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EPA Publishes Industrial Pollutant Emissions Data

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published environmental data yesterday on Ireland’s national pollutant and transfer register.

This is a public register of pollutant releases and waste transfers from large industrial activities in Ireland. The information supports EU-wide reporting through the European Commission’s e-Register website which contains data reported annually by more than 34,000 industrial facilities across 33 European Countries.

Covering 91 pollutants from 417 large industrial facilities in Ireland, the data indicates trends across a number of key parameters.

Findings from the 2017 data include:
  • A 69% decrease in Hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) refrigerant gas emissions, showing the positive response to phase out and switch to a more environmentally-friendly bulk refrigerant by Irish Industry.
  • A 17% increase in 2017 in the recovery of hazardous waste within Ireland.
  • A 47 % increase (165,000 tonnes) in the quantity of hazardous waste sent abroad for recovery.

Patrick Geoghegan, EPA Senior Manager said: “The data on hazardous waste transfers indicates that the positive trend to send hazardous waste for recovery treatment, rather than disposal, continued in 2017. However, it also highlights that Ireland has not moved significantly towards self-sufficiency. A lack of domestic infrastructure and the often more favourable cost option of treatment and disposal abroad have meant that export continues to be a significant treatment route for Ireland’s hazardous waste.”

The pollutant release and transfer register provides greater transparency among stakeholders and incentivises industry to establish clean production techniques and pollution abatement equipment to reduce emissions.

The Irish Pollutant Register can be viewed HERE.

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