This report looks at local authority environmental enforcement activities for 2019.
The report shows that local authorities have undertaken 188,000 inspections in 2019.
This report by the EPA looks at local authority environmental enforcement activities for 2019. The report shows that local authorities have undertaken 188,000 inspections in 2019, an increase of 10 per cent on the previous year. This increase is due mainly to more waste inspections which accounted for two thirds of all inspections. 42,000 routine water inspections were completed together with a further 4,200 non-routine ones. Inspection levels in relation to air account for 4 per cent of all local authority inspections. The number of air enforcement actions was lower than in 2018. In addition, local authorities also managed over 78,000 environmental complaints during the year.
Water Enforcement Activities
The Water Quality in Ireland Report for the period 2013-2018 found that only 53% of rivers and 50% of lakes were found to be of satisfactory quality.
Since the last full assessment, river water quality has declined. The level of local authority water protection and enforcement activities is less than in waste enforcement.
Sampling and Monitoring
EPA and the local authorities collaborate in relation to the national monitoring programme for water quality under the Water Framework Directive (WFD) with the local authorities undertaking the sampling activities and the EPA providing analysis of the samples taken.
This approach continued in 2019 with over 99% of the programme being delivered. The information from this monitoring programme is critical to the assessment of our water environment and the focusing of resources to investigate and seek action to address water quality issues.
The Local Authorities Water Programme (LAWPRO) is a shared service that supports the local authorities in their sector’s role under the WFD. There has continued to be good collaboration between the shared services and the local authorities via the regional committees and directly.
Over 46,000 water inspections were recorded by local authorities in 2019.
These included over 42,000 routine inspections, which include inspections of discharge licenses, farms, private drinking water supplies, septic tanks, WFD monitoring and bathing waters.
There were also over 4,200 non-routine inspections recorded by local authorities in 2019. These include pollution incidents and complaints.
The number of water inspections in 2019 increased compared with 2018 when over 38,000 total water inspections were undertaken.
Most of this increase is as a result of additional data reported on monitoring of private drinking supplies and a significant increase in sewer misconnection surveys.