Water Pollution Control Legislation

ECOS Environmental Consultants - Outlet from claryfication tankIn Ireland, in cases where Integrated Pollution Prevention Control (IPPC) and Industrial Emissions (IE) are not applicable, water pollution control legislation is exercised through the Local Government (Water Pollution) Acts 1977-1990 and Water Services Act 2007-2013.

  • Application for discharge to waters should be made to the relevant local authority and applications for discharge to sewer should be made to Irish Water.
  • Specified industrial activities listed in the First Schedule to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Act 1992 as amended require either an IPPC licence or an IE licence from the EPA.
  • It is the legal responsibility of the discharger to apply for a licence.

The Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC) is a European Union law which aims to protect and improve the quality of all waters throughout the European Union. The time frame for implantation of the Water Framework Directive is as follows:

  • 2000 Directive entered into force Art. 25
  • 2003 Transposition in national legislation, Identification of River Basin Districts and Authorities Art. 23 &  3
  • 2004 Characterisation of river basin: pressures, impacts and economic analysis Art. 5
  • 2006 Establishment of monitoring network. Start public consultation (at the latest) Art. 14
  • 2008 Present draft river basin management plan Art. 13
  • 2009 Finalise river basin management plan including progamme of measures Art. 13 & 11
  • 2010 Introduce pricing policies Art. 9
  • 2012 Make operational programmes of measures Art. 11
  • 2015 Meet environmental objectives.  First management cycle ends.  Second river basin management plan & first flood risk management plan. Art. 4
  • 2021 Second management cycle ends Art. 4 & 13
  • 2027 Third management cycle ends, final deadline for meeting objectives Art. 4 & 13