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Network for Ireland’s Environmental Compliance and Enforcement (NIECE Network)

Role of the NIECE Network

The Network for Ireland’s Environmental Compliance and Enforcement, NIECE, is a network of organisations and individuals involved in the enforcement of environmental legislation, environmental engagement and promotion.

The Network provides a forum which encourages individuals and organisations to work together to deliver improvements in priority environmental areas.

The EPA’s Office of Environmental Enforcement (OEE) coordinates the activities of NIECE.

Members of the Network

The Network is structured around key thematic areas – Waste, Water and Air/Climate. Membership of the Network includes local authority staff, state agencies and government departments. Representatives from other sectors including non-government organisations, businesses and producer responsibility schemes are invited to participate, where relevant.  

Read further information on how to become a member of the NIECE Network

Network Events 

Members engage in events and workshops, share information and knowledge and are facilitated to work together to deliver specific outputs through appointed working groups. 

The Network holds annual events in the key thematic areas, as well as organising training events for its members.  

NIECE Portal 

Members have access to a secure extranet website to communicate and share information. The portal provides: 

Request access to the NIECE Network Portal 

Planning and Governance  

The planning and governance of the Network is carried out by an appointed Steering Committee chaired by the Environmental Protection Agency. For more information on the Networks vision, objectives, management and organisational structure see the NIECE Network Strategic Plan 2018 – 2022 Working Together to Make a Difference

Find Out More 

Read more about work being done in this area at a European level by IMPEL – European Environmental Network.  

The NIECE Network Strategic Plan 2018 – 2022

Working Together To Make A Difference

Summary: The NIECE Network Strategic Plan 2018 – 2022 was produced following engagement with the NIECE membership which includes local authorities, the CCMA, Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, Inland Fisheries Ireland, the Health Service Executive and the EPA. The Strategy sets out the Vision, Objectives, structure, membership and governance of the Network.

Login Requested via EPA Eden support: 10/2/22

AIE Request: 10/2/22

Under the AIE Regs to request list of membership, chairman, meetings, agendas, minutes and reports presented to and/or commissioned by the Network for Ireland’s Environmental Compliance and Enforcement (NIECE Network)

Date range: 2020 to current

Response to EPA on suggestions to narrow scope of AIE 8/3/22

Some suggestions on scope

I’d assume that membership/chair is relatively unchanged and included in minutes, and minutes generally reflect agendas – so we could narrow scope to just “Minutes”

We can also narrow to just “Water”

The only exception is the “Historic Landfills Task Working Group”  I’d like to keep that in scope, as anecdotally there’s issues with some landfill designations (Tiers are set by the local authorities, who may have a vested interest in the designations, and we understand that some sites are higher risk that maybe appears on paper)

I’m happy to remove “reports presented to and/or commissioned by the Network for Ireland’s Environmental Compliance and Enforcement (NIECE Network)” but my experience is that we then get Minutes that reference reports that are not provided, and the Minutes can be rendered useless, as they are based on reports that are not attached.  This turns the AIE into two AIEs, which helps no one.  So maybe we leave that decision to you, if a quick glance at the minutes suggests they need to be read in relation to reports underlying the meetings, and those reports are unpublished, we can review, or submit a followup for named reports

This approach would reduce the scope to:

Working Groups (water)

WFD Catchment Management Network

Network National Implementation Group on Water
Water Quality and Agriculture Network

Septic Tank Inspectors Network

Working Groups (waste)

Historic Landfills Task Working Group

Finally, I would suggest we reduce the timeframe to 2021 to current, as it’s likely any substantive current issues will be flagged in minutes in recent times, and there’s no point in going back to earlier meetings

If the above remains too voluminous, for example if the groups meet weekly, and each meeting produces a huge volumes of paperwork – the triage would be something like this:

Water Quality and Agriculture Network

Historic Landfills Task Working Group

WFD Catchment Management Network

Network National Implementation Group on Water

Septic Tank Inspectors Network

As with all AIEs, I would ask that EPA consider posting future minutes/agendas of the meetings on gov.ie or similar, particularly in areas like agri environmental data, there is a public interest in publication, as loads of eNGOs are now getting the data from us… which isn’t ideal !

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