The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is an independent public body under the aegis of the Department of Communications, Climate Action & Environment established under the Environmental Protection Agency Act, 1992.
The EPA has a wide range of functions to protect the environment, with its primary responsibilities including;
- Environmental licensing,
- Enforcement of environmental law,
- Environmental planning, education and guidance,
- Monitoring, analysing and reporting on the environment,
- Regulating Ireland's greenhouse gas emissions,
- Environmental research development,
- Strategic environmental assessment,
- Waste management, and
- Radiological Protection.
Review of the EPA - Background
An independent review of the EPA commenced in February 2010 and concluded in May 2011. The purpose of the review was to assess the performance of the EPA, its scope and mandate, and to examine whether it has the optimum structure and governance arrangements in place to continue to deliver its objectives effectively, particularly in view of its expanding role.
Minutes of Meetings of the EPA Review Group
A public consultation took place in April and May 2010. 131 submissions were received. The group also met with key stakeholders, including other state agencies that interact frequently with the EPA, business, farming and NGO representatives.
The group completed its consultative work in the first quarter of 2011 and submitted its report to the Minister in May 2011.
In total, the report contained 58 recommendations, some of which are the direct responsibility of the EPA to implement (for example: the process of making licence performance and enforcement information available on the Internet being continued and progressively extended), others which fall to the Department (for example: ratification of the Aarhus Convention), and others which require action from a number of stakeholders.
The Department has published a number of progress reports on the implementation of the review the most recent in August 2014 . 43 of the recommendations are complete with work ongoing on the remainder as they tend to be complex recommendations.
Service Level Agreement
The Service Level Agreement (SLA) between the Department of the Communications, Climate Action and Environment and the Environmental Protection Agency ensures clear service ownership, accountability, roles and responsibilities for both organisations.