The EPA is to prioritise enforcement on specific areas for each of the sectors from 2012 onwards. This is part of a move towards ‘outcome based enforcement’ - an extension of the risk-based approach.
The Agency will be writing to all licence holders to outline the specific areas that will be prioritised within their sector and in template inspection reports. The sectors are:
- Pharmachem & solvents
- Food and drink
- Waste (except incineration)
- Energy, cement, co-incineration & incineration
- Intensive agriculture – pigs & poultry
- Urban waste water treatment
- Drinking water
Enforcement teams will be set up to reflect the above sectors. Sectoral guidance can also be expected to emerge. A national enforcement priority list of 10-12 high-risk sites across all sectors will be drawn up annually.
As a consequence of the change, the EPA expects that the Annual Environmental Report (AER) will become a much more important document. Separately, the EPA is progressing an AER standardisation project.
As 2012 will be the first year of the new sectoral approach to enforcement, feedback would be welcome as the year progresses.Sites that encounter issues with the new approach can provide feedback to IBEC.