The Environmental Protection Agency is at the front line of environmental protection and policing. They ensure that Ireland’s environment is protected, and they monitor changes in environmental trends to detect early warning signs of neglect or deterioration.
Protecting our environment is a huge responsibility, and the EPA work with a number of organisations that carry out specific environmental functions. As of August 2014, they are also responsible for ensuring that the people of Ireland are protected from the harmful effects of radiation.
The EPA is an independent public body established under the Environmental Protection Agency Act, 1992. The other main instruments from which they derive their mandate are the Waste Management Act, 1996, and the Protection of the Environment Act, 2003 and Radiological Protection (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2014. The EPA has a wide range of functions to protect the environment, and its primary responsibilities include:
- 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
- Radiological protection