-compliances recorded in 2023.  Details of non-compliances are also available on LEAP Online (public access to compliance and enforcement records).

Non-compliances at licensed sites in 2023

  • 1457 non-compliances were recorded for 418 individual sites in 2023
  • Breaches of emission limit values accounted for 26% of non-compliances recorded
  • 6% of the non-compliances recorded were in relation to the licensed sites failure to report an incident that had occurred at the site
  • The Food & Drink (24%), Intensive Agriculture (18%) and Non-Hazardous Waste Transfer Stations (15%) sectors accounted for 57% of all non-compliances recorded during the period