EPA

  • A  Mayo poultry company is included in a list of 9 sites published by the Environmental Protection Agency, for failing to meet necessary environmental standards.

    The Western Brand Group, Ballyhaunis is on the EPA's latest National Priority Sites List for Enforcement, along with eight other sites across the country, and these companies face further enforcement action from the EPA in order to secure compliance with environmental standards.

    Five of the 9 sites are involved in the agri-food sector, and the main compliance issues are causing odour and noise nuisance, and failing to properly manage wastewater discharges.

    The National Priority Sites List is compiled and published by the EPA on a quarterly basis using a scoring system.

    Points are allocated to each site based on compliance data, such as complaints and incidents over the previous 6 months.

    Sites which exceed a certain threshold become a National Priority Site and the EPA can target them for further enforcement action, up to and including legal action or suspension of their licence.

    The system was introduced last year to drive further environmental compliance at industrial and waste facilities.

     

  • The latest report from the Environmental Protection Agency shows the quality of drinking water in public supplies across the country remains high.

    The EPA Drinking Water Report for 2017 shows a high level of compliance with microbiological and chemical standards, indicating that most of our water supplies are safe to drink.

    However, there are currently 72 "at risk" supplies on the EPA Remedial Action List.

    It's expected drinking water in Ireland will be in line with EU standards by 2010 - 16 years after the deadline for compliance.

    The number of public water supplies on the Remedial Action List has fallen from 339 ten years ago to 72 at present.

    Irish Water says upgrading works on 38 of these supplies will be finished by the end of the year.

    There are no public water supplies in Co Mayo currently on the Remedial Action List, however, there are two in both counties Roscommon and Galway - both of which are due for completion by the end of this year.

    9 water supplies across the country are currently on a boil water notice - including the Lough Talt scheme will supplies water to over 12,000 people mainly in Co Sligo.

    A planning application has been submitted for a new plant to tackle water quality on the Lough Talt scheme, but the EPA says that due to planning difficulties, there is no timeframe available yet for the completion of these works.

  • Crèches, nursing homes and hotels using their own wells for drinking water, could pose a serious health risk.

    A new report from the Environmental Protection Agency expresses concern about the standard of some private water supplies, and found the quality of drinking water in private supplies remains poorer than that in public supplies.

    Small private supplies serve commercial or public buildings and are drawn from springs or wells -these have the poorest water quality.

    One million people in Ireland  - or almost 20% of the population - get their drinking water from private water supplies including household wells.

    But this report says many of these supplies aren't registered with local authorities and so don't get tested properly to ensure the water is safe.

    Last year E. coli - the contamination linked to human or animals waste - was found in 51 small private water supplies serving commercial buildings like hotels and B&Bs or public buildings like schools and crèches.

    Meanwhile, no E. coli testing was reported for over 700 other small supplies - including 22 private supplies in Co Mayo.

    The EPA is concerned about the health risks particularly for children and the elderly - and it's urging owners of all private water supplies to register with their local authority.

    Owners are also urged to protect their private supply by checking the source of the water and checking for any sources of pollution, as well as testing the supply annually.

     

     

  • There are 38 towns and villages across the State discharging raw sewage into the environment, according to a new report from the Environmental Protection Agency.

    The agency also notes that there are 28 large towns and cities discharging inadequately treated sewage into the environment.

    Foxford, Tubbercurry, Collooney and Monksland are among the larger urban areas that are listed in the report as failing to deal with waste water effectively and where waste discharges entering our waters don't meet pollution and health standards.

    Untreated sewage is still being pumped into our seas and waterways from 38 towns and villages around the country. Killala, Newport, Roundstone, Carraroe, Spiddal and Ahascaragh are among the locations cited in this list.

    The EPA says years of under-investment in the system is one of the main causes.

    Despite a "legacy of under- investment" and the State facing legal action from the European Commission for failing to meet mandatory standards, the EPA says improvements are not happening at a fast enough pace.

    EPA spokesperson Darragh Page says Irish Water is not meeting its own targets for dealing with the issue.

  • Nearly three-quarters of Ireland’s bathing waters are of excellent quality, according to the latest EPA report, but seven beaches have failed to meet minimum standards for water quality.

    Two of the beaches labelled as “poor” by the Environmental Protection Agency are in Galway – Clifden beach and Ballyloughane in Galway City.

    The other 5 beaches that failed to meet minimum water quality standards are in Dublin.

    Of the 15 Mayo beaches inspected, 14 are of excellent water quality, while Old Head beach in Louisburg is described as “good”.

    The EPA report says bathing waters in Co Mayo continue to be of a very high quality, with few pollution sources identified.

    The Mayo beaches described as “excellent” are  -  

    Bertra Beach, Murrisk ; Carrowmore Beach, Louisburgh; Carrowniskey, Louisburgh; Clare Island;  Dooega Beach, Dugort, Golden Strand, Keel and Keem beaches on Achill Island; Elly Bay, Belmullet;

    Mullaghroe Beach, Belmullet ; Mulranny; Rinroe beach Carrowtigue, and Ross Beach Killala – all described as excellent while Old Head Beach, Louisburgh is described as Good.

     

  • A Ballyhaunis company is among five sites listed by the Environmental Protection Agency as National Priority Sites for Enforcement.

    Five sites have been included on the latest list for failing to meet the necessary environmental standards - including the Western Brand Group in Ballyhaunis.

    The EPA says these companies face further enforcement action.

    Meanwhile, Aurivo Dairy Ingredients Ltd in Co Roscommon has been removed from the National Priority Site List, following improvements in compliance and reduced risk.

    The EPA has also published its Industrial & Waste Licence Enforcement Report for 2017, which gives details of compliance levels and enforcement activities across 800 licensed facilities.

    22 prosecutions were taken last year, with 16 convictions, and fines worth over  374-thousand euro were issued for failings in industrial waste management.

    The report shows that over 1,000 complaints were received in 2017 about licensed facilities, with 73% of complaints relating to noise and odour.

    Among the top ten most complained-about facilities were the East Galway Residual Landfill site which accounted for 57 complaints, while there were 23 complaints about Shell E&P Ireland Ltd.

  • The EPA has published its latest National Priority Sites List for Enforcement.

    Seven industrial sites are currently on the list for failing to meet the necessary environmental standards.

    Aurivo Dairy Ingredients Limited in Ballaghaderreen, Co. Roscommon are among the seven sites listed.

    Five sites have come off the previous National Priority Site list following improvements in compliance.

    These include the Shell E&P Ireland Limited site in Bellanaboy and the East Galway Residual Landfill Site near Ballinasloe.