Limerick scores well on environmental protection

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Water monitoring was an area of concern for Limerick City and County Council.

LIMERICK City and County Council fared reasonably well in the latest Environmental Protection Agency report on how it handles issues related to protecting the environment and dealing with polluters.

But the ‘Local Authority Environmental Enforcement Performance Report 2021’ shows that Limerick has a way to go overall, scoring a ‘limited’ grade in 15 per cent of the areas outlined for assessment.

Where the local authority got a glowing report, achieving an ‘excellent’ grading, were in one in ten of the areas covered in the report, which deals with everything from environmental planning to water monitoring and noise pollution.

Limerick did badly in outlining measurable environmental outcomes and achieved just a ‘limited’ score, but were marked as being ‘strong’ in reporting and reviewing environment issues and in handling environmental complaints.

The county was top of the class with a score of ‘excellent’ in environmental resource planning and was one of just five local authorities to get that same score for dealing with waste.

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The county was scored as ‘strong’ on dealing with illegal waste and recycling demolition and construction waste as well as managing end of life motor vehicles and household waste.

Limerick didn’t achieve a standard of excellence in all five areas of water monitoring, but no local authority did.

Where the county performed to a ‘strong’ score was in dealing with environment issues relating to septic tanks, agriculture, water quality monitoring and private water supplies.

Air monitoring was ‘excellent’, the EPA report stated but there was room for improvement in solid fuel issues and air and noise control in the planning process, which scored ‘moderate.’

Environmental watchdog group, Friends of the Irish Environment’ was highly critical of the overall results for local authorities nationally.

The group said in a statement this week, “The Report is a litany of failures of local authorities’ inspection standards. Aside from Construction and Demolition, 74 per cent of local authorities failed to meet the required standard air and noise controls in planning,

“68 per cent of Councils failed to achieve both the inspection standard in waste collection and the End of Vehicle Life, 66 per cent failed in properly inspect their Discharge licences and 61 per cent failed to meet their water monitoring responsibilities or their agriculture inspections, which are themselves 44 per cent below the pre-Covid levels.”