Eight companies on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) national priority sites list for 2021 are made up of agricultural and food companies.

These companies receive “targeted enforcement action” from the EPA.

Arrow Group, owned by Dawn Farm Foods, in Kildare is on the list for odour and noise issues.

Diageo Ireland at St James’ Gate, the makers of Guinness, is on the list for noise emissions, with Staunton Foods in Cork, the pig processor, on the list for the same issue.

Hermitage Farms Ltd in Kilkenny, a pig farm, is on the list for odour emissions. Last year, a district court judge dismissed all charges brought against the farm by the EPA in relation to the odour emission provisions in its licence.

North Cork Co-op Creameries Ltd is on the list for an emissions to water issue, as are Tipperary Co-op Creamery Ltd and Western Brand Group, the chicken producer.

Timoleague Agri Gen Ltd is on the priority list for site management and “lack of required infrastructure”.

Green image

Programme manager for the EPA office of environmental enforcement Darragh Page stated that the companies represent around 1% of the total sites licensed by the EPA.

“Sites from the food and drink and intensive agriculture sector made up almost three quarters of the sites on the national priority sites list during 2021.

“These sectors must improve if Ireland is to support its green image of sustainable food and drink production. Our enforcement objective is to ensure these sites resolve the environmental issues and for the sites to return to compliance,” he said.