Significant waste disposal and recovery including the recovery of hazardous waste will require a waste licence. The Waste Management Act, 1996 at Schedule 3 sets out the waste disposal activities for which a waste licence in required.
Applications for waste licences are covered in sections 40-50 of the Waste Management Act, 1996 and the application procedure allows for public participation not unlike the planning process. There are very detailed procedural requirements governing the application of a waste as set out in the Licensing Regulation framed in Statutory Instrument 185/2000. These requirements involve the giving of notice of intention to apply for a licence which must be published in the local newspaper not less than two weeks before the intended application. The notice placed in the newspaper must specify certain details pertaining to the application including amongst others the identity of the applicant and the class of waste activity for which a licence is sought. A site notice will also be erected giving notice of the intended application not later than the date of application. Notice must also be given to the relevant planning authority where the applicant is not the local authority.
Applications for a Waste Licence are brought to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the application itself must be extremely detailed setting out fully the identity of the applicant and the class of activity for which a licence is sought and must include site plans etc. In determining whether or not to award a licence must have regard to the following:
- an air quality management plan
- a water quality management plan
- a hazardous waste management plan
- an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)
- any submissions or observations arising out of the EIS
- any supplementary info from the Applicant
- the views of other Member States, if relevant
- any other matter relating to the prevention, limitation, elimination, abatement or reduction of environmental pollution from the activity concerned that the EPA may consider relevant and necessary
The EPA will not grant a waste licence unless it is satisfied that the emissions will not contravene emissions and standards required by other legislation, the activity concerned will not cause environmental pollution, the best available techniques will be employed to prevent, eliminate or reduce emissions and the application is brought by a fit and proper person to hold a waste licence*.
Once a waste licence has been granted and prior to the commencement of the licensed activity the EPA must ensure that the waste facility is actually capable of complying with the terms of the licence. Further a waste licence can be subject to review by the EPA which holds both discretionary and mandatory powers of review if certain conditions pertain to the licence and the carrying on of the waste activity.
A decision of the EPA under the Waste Management Act is not liable to an appeal and therefore, to challenge any such decision, application by way of Judicial Review for an order of certiorari must be brought within a period of two months of the decision.
Waste Collection Permits
The Waste Management Act, 1996 requires that any person or business, other than a local authority, who wishes to collect waste for profit must be the holder of a waste collection permit. Generally, the granting of such a permit is the remit of the local authority in whose functional area the waste is collected.
The procedure for the application process is governed by the Waste Collection Permit Regulations 2001 set out in Statutory Instrument 402/2001. As for the waste licence application procedure there are strict requirements of notice that need to be given prior to the making of an application for a collection permit and the procedure allows for public consultation. The granting authority will require evidence that proper insurance is in place and may grant a collection permit subject to numerous wide ranging conditions which must be fulfilled for the permit to be operable.
03 September 2010