Office of Radiation Protection and Environmental Monitoring
The office of radiation protection and environmental monitoring is responsible for implementation of a range of legislation related to chemicals in the environment, with the aim of minimising the use and emissions, and raising awareness of a variety of hazardous chemicals in order to prevent significant impacts on the environment and human health.
Our responsibilities also include:
- Establishing a National Ecosystems Monitoring Network (NEMN) which will assess the impact of air pollutants on our native habitats such as raised and blanket bogs and freshwater habitats
- Providing advice and information about radon, carrying out research to better understand the behaviour of radon in the environment and supporting the Government in implementing Ireland’s National Radon Control Strategy
- Developing and supporting citizen science projects that support the important areas of clean air, clean water and sustainable behaviour
- Providing advice and information on public exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF) such as EMF produced by electrical and mobile telecommunications equipment
- Coordinating, supervising and advising noise mapping bodies in producing noise maps and local authorities in making and implementing noise actions plans, for their areas, required under the Environmental Noise Directive (END)
- Working with other EPA teams and Local Authorities to carry out water chemistry tests in over 700 rivers and streams, over 200 lakes, 270 groundwaters and 85 transitional and coastal water bodies in Ireland
- Working with colleagues in the Office of Environmental Enforcement to audit, sample and analyse discharges from licensed facilities including factories, landfill sites and waste-water treatment plants and audit public drinking water plants and laboratories on EPA licensed site
- Providing a calibration service to industry for radiation measuring instruments and based on monitoring provide certificates to show that the radioactivity content of Irish foodstuffs and other produce is below the requirements of the importing country.
- Monitoring air pollutant levels at over 110 locations and provide this information to the public via the Air Quality Index for Health (AQIH) on www.epa.ie/ www.airquality.ie and via Twitter @epaairquality
- Comparing, assessing and reporting air pollutant levels relative to EU limit values and the World Health Organisation (WHO) guideline values.
- Increasing Ireland's capacity and capability to model Irelands air quality and are leading the LIFE EMERALD project to provide an air quality forecast and an air quality nowcast.
- Producing the EPA’s state of the environment reports on a four-yearly cycle. These reports provide timely information and knowledge to the public, policymakers and key economic sectors in support of action to protect and manage the environment. Ireland's Environment – An Integrated Assessment 2020 is the most recent state of the environment report published by the EPA. The seventh in the series, previous state of the environment reports were published in 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012 & 2016.
- We work with colleagues across the EPA to make sure that we are prepared to address emergencies that may arise including radiological ones and also support the Department of the Environment on nuclear safety matters.
More about us:
- We have a radiation testing laboratory located in Dublin
- We have four accredited water testing laboratories located in Castlebar, Dublin, Kilkenny and Monaghan
- We undertake routine monitoring of ambient radioactivity in the Irish environment including air, drinking water, soil, food and the marine
- We are one of the five environmental authorities specified in the Strategic Environment Assessment (SEA) Regulations. We are required to be consulted in all cases at the SEA screening, scoping and environmental report/draft plan stages. Our role as an SEA environmental authority focuses on promoting full integration of the findings of the SEA into the plan and advocating that the key environmental challenges for Ireland are addressed. The EPA's functions as an SEA environmental authority do not include approving or enforcing SEAs or plans.