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Nearly 30% drop in complaints to EPA in 2023

There was a 29% reduction in the number of complaints made to the Environmental Protection Agency last year according to a new report.

Some 90% of complaints received by the agency related to odour and noise, in almost equal measure.

The Industrial and Waste License Enforcement Summary for 2023 also shows that the EPA concluded 22 prosecutions and was awarded more than €380,000 in fines and costs related to successful prosecutions.

This included the first successful district court prosecution for the extraction of peat without a licence from the EPA.

The report highlights that 1,200 EPA inspections relating to 889 licenses were carried out at 535 individual sites last year.

Some 91% of those inspections were unannounced.

Dr Tom Ryan, Director of the EPA’s Office of Environmental Enforcement, said the agency will maintain a focus on nuisance arising from licensed sites and will take enforcement action, where appropriate.

The report highlights an increased focus on the management and aftercare of closed landfills sites by the EPA last year including two prosecutions against local authorities for failure to adequately manage leachate and landfill gas infrastructure.

There was also a continued focus on licensed sites impacting on water quality as part of the Water Framework Directive requirements.

This included a targeted campaign focused on surface water drainage systems at licensed sites.

The report also refers to the submission of 14 peatland rehabilitation plans covering 4,289 hectares across five counties that were submitted by Bord na Móna last year.

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