13August2020

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EPA Celebrates 20 Years in The Glen, Monaghan

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Ray Smith, EPA Regional Manager, explained the role played by the EPA’s Monaghan office, part of a network of six EPA offices across the country, “The regional office was officially opened in late 1996 and includes a purpose built laboratory as well as office facilities. In the early days, the primary role was in the provision of laboratory analytical services to local authorities in the North East. Over the last 20 years, our work in the North East has evolved to meet the needs of our customers and stakeholders. Today, in addition to a much-expanded role in water quality monitoring and analysis, the 12-strong team in The Glen monitors emissions from licensed sites in the region and compiles national emission inventories of greenhouse gas and air pollution from all sectors of the economy for submission to European and international bodies.” 

Ray Smith reflected on the changes the EPA has seen in Monaghan: “The EPA has been monitoring rivers and lakes in the northeast region over the past 20 years. While we have seen some improvements in water quality, significant challenges remain if we are to ensure that the north-east’s waterways will be accessible and healthy into the future and will provide a diverse landscape that supports livelihoods, habitats, and rich wildlife. In particular, pressures associated with agricultural practices, urban wastewater treatment plants, domestic waste water treatment systems and forestry threaten the ability of those of us living in the region to protect and improve our waterways. Further improvements are needed to meet EU Water Framework Directive objectives and, more than ever, it is critical that local communities are involved in management and decision making related to protecting and improving water resources.” 

Ray Smith concluded, “We in the EPA are committed to playing our part in protecting the environment and we recognize the need to work with other stakeholders to deliver better environmental outcomes for all citizens. In essence, the need for a strong EPA presence in the North East has never been greater.” 

The main functions and roles of the EPA’s Monaghan office can be broadly categorized as follows: 

  • Chemical and biological monitoring of rivers and lakes in counties Monaghan, Cavan, Louth, Leitrim, Donegal, Longford and Westmeath.
  • Chemical monitoring of transitional & coastal waters around Ireland, in conjunction with the EPA’s Dublin Laboratory.
  • Chemical and microbiological analysis of groundwaters across the entire country.
  • Assessment of water quality in the North East and border region to assess compliance with Water Framework Directive objectives.
  • Collaborating with local authorities in the region in respect of their environmental functions and responsibilities.
  • Monitoring of emissions from licensed industrial and waste facilities as well as urban wastewater discharges in counties Monaghan, Cavan, Louth, Leitrim, Donegal, and Longford. The enforcement of these licenses is carried out by EPA enforcement teams in Castlebar and Dublin.
  • Measurement of river flows and groundwater levels in counties Cavan, Monaghan, Louth and Meath.
  • Compilation of national emission inventories of greenhouse gasses and air pollution from all sectors of the economy for official submission to the European Commission and other international bodies. The outcomes of this work serve as a measure of Ireland’s compliance with international agreements such as the Kyoto Protocol, the National Emissions Ceilings Directive and the EU 2030 Climate and Energy Framework.

Source: EPA - EPA Celebrates 20 Years in The Glen, Monaghan