n application for a waste water discharge (WWD) certificate of authorisation (or review of a certificate) must satisfy legislative requirements, largely set out in the European Union (Waste Water Discharge) Regulations 2007 to 2020.
It should be noted that the process regarding the application for WWD licence (or the review of) a WWD licence is different. See Licensing process explained
The certificate of authorisation application process involves a number of stages as outlined below:
When required, the EPA engages in pre-application meetings with the applicant, Irish Water, prior to applications being submitted. Such meetings are held on request.
The details to be contained in pre-application notices are set out in the Regulations.
This stage includes EPA assessment of the application.
In making an application, make sure to:
We may request further information in accordance with the Regulations.
Once we have acknowledged the application as complete, the EPA must make a decision on the application within four months.
The EPA, in arriving at its decision, considers the application and the report of its Inspector.
The EPA is required to make a decision on an application within a period of four months from the date of receipt of a full application. However, this period may be extended in certain circumstances.
Please be advised:
The EPA notifies the applicant, Irish Water, of the decision on the application, and makes it available for public inspection on its website.
Once a decision has issued, Irish Water can apply to the High Court and seek a Judicial Review of the validity of the Decision. See Stage 4 below.
The EPA may amend a licence or certificate or revised licence or revised certificate, in accordance with guidance as set out in the EPA Guidance for Irish Water on Requests for Alterations to a Waste Water Discharge Licence or Certificate of Authorisation and for the purposes of:
Judicial Review of EPA decisions under the provisions of the European Union (Waste Water Discharge) Regulations 2007 to 2020
A person wishing to challenge the validity of an EPA decision may do so by way of judicial review only. The validity of a decision taken by the EPA may only be questioned by making an application for Judicial Review under Order 84 of the Rules of the Superior Courts (as amended).
Regulation 34 of the European Union (Waste Water Discharge) Regulations 2007 to 2020 provides that any application for judicial review must be made within 28 days of the date on which the EPA issues either (1) the authorisation or (2) notification of a decision not to consider or to refuse an application.
Further information on Judicial Review in environmental and planning matters may be found at www.citizensinformation.ie
Disclaimer: The above is intended for information purposes. It does not purport to be a legal interpretation of the relevant provisions and it would be advisable for persons contemplating judicial review proceedings to seek independent legal advice.
Download the WWD Certificate of Authorisation application form and guidance note
For further information contact the Environmental Licensing Programme at:
Office of Environmental Sustainability
PO Box 3000
Johnstown Castle Estate
Tel: 053 9160600
Lo-call: 1890 335599
Fax: 053 9160699