Inventories of Persistent Organic Pollutants in Ireland 1990 and 1995 - 2006

Climate Change Research Programme - CCRP Report 2

Summary: CCRP Report 2 - Mairead Creedon et al.

CCRP Report 2 thumbnail

Published: 2010

ISBN: 978-1-84095-325-1

Pages: 160

Filesize: 1,767 KB

Format: pdf


The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as required by the European Union’s Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) Regulation and to assist with the development of a National Implementation Plan, has commissioned AEA and the Clean Technology Centre (CTC) to produce a multimedia emissions inventory for selected POPs. These pollutants were:

  • Hexachlorobenzene (HCB);
  • The polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) required by the POPs Regulation (benzo[a]pyrene, benzo[b]fluoranthene, benzo[k]fluoranthene and indeno[1,2,3-cd]pyrene);
  • Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs); and
  • Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs) and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs) commonly collectively called dioxins and reported as a total.

Releases of these substances to air, land and water were quantified for the period between 1990 and 2006. The approach adopted was to provide, where possible, compatibility with the EPA’s existing inventory tools, using plant-specific release data where available and, in their absence, emission factors from a range of other international sources. The project approach encompassed an extensive literature and Ireland-specific emissions and activity data gathering phase, followed by source screening, preparation of lists of key source sectors and sites, limited consultation with Irish stakeholders, methodology development and emission estimation, and inventory compilation and reporting.

The development of inventories to land and water has been limited by a lack of literature and measurement data. Despite researching the most recent guidance from the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), several gaps are evident in the knowledge base regarding POPs emission sources to all media, but especially to land and water. The study provides best estimates for current emissions in Ireland but these estimates are subject to very significant uncertainty for many sources. These uncertainties are outlined within the sector spreadsheets that make up the inventory system, and key assumptions and areas for future work are highlighted within the report.

Recommendations are given in the report as to where measurements and data gathering could significantly reduce uncertainty in the release estimates.

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