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 between Q1 and Q3 2020 and 2021.

Non-compliances at licensed sites from January to September 2021 

• Non-compliances were recorded for 245 individual sites from January to September 2021
• Breaches of emission limit values accounted for 30% of non-compliances recorded
• 9% of the non-compliances recorded were in relation to the licensed sites failure to report an incident that had occurred at the site
• The Chemicals (11%), Food & Drink (24%) and Non-hazardous Waste Transfer (18%) sectors accounted for 54% of all non-compliances recorded during the period