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Online Publication of Keystone Enforcement Documents

From January 2016, the EPA will be increasing the range of enforcement documents available to the public. These changes have been implemented as part of the Access to Information on the Environment (AIE) Directive 2003/4/EC, which was transposed into Irish law by the Access to Information on the Environment Regulations 2007 – 2014. From now on a number of key enforcement and self-monitoring documents will be made available to the public via the EPA website, along with those already published online such as the Annual Environmental Report (AER).

The specific Keystone Enforcement Documents that will now be published online are as follows:

  • EPA Site Visit Reports;
  • Licensee Public Responses;
  • Routine Self-Monitoring Reports (i.e. as per Licence Schedule);
  • Special Sectoral Reports;
  • Site Closure Reports and related documentation (already available to the public since January 2014).

As previously, all licensee correspondence with the EPA is carried out via the Licence Management Application (LMA) Portal on the EDEN network. As a result of these new regulatory requirements, Keystone Enforcement Documents will now appear online 60 days after issue or receipt. These documents will now be available via each licensees Details Page under the heading “Licence Enforcement Documents”.


Licensee Public Responses (LPR)

The Licensee Public Response is a new feature that has been introduced by the EPA which will give licensees the opportunity to respond to specific findings of an EPA Inspection. This affords licensees the opportunity to inform their neighbours and the wider public about forthcoming actions and/or responses, and associated timescales proposed to address issues specified in the EPA Site Visit Report. The EPA requires however that Licensee Public Responses are submitted within 45 calendar days following the issue of a Site Visit Report. In order to facilitate this, the EPA has published a template document which can be accessed here: Licensee Public Response Template

Submitting a Licensee Public Response is not mandatory and it is at the licensee’s discretion to decide whether or not a response is warranted in relation to a particular Site Visit Report. Once uploaded, a Licensee Public Response will be published along with the EPA Site Visit Report 60 Days after the initial date of issue of the Site Visit Report. It should be noted that LPR’s will be subject to EPA assessment of suitability for online publication. While the EPA will not dictate the content of a Licensee Public Response, it reserves the right not to publish any submission it considers inappropriate. The grounds by which the EPA may decide not to publish a LPR are as follows:

  • Discrepancy between content of LPR and other licensee submissions;
  • Defamatory, exasperating or misleading content;
  • Data protection issues.

It is advisable to draft the Licensee Public Response with due regard to the publication criteria mentioned above as licensees will only have one opportunity to submit a LPR. The EPA also advises that the LPR is NOT an appropriate forum for debating a finding of an EPA Site Visit Report and that any clarification of findings should be raised during closing meetings or in the period directly following the site visit.


Self-Monitoring and Special Sectoral Reports

Self-monitoring refers to routine, periodic monitoring reports which are specified in the licence, and not to once-off investigative reports. Special Sectoral Reports are those that apply only to certain licensees such as Waste Incineration and Co-Incineration Plants performance reports; Solvent emissions monitoring reports; Solvent management plans.

The existing process by which these reports are uploaded, i.e. as a Licensee Return, remains the same. These will be published automatically to the Licence Details page 60 calendar days following receipt of a report by the EPA. There will be no change to the frequency of reporting and licensees should continue with the reporting schedule agreed with the EPA.

A new column in the “Licensee Returns” Table of the LMA dashboard indicates the date reports where received by the EPA and the date on which each report will be published.  As always, these reports are a formal legal declaration to the EPA and to the public, and as such the contents must be accurate and reliable.

Licensees also remain obliged to report as an incident any non-compliance through the “Report an Incident” button on the LMA dashboard.

As and from 01 January 2016, all “Keystone Enforcement Documents” must be uploaded to the LMA Portal in PDF format. More information and a Stepwise Procedure for submitting Online-Publishable Licensee Reports is available on the link below.

Online Publication of Keystone Enforcement Documents on the EPA website

February 2016