Recommended Minimum Criteria for Environmental Inspections (RMCEI)

What is the Regulatory Authority required to do?
Produce and submit to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) an Environmental Inspection Plan (the RMCEI Plan) prior to 01st February of each year:

  • Carry out inspections of installations regulated by environmental legislation, and
  • Produce reports of those inspections.

What does R.M.C.E.I. mean?
R.M.C.E.I. = Recommended Minimum Criteria for Environmental Inspections
In 2001 the EU Parliament made a Recommendation that Member States provide a document of minimum criteria for Environmental Inspections.

Why?
To contribute to a more consistent implementation and enforcement of EU Environmental law.
All environmental inspections carried out by a local authority should be encompassed within the scope of the R.M.C.E.I. Plan to provide for consistency in regulation locally and nationally and for efficiency in staff management.

What is it?
The Environmental Inspection Plan is a document detailing:

  • the framework of environmental inspection targets to be undertaken in order to achieve environmental priorities and outcomes during the coming year, and
  • identifies the inspections undertaken and the achievement of environmental priorities and outcomes in the previous year, by monitoring the performance against the targets.

What must be in the Plan?

  • Define the time period and geographical area to which the plan relates;
  • Detail specific sites or types of installations covered by the plan;
  • Include a programme for routine environmental inspections;
  • Include procedures for dealing with complaints, accidents and incidents;
  • Develop procedures to coordinate actions with other Inspecting Authorities; and
  • Define a timeframe within which the plan must be reviewed.

In 2020, EPA tendered for a contractor

  • To evaluate each of the 31 Local Authority RMCEI Inspection Plans for 2020 according to an evaluation template prepared by the EPA and to prepare a final report on the overall findings to include a table of results for all 31 local authorities.
  • To develop an RMCEI Plan Template for local authorities based on best practice examples encountered during the plan evaluations. 
  • To collate 31 local authority RMCEI statistical returns for 2019 into a single spreadsheet and to check data consistency across all 31 returns.

The annual Inspection schedule utilises the EPA’s RMCEI Planning Tool

Sample RMCEI Plan: Tipperary CoCo

Tools used for assisting with prioritisation have been:

  1. National Priorities from the DCCAE
  2. Tipperary County Council Environmental Enforcement Policy
  3. Tipperary County Council Waste Registers & Env. Complaints Database
  4. SWERLA Reports and Regional Meetings
  5. EPA Integrated Water Quality Reports
  6. WFD App & Catchments.ie

National Water Priorities; Improving Water Status in all water bodies

National Waste Priorities; Improving Waste Management

National Air Priorities

Pre AIE request 2/3/22

In 2020, the EPA tendered for “RMCEI 2020 – The evaluation of Local Authority RMCEI Plans and associated tasks” Can you tell me where the aggregated / standardised RMCEI reports are published ?

Aside from local authorities, are any other inspection authorities subject to RMCEI ?

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