Providing World Class environmental compliance consulting
that is both cost effective and focused on client needs

EPA Increasing Transparency

LEAP Online: Compliance & Enforcement Information Accessibility

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has introduced an online portal for viewing publicly accessible compliance and enforcement information that is exchanged between the EPA and licensees. To date, some of the information is already accessible via the EPA website. However, most of the publicly accessible information has only been available by visiting EPA offices. The aim of this initiative is to provide online access to regulatory records exchanged between the EPA and licensed operators (i.e. licence/permit holders and other relevant authorisations).

It is the stated policy of the EPA to conduct its regulatory work in an open and transparent manner, and to make information on compliance and enforcement activities available and accessible to the public. This policy has been developed in accordance with the United Nations Aarhus Convention of June 1998 as well as the associated European and national law, notably the Access to Information on the Environment (AIE) Regulations 2014 as amended, which enacted the Aarhus Convention into Irish law. The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2014 is also relevant to public accessibility of environmental records.

Introduction of LEAP Online

The introduction of the Licence & Enforcement Access Portal (LEAP) Online system marks the latest change in how the public can access the Formal Compliance & Enforcement Correspondence (FCEC) between the EPA and regulated licensed operators for the purposes of compliance with their licences. This system is the latest improvement in the publication of regulatory information on the EPA website, which began in 2005.

The LEAP Online system will be introduced in 2 phases. Phase 1 went live in Quarter 1 of 2023 and focuses on three main categories of FCEC documentation detailed below:

• EPA Site Visits and Monitoring Visit Reports;

• Licensee Returns (including Licensee Public Responses to EPA Reports);

• EPA Requests for Information and operators’ responses.

Phase 2 of the LEAP Online portal is planned to go live in Quarter 3 of 2023 where the following categories will be added:

• Incidents;

• Complaints;

• Non-Compliances;

• Compliance Investigations;

• Compliance Investigations – Action/Instruction;

• EDEN Messages;

• Public 3rd Party Correspondence;

• EPA-Initiated Correspondence;

• Meetings;

• Licence Change Requests.


Publication Deferral Period

Previously, the office-based LEAP portal made information available on the day following its issue or receipt by the EPA. It is recognised by the Agency that the immediate publication of such documentation in an online portal is inappropriate, as it might impact the conduct of regulatory business between the EPA and licensed operators. It is also considered that the relevant documentation should nonetheless be made available to the public within a reasonable period of time.

Therefore, the Agency will apply a 30-calendar day deferral target for the upload of FCEC documentation. This aligns with the timescales for request under the Freedom of Information Acts and the Access to Information on the Environment Regulations as well as complying with the EPA’s Quality Customer Service Goals.

The following timeframes will apply:

- A minimum 30 calendar day deferral period between the actioning of a document by an EPA inspector and its publication to LEAP online;

- A minimum 30 calendar day deferral period shall apply between the acceptance by an EPA inspector of an operator’s submission and its publication on LEAP online;

- Operators who wish to do so may submit a Licensee Public Response (LPR) to the Site Visit Report (SVR);

  • The LPR will be published simultaneously with the SVR – provided that the LPR has been received in time for the EPA to review it for Suitability for Publication;
  • To be confident that the LPR will be published concurrently with the SVR, operators are advised to submit it within 21 days of receiving the SVR;
  • EPA will endeavour to concurrently publish LPRs received between 21 and 28 days after the issue of the SVR, but simultaneous upload may be less certain;
  • LPRs received too late to be published concurrently with the SVR will be published the day after their review by the EPA.

Updates to certain records that have already been published will be uploaded on the following calendar day. For example, this would apply to updates to Incident Notifications.

The Agency has advised that licensees maintain close review of their own EDEN portals in order to ensure that operators can respond in a timely manner to EPA notifications. The EPA also notes that they are committed to meeting these same time demands.


Of course, there are certain documents that may be commercially sensitive. Documents that have been determined as commercially sensitive have not historically been available to the public. These types of document will not be published to the LEAP Online portal.

It is the intention of the EPA to comply with the GDPR Regulation to prevent the release of personal information that may be present in correspondence with operators. The Agency recognises that, in the past, licensees may not have been fully aware that their submissions would become accessible online, and that personal information may have been disclosed in these submissions.

Site Contacts

It is the responsibility of the licensee to maintain an open line of communication with the Agency. This is done by ensuring that there are designated personnel (environmental contacts) within the organisation with the responsibility of communicating with the EPA in relation to compliance and enforcement matters as well as the monitoring of the EDEN portal.

The EPA recommends that operators should not include telephone numbers, email addresses or any similar operational information relating to personnel in their correspondence with the Agency, other than the designated environmental contacts.

Legal Responsibility

The Agency has reminded licensees that, when making a formal submission to the EPA for the purposes of compliance with the requirements of their licence, they are making a legal declaration that the content of the submission is complete, accurate and truthful. As such, licensees may be held accountable, including in the courts, for any breaches of this declaration.

June 2023