Gyproc site on EPA priority list

EPA says it will continue to “focus its resources” where they are most needed.

The mineral extraction operations belonging to Saint-Gobain Construction Products (Ireland) Ltd on the Cavan-Monaghan border is one of 11 sites identified as being of National Priority during 2021 by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Saint-Gobain Construction Products (Ireland) Ltd is also known as Gyproc Ireland.

Other locations which received attention by the watchdog are located in Roscommon, Kildare, Cork, Dublin, Kilkenny, Tipperary and Mayo.

The number of National Priority Sites in 2021 was down slightly compared with 2020 (12).

The EPA says it will continue to “focus its resources” where they are most needed and to ensure compliance at all sites.

Commenting on the publication of the EPA's annual summary report on the enforcement activities carried out in 2021, Darragh Page, Programme Manager, EPA Office of Environmental Enforcement said: “The eleven sites on the National Priority Sites List in 2021 were the subject of targeted enforcement action.

“This represents around one per cent of the total sites licensed by the EPA. Sites from the food and drink and intensive agriculture sector made up almost three quarters of the sites on the National Priority Sites List during 2021.”

He noted that the sectors listed “must improve” if Ireland is to support its green image of sustainable food and drink production.

“Our enforcement objective is to ensure these sites resolve the environmental issues and for the sites to return to compliance.”

In total the EPA carried out 1,295 inspections at EPA licensed sites during the year, a 19 per cent increase compared with 2020.

The EPA also carried out a number of targeted enforcement campaigns in 2021 including:

48 inspections at unauthorised peat extraction sites

41 inspections at waste licensed sites, with a focus on improving fire risk management

The removal of 14 sites from the EPA’s Water Framework Directive Significant Pressure list.

This newly published EPA report shows that, despite the ongoing significant challenges and impact of Covid-19, the EPA increased our enforcement activities at industrial and waste licences at the 840 licenced installations throughout Ireland.

The report published today also highlights the main issues at licensed activities during 2021 and outlines what actions the EPA took to enforce environmental conditions at these activities.

Individuals or companies who operate either without an EPA licence or breach that licence were targeted by the EPA for enforcement. The role of the public in reporting non-compliant or illegal operations to the EPA is a vital tool in helping us to address the environmental issues that may result and we encourage the public to report any concerns to the EPA.