The Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Danny Collins and Chief Executive of Cork County Council Tim Lucey have welcomed the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) report on the environmental performance of local authorities in 2021. Local authorities play a vital role in environment protection and are responsible for enforcing a significant amount of environmental protection legislation. The report shows that the scale of environmental enforcement work carried out by local authorities is significant with over 500 local authority staff handling almost 81,000 complaints and carrying out over 205,000 environmental inspections in 2021.
Mayor Collins highlighted how,
The report gives results of the EPA’s assessment of the 20 NEPs for the 31 local authorities. The NEPs are categorised under four themes; governance processes; waste; water and air and noise. Each NEP is scored according to a four-point scale; Excellent, Strong, Moderate or Limited. Achieving a Strong or Excellent score demonstrates that the local authority has a comprehensive system in place for the detection and follow-up of environmental enforcement activities, and that progress was made towards an environmental outcome under that priority.
The revised Local Authority Performance Framework also measures how local authority actions deliver environmental outcomes - such as better segregation of household and commercial waste, cleaner air through controls on solid fuel sales and minimising risks to water quality from farming activities. Most importantly, there is an emphasis on assessing the follow-up and closure of issues detected so that real environmental improvements are achieved.
Chief Executive of Cork County Council Tim Lucey highlighted how,