The EPA is committed to protecting people and the environment from the harmful effects of pollution. As part of this commitment, we provide a simple system for members of the public to make complaints about environmental pollution, disturbance or damage.
Members of the public can make complaints to the county or city council, the EPA or other authority when they suspect that the activities of businesses or individuals are, or may be, causing pollution.
Contact the person or business causing the problem
If you come across an environmental problem, the quickest way to fix it is to contact the person or business you think is causing the problem. They may not be aware of the problem or its effects and may be happy to fix it.
If you contact them, we suggest that you:
Outline the issue to them
Explain how you would like to see it resolved
Ask them to specify a timescale for this to be achieved
Ask to be informed when the work has been completed
Contact the relevant public body
If you do not want to contact the person or business causing the problem, you should make a complaint to your local council or the EPA. This will depend on who is causing the problem:
Your local council is responsible for dealing with complaints that do not involve a site regulated by he EPA.
If the issue involves an EPA regulated site, the local authority will pass on your complaint to the EPA for a response.
If you know that the source of the problem is a site that operates under an EPA licence, permit or authorisation, contact the EPA.
If the issue does not involve an EPA regulated site, we will pass on your complaint to the local authority for a response
If you don’t know who is responsible, contact your local authority as your first port of call
You can also make a complaint about the performance of a local council.
Make a complaint to your local council
There are three ways to make an environmental complaint to your local council:
The best way to lodge a complaint with the EPA is to use our Online Complaint Form. This form captures all the relevant details about your complaint, and the completed form is automatically forwarded to the appropriate EPA team for their attention.
Telephone EPA Headquarters: 053 916 0600
Lo Call Number: 0818 33 55 99*
Both are 24-hour/seven days per week
*This may incur varying charges depending on your mobile provider
If you call the EPA outside of normal business hours (09:00 – 17:00 Monday – Friday excluding Bank Holidays), you will reach our out-of-hours service.
Please follow the instructions to leave a message which will be reviewed on the next working day or, if the matter is an environmental emergency, it will be assessed that day by an EPA officer.
When you make a complaint about an environmental issue, you will be asked to give your name and contact details. These are “personal data” under the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR. This means that your personal details will not be published or made available in any publicly accessible form.
Contact the EPA about the performance of your local council
When you report an environmental issue to your local council, they will investigate the matter and take the appropriate action to address it. Where appropriate they will keep you informed of progress and will let you know when they have concluded their investigation and corrective actions.
If the local council has not addressed the problem in a reasonable period, or if you are not satisfied that the problem has been properly investigated, you may lodge a complaint with the EPA make a complaint to the EPA:
You should provide details about:
the nature, duration and impact of the problem
your interactions directly with the operator/source of the problem (if any)
your communications with your local council (for example, correspondence, emails, records of your contacts)
any progress made to date.
The EPA will review the local council performance of their environmental duties:
If we determine that the local council has done what the law requires of them, then we will close the file.
If we decide the local council has not performed its duties adequately, we will consider further actions. These may include issuing legal notices or directing the local council to carry out certain actions for the purposes of environmental protection.
We will inform you if we close the file or if we decide to take further action.
Remember, the EPA will not become involved until the local council has first been given an opportunity to investigate your complaint.