EPA national priority list dominated by agri-food companies

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) latest National Priority Sites List for Enforcement has been dominated by companies from the agri-food sector.

Published yesterday (Tuesday, October 16), the list contains a total of nine sites which failed to meet the necessary environmental standards. This is an increase of four sites from the previous list, the EPA added.

These companies face further enforcement action from the EPA in order to secure compliance.

These nine sites – five of which are from the agri-food sector – accounted for 43% of all complaints received between April and September of this year.

The five agri-food companies on the list include:
  • Arrow Group, Co. Kildare;
  • Glanbia Foods Ireland Ltd, Co. Laois;
  • Lacpatrick Dairies Ltd, Co. Monaghan;
  • Rosderra Irish Meats Group (Edenderry), Co. Offaly;
  • Western Brand Group Ltd, Co. Mayo.

Three of the remaining sites are from the waste sector, with the main compliance issues relating to poor waste management practices on-site and causing odour, the EPA explained.

Reacting to the announcement, An Taisce indicated that Glanbia, LacPatrick and Rosderra Meats – who all featured in the EPA’s list – are members of Bord Bia’s Origin Green programme.

Commenting on the news, An Taisce’s advocacy officer – Ian Lumley – said: “This puts into question the credibility of the sustainability labelling of Irish food processors by Bord Bia. Appearance on an EPA worst offenders list should be incompatible with retaining green label branding.

“This issue comes on top of the increasing climate impact caused by Irish agricultural emissions, which – combined with declining biodiversity and high status waters – is placing Irish agriculture and food processing in irreconcilable environmental conflict.”