EPA Issues Waste Water Discharge Licence for Greater Dublin Area

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a waste water discharge licence for the Greater Dublin Area Agglomeration in accordance with the Waste Water Discharge (Authorisation) Regulations, 2007. The Agglomeration is served by one waste water treatment plant (WWTP) at Ringsend.

The licence has been issued to Dublin City Council (lead authority) and the joint applicants Fingal County Council, South Dublin County Council, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council and Meath County Council. The licence contains more than 66 individual conditions and schedules relating to the environmental management, operation, control and monitoring of discharges to water from the Agglomeration.

The licence conditions require that:

* The Licensee upgrades the waste water treatment plant at Ringsend by December 2015.

* The Licensee discontinues two secondary discharges to the Irish Sea, at Doldrum Bay and the Nose of Howth, within timeframes specified in the licence.

* The Licensee assesses storm water overflows within the Agglomeration and prioritises the most significant for improvement works.

* The Licensee submits an Annual Environmental Report which will be available to the public and will include a summary of emissions, monitoring data and updates on both the waste water treatment plant and storm water overflow upgrades.

* The Licensee monitors the primary discharge and also undertakes ambient monitoring, including marine, shore, biological and chemical monitoring.

The Licensee will be responsible for the control and management of waste water discharges from the Agglomeration. The EPA’s Office of Environmental Enforcement (OEE) will monitor and enforce the licence through environmental audits, unannounced site visits and systematic checks on discharges.

The Greater Dublin Area Agglomeration includes all of the geographical area of Dublin City Council and parts of Fingal County Council area, South Dublin County Council area, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council area and Meath County Council area.

The Agglomeration is the largest in Ireland with a current load of approximately 1.79 million population equivalent (measure of effluent load received at a municipal waste water treatment plant). The Licensee predicts the agglomeration to have a load of approximately 2.2 million population equivalent by 2025.

Wastewater arriving at the wastewater treatment plant at Ringsend is subjected to treatment prior to discharge to the Lower Liffey Estuary.

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