EPA warns more enforcement needed to protect water and air quality

The Environmental Protection Agency has warned that more focused and co-ordinated enforcement is needed by local authorities to protect water and air quality.

The EPA’s latest report shows a high level of inspections and enforcement actions carried out by local authorities in 2020 with the bulk of the inspections relating to waste and litter.

While councils across the country were found to carry out approximately 180,000 inspections last year, as well as 19,000 enforcement actions, the EPA found progress on water and air enforcement priorities lagged behind waste enforcement.

They say it is primarily due to having less resources assigned to them and a lack of enforcement co-ordination services across the local authorities.

Around 1,200 complaints were received by Donegal County Council last year.

1,400 water inspections were completed by the local authority in 2020 while 143 water enforcement actions were initiated by the council.

4,100 waste inspections (excluding litter inspections) were carried out by Donegal County Council along with 350 waste enforcement actions.

13 waste prosecutions were recorded in the county which does not include litter prosecutions.

150 air and noise inspections were conducted with 85 enforcement actions initiated by the council.