Waste management planning, including with regard to infrastructure provision, is the responsibility of local authorities under Part II of the Waste Management Act, 1996 (as amended). Under section 60(3) of that Act, I am precluded from exercising any power or control in relation to the performance, in specific cases, by a local authority or the Environmental Protection Agency of their statutory functions under the Act.
The Waste Management Act 1996 and the Waste Management (Licensing) Regulations 2004 govern the process under which waste licences are applied for and maintained. Once granted, each waste licence defines the nature of environmentally acceptable activities that can take place at a waste facility, including the acceptable types of waste that can be received. This is done by the conditions of the licence which are set by the Environmental Protection Agency. I have no function in relation either to the setting of operating conditions or to their enforcement. It is a key aspect of the legislation, passed by the Oireachtas, to establish the EPA, that the Agency is entirely independent of the Minister in the exercise of its functions.
Comprehensive detail on EPA licences is available on the EPA’s website at http://www.epa.ie/licensing/ and further information is also available from the EPA’s Office of Environmental Sustainability at Licensing@epa.ie.