Food firm and co-op included in latest EPA priority sites list

A food group and a dairy cooperative have been included in the latest National Priority Sites List, published  by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The EPA published the most recent National Priority Sites List today, Thursday, July 16, as well as updated information on the enforcement activities of the EPA during the first six months of 2020.

The agri-food firms in question are Tipperary Cooperative Creamery and Arrow Group.

It was noted that Arrow Group Limited “includes the activities at this licensed site of: Dawn Farm Foods Ltd; TCFG Naas Ltd (The Culinary Food Group); QK Coldstores Ltd; Dawn Farms Distribution Ltd; and Maudlins Waste Management Ltd”.

Source: EPA
Source: EPA

The latest National Priority Sites List identifies eight sites that are the focus of the EPA’s enforcement activities.

Three of these sites (Tipperary Co-operative Ltd, Merck Millipore Ltd and Limerick Gasworks) account for 62% of all odour complaints to the EPA from industrial and waste facilities, the EPA said.

Commenting on the publication of the latest National Priority Sites List, Darragh Page, programme manager of the EPA’s Office of Environmental Enforcement, said:

“The number of odour complaints received by the EPA in the first six months of 2020 was more than three times that of the same period the previous year.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in widespread disruption to society and businesses with many licensees temporarily closing or scaling back their activity.

However, at a time when everyone was being asked to restrict their movements and to stay at home, it is unacceptable that a number of industrial and waste sites caused great distress to those living around them by emitting offensive and potentially harmful odours.

“Sites that continue to breach their licence conditions and cause environmental pollution can expect further enforcement action from EPA.”

The National Priority Sites list is described as a key enforcement tool for the EPA and is used to target enforcement efforts at the poorest performing sites and to drive improvements in environmental compliance.

Prosecution is often the end result of a site appearing on the list, with prosecutions being initiated against the majority of the sites on the current National Priority Sites list, the agency warned.

Commenting on the challenges faced by businesses, Dr. Tom Ryan, director of the EPA’s Office of Environmental Enforcement, said:

“Licensees who engage with the EPA will find a positive and pragmatic regulator whose main priority is to ensure that human health and the environment are protected.

“The EPA will not hesitate to exercise our full range of enforcement powers if licensees or regulated bodies do not engage with the EPA, or seek to take advantage of the current circumstances,” he concluded.