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Objectives of the Environment section:

  • Promotion and oversight of ‘Our Sustainable Future’ policy framework
  • Maintain good air quality
  • Continue to prioritise the regulation and monitoring of nuclear safety and radiation protection
  • Progress the implementation of the Government’s waste management policy
  • Negotiate achievable and effective revisions to EU waste legislation, while building awareness and capacity amongst Ireland’s government and business leaders of Circular Economy opportunities
  • Improving implementation of the three pillars of the Aarhus Convention(AC) in Ireland
  • Support the EPA in the performance of its legislative mandate
  • View the Statement of strategy

Divisions within the Environment Section:


Aarhaus, the Bioeconomy and Environmental Awareness

The Aarhaus, the Bioeconomy and Environmental Awareness division is responsible for increasing environmental awareness, contributing to the development of EU environmental policy, implementation of relevant EU and National environmental legislation, facilitating the participation of environmental Non-Governmental Organisations and civil society in environmental issues, financial and administrative oversight of the EPA, implementing and updating the Plastic Bag Levy, leading National Litter Policy and managing the Environment Fund allocations process.


Air Quality, Noise and Radiation

The Air Quality & Environmental Radiation Policy Division is responsible for the Air Quality and Environmental Radiation Protection Unit, which manages and implements Departmental policy matters relating to air quality and noise. The Unit also manages Ireland’s participation in and compliance with international conventions on air quality, and contributes directly to the Department’s efforts to achieve a high quality environment through effective nuclear safety and environmental (radiation) protection. It is responsible for managing the development of effective environmental radiation policy and legislation, and with ensuring that Ireland’s position is properly communicated at national and international level.

Sustainable Development, Environment Coordination and Governance

The Sustainable Development, Environment Coordination and Governance division is responsible for engagement in EU policy and legislation on the environment, including scrutiny of EU legislative proposals by the Oireachtas Joint Committee on the Environment, Culture and the Gaeltacht, and management of issues arising in relation to implementation of EU environmental law in Ireland; implementation of the EU LIFE Programme in Ireland; input contribution to environmental discussions in the North South Ministerial Council and the British-Irish Council; engagement by Ireland in progression of the environmental dimensions of the United Nations agenda on sustainable development; and ratification by Ireland of the Minamata Convention on Mercury.

Waste Policy and Resource Efficiency

The Waste Policy & Resource Efficiency Division is responsible for the development and implementation of Government policy on waste, including use of economic instruments, waste management planning, waste enforcement, and producer responsibility. The section is also responsible for implementation of sustainable development policy at national level as set out in Our Sustainable Future.