The EPA visits industrial and waste licensed facilities to assess compliance and overall environmental performance. The visits can involve  

  • monitoring of emissions to air, water, or noise, odour assessments, surface and groundwater monitoring 
  • inspection of the licensed site and an assessment of compliance with licence conditions.  

We issue a report to the licensee for each inspection. Site inspection reports are available in the View Enforcement Documents tab of the Licence Details Page for each licence.

The Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) sets out a minimum frequency for inspecting facilities. The period between two site inspections to a licensed site must be based on an assessment of the environmental risks of the site and its activities. Our interval between inspections must not exceed one year for high-risk sites and three years for low-risk sites.

Site inspections to the end of Q3 2021  

Summary information for our site inspections to the end of Q3 2021 are provided below. 

During the Covid 19 pandemic, the EPA adapted its inspection practices in order to ensure licence enforcement inspection work continued. We continued to carry out visits to facilities where it was considered necessary (e.g. for complaint investigation, responding to incidents and other urgent issues) and where our inspectors could comply with all Covid 19 related precautions.

We have also developed a novel type of inspection known as a Remote Compliance Assessment (RCA). An RCA is an inspection of the site’s licence compliance that is carried out remotely using an online communication platform. This allows the site operator to share documentation, live video footage, photographs and live monitoring data for their site and provides us with the information we need to assess and verify the operator’s compliance with their licence.

With the easing of restrictions in recent months the EPAs inspections have moved back to site based work however the use of Remote Compliance Assessments continues to be used where necessary and appropriate.

The number sites being inspected by site visits has increase as 2021 has progressed and as Covid 19 restrictions eased:

Q1 2021 – 49% of Inspections by site visit, 51% of Inspections by RCA
Q2 2021 - 69% of Inspections by site visit, 31% of Inspections by RCA
Q3 2021 - 89% of Inspections by site visit, 11% of Inspections by RCA

Summary information for EPA site visits during Q1 to Q3 2021