2 food processors named on latest EPA enforcement list

Two food processors – Kepak Clonee in Co. Meath and Arrow Group in Co. Kildare – have been named on the latest list of facilities for enforcement action from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The key issue for Kepak Clonee related to emissions to water, while for Arrow Group, the issues which most concerned the EPA were odour and noise.

The two processors were named on the EPA’s National Priority Sites List for Enforcement, along with a Cavan-based cement firm, a Co. Cork landfill and, in the same county, a scrap metal firm.

This list relates to the level of complaints, incidences and non-compliance over the six months from January to June 2019, for which points are allocated. A facility that exceeds a certain threshold of points is put on the list for further enforcement.

The list was published today, Thursday, July 18, along with the Industrial and Waste Licence Enforcement Report 2018, which details the compliance levels and enforcement activities across more than 800 licenced facilities last year.

In a statement, the EPA said that there was “overall good levels of compliance at licenced industrial and waste sites”, but that the agency “continues to focus on a small number of problematic sites”.

In total throughout 2018, 15 sites appeared on the enforcement list. Several of these have since been taken off the list following improvements, including sites operated by Aurivo, Glanbia, and Rosderra Meats.

Of the 15 sites that were listed throughout 2018, a total of six were identified as food and drink sites.

The EPA noted a significant reduction in the number of complaints it received in 2018 compared to 2017 – a 22% reduction – with the majority of licenced sites (85%) not having any complaints against them.

Of the complaints the EPA did receive in 2018, a majority (57%) related to odour, while a significant portion (27%) related to noise.

Notably, over a third of complaints (34%) related to the same three sites.

All together, there were 799 complaints received throughout 2018.

This data comes from 1,490 site inspections carried out by the EPA, of which 95% were unannounced, and a quarter of which were in response to specific complaints.

By the end of 2018, 15 prosecutions relating to these sites were concluded, resulting in a total of €241,000 in fines being imposed.