Eight industrial and waste companies have been named by the EPA on its latest list of worst offenders for breaching environmental regulations.
Four of these companies are in the agri-food sector. The Shell E&P refinery in North Mayo, which processes gas from the Corrib field, is also on the list.
In July 2017, the EPA introduced a name and shame list of the most non compliant sites among the 800 companies it regulates under licence. Companies giving rise to persistent odour, noise or dust emissions problems are highlighted, with updates every quarter. Six of the sites cited account for more than half of all complaints received in 2017.
Listed at the end of December were: The Arrow Group, Co Kildare; East-Galway Residual Landfill, Co Galway; Green Pasture Meat Processors, Co Longford; Irish Cement in Limerick; Nutricia Infant Nutrition Ltd, Co Cork; Rosderra Irish Meats Group, Co Offaly; Shell E&P Ireland, Co Mayo, and T&J Standish Ltd, Co Offaly.
The EPA said companies on the list for failing to meet necessary environmental standards faced “further enforcement action”, it added.
The Arrow Group (trading as Queally Group) near Naas is used for six separate food manufacturing activities. “The EPA continues to receive a large number of odour and noise complaints about the facility and further work to address this is required. The EPA is taking a prosecution against the facility in relation to odour; the case is before the court,” the agency said.
East-Galway Landfill is operated by Galway Co Council near Ballinasloe. It is due to close at the end of 2018. Odour emissions of landfill gas from the site have resulted "in a high number of complaints from members of the local community".
Green Pasture Meat Processors operate a slaughtering plant for the processing of pigs in Drumlish. "Poor site management and a failure to comply with licence conditions has resulted in a very poor level of compliance with the licence," the EPA said.
The Irish Cement facility in Castlemungret has returned to the national priority site list following an incident in December which resulted in the release of dust outside the site, and complaints from local residents. “The EPA is taking a prosecution against the company in relation to the dust incidents of March/April 2017; the case is before the court.”
Nutricia Infant Nutrition Ltd infant milk products near Macroom. "Odours arising from the activity are impacting on residents and resulting in complaints", said the EPA which is taking a prosecution against the company.
Rosderra Irish Meats operates a pig slaughtering and processing facility in Edenderry. It has returned to the list "because of issues with the discharge of contaminated surface water" and the operation of its waste water treatment plant. The EPA continues to receive a high level of complaints about odour and noise."
Shell E&P Ireland processes gas at Ballinaboy prior to sending it into the national gas transmission network. There was a prolonged gas flaring event at the site in September following discharge of un-odourised gas to the national gas transmission network. Problems with the operation of the maintenance flare (used to flare gas) returned and “gave rise to odour emissions and complaints from local residents”.
T&J Standish operate a sawmill and timber treatment facility outside Roscrea. The site has soil and groundwater contamination due to the use of timber treatment preservative in the past. Compliance issues relate to "the failure of the company to manage the remediation system and to provide for the clean-up costs".
The EPA launched the enforcement system in July 2017 to drive further environmental compliance at industrial and waste facilities. Points are allocated to each site based on compliance data such as complaints, incidents and non-compliances over the previous six months. Sites which exceed a certain threshold become a “national priority”.
Sites that came off the previous priority list following compliance improvements were: Arrabawn Co-operative Society Limited, Tipperary; Ashgrove Recycling, Cork; Carbery Food Ingredients Ltd, Cork and Dairygold Co-Operative Society Ltd (Mallow), Cork.