How does your company impact the environment?

Posted on: 18 March 2020

As a business manager, it is easy to become focused on meeting deadlines, ensuring that everyone within your company is working together well and that your customers are happy with the products or services you are providing. Those are all important things, but it is also important to be aware of how the activities of your company impact the world around you. If the work of your company has an impact on the environment, then you must contact the Environment Protection Authority to see if you need a licence for your work.

What are EPA licences?

EPA licences are issued in accordance with the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 and are intended to minimise pollution. EPA licences require companies to adhere to strict conditions in relation to the prevention and monitoring of pollution. If any aspect of your company business could affect the environment, then that is classed as a scheduled activity and will require a licence. If you are unsure whether or not something you are planning will need a licence, then speaking to the EPA is the best solution. The EPA will be able to tell you whether or not what you are planning comes within their remit.

Applying for EPA licences

When your company is planning to start a new activity that needs a licence, you must first gain development consent. Part of the process of earning development consent could be the completion of an Environment Assessment and that assessment could determine the conditions placed upon any EPA licences you receive.

Receiving your EPA licence

Any licence that you receive could come with a set of conditions governing what you can and can't do. It is probable that you will have limits set on any emissions or discharges resulting from your operations. Should you breach those limits, the EPA will ask you for an Environmental Improvement Program (EIP) that will see your business return to compliance within a fixed time period. One factor of which many business owners remain unaware of is that the maximum emission level of your business is based not on what you actually produce but on the potential for what you might produce. The EPA will consider the capacity of the machinery present on your site and the amount of work you could undertake on your site. Starting with these figures, they will calculate the maximum damage you could do to the environment and still comply with the conditions you have been set.

To find out more about how the EPA interacts with your business, contact them today and find out if you need a licence.