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Posted 07/06/2011


When someone refers to an ‘incident’ in relation to environmental compliance we immediately think of a spill or other relatively serious occurrence at a facility. However the EPA definition of a reportable incident is very broad and can be summarised as follows;

Posted 23/05/2011


What needs to happen when there are changes at a licensed facility that may have an environmental impact? 3 common scenarios are outlined below;

Minor Changes - such as minor changes to process, raw materials, final product and abatement with no impact on emissions.

These are usually accommodated under Condition 1.4 of the IPPC licence, which requires the licensee to obtain approval from the EPA but does not involve a Technical Amendment of Licence Review.

Posted 28/04/2011


The use of solvents in Ireland comes under 2 distinct regulatory regimes, IPPC and AIC.


The EPA is the regulatory authority in Ireland for the implementation of the IPPC Directive. While the IPPC Directive of 1996 specified an annual consumption threshold of 200 t per annum, its implementation in Ireland set the annual threshold limit at just 10 t.


Posted 02/03/2011


Since 2007 DG Environment has been investigating the possibility of introducing a SOx/NOx Emissions Trading Scheme. This scheme would have presumably operated in a similar manner to the current CO2 scheme. Following the publishing of a number of reports in December 2010 on the issue, the Commission has decided not to pursue a trading scheme for the following reasons;

Posted 22/02/2011


The EPA is the competent authority for ambient air quality monitoring in Ireland. Limits are set for the following substances under the Clean Air for Europe Directive (2008) and the Fourth Daughter Directive (2007); Nitrogen Dioxide, Sulphur Dioxide, Ozone, Carbon Monoxide, PM10, PM2.5, Lead, Benzene, Arsenic, Cadmium, Nickel, Mercury and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons.

Posted 17/02/2011

In order to ensure compliance with SI 272 of 2009 - European Communities Environmental Objectives (Surface Waters) Regulations 2009 and SI 9 of 2010 - European Communities Environmental Objectives (Groundwater) Regulations 2010, the EPA is in the process of carrying out an internal review of all licenses where the licensee discharges to surface waters or to groundwater.

Where the EPA finds that the licence is in compliance with the regulations it will issue a declaration to that effect and will follow up with a Technical Amendment to the licence where required.

Posted 11/02/2011


At the end of March each year IPPC and Waste licensed facilities fill out the E-PRTR (European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register) section of their AER (Annual Environmental Report).

Approximately 24,000 EU facilities are covered by the PRTR regulation (EC) No. 166/2006. Its main aim is to make emissions information available to all stakeholders, including the public and decision making bodies.

A facility must report data where the following criteria are satisfied;

Posted 13/01/2011


Prior to the Waddenzee judgement, Natura Impact Statements (formerly Appropriate Assessments) under the EU Habitats Directive were taken to apply to new plans and projects only. Following the judgement all applications for new permits or licenses, as well as reviews of existing permits or licenses, require assessment when a SAC (Special Area of Conservation) or SPA (Special Protection Area) may be impacted. This applies to IPPC Licenses issued by the EPA and Trade Effluent Permits issued by a Water Services Authority as well as other authorisations.

Posted 17/12/2010

Ozone depleting substance refrigerants received a lot of attention a number of years ago. However some of the target dates have recently passed and others are only a few years away.

For non-critical uses the following are the main phase out dates for CFCs and HCFCs;