The Environmental Protection Agency is at the front line of environmental protection and policing. We ensure that Ireland's environment is protected, and we monitor changes in environmental trends to detect early warning signs of neglect or deterioration.
Protecting our environment is a huge responsibility, and we work with a number of organisations that carry out specific environmental functions. As of August 2014, we are also responsible for ensuring that the people of Ireland are protected from the harmful effects of radiation.
The EPA is an independent public body established under the Environmental Protection Agency Act, 1992. The other main instruments from which we derive our mandate are the Waste Management Act, 1996, and the Protection of the Environment Act, 2003 and Radiological Protection (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2014.
We have a wide range of functions to protect the environment, and our primary responsibilities include:
Enforcement of environmental law
Environmental planning, education and guidance
Monitoring, analysing and reporting on the environment
Regulating Ireland's greenhouse gas emissions
Environmental research development
Strategic environmental assessment
The GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF IRELAND (GSI), founded in 1845, is the National Earth Science Agency. It is responsible for providing geological advice and information, and for the acquisition of data for this purpose. GSI produces a range of products including maps, reports and databases and acts as a knowledge centre and project partner in all aspects of Irish geology. It is a division of the Department of Communications, Climate Action & Environment (DCCAE) and has about 70 multi-disciplinary staff.
GSI serves its customer needs through a range of operational programmes and support services:
- The Information Management Programme underpins all of our activities in the delivery of geological information to our customers, and is recognised as the most important corporate priority.
- The Surveying Programmes (Bedrock Geology, Quaternary Geology, Marine Geology and Geophysics) are long-term, and feed information to the Applied Programmes, as well as producing maps and reports used directly by a wide range of external customers.
- The Applied Programmes (Groundwater, Minerals, Geotechnical, Geological Heritage) are largely project-oriented, and provide solutions to specific customer needs, their various activities helping to build their respective databases.
The Waters and Communities Office was set up in February 2016 to promote better management of our streams, rivers, lakes, estuaries, coastal waters and groundwater for the benefit of present and future generations. This is not only a legal requirement of the EU Water Framework Directive, it is in all our best interests.
Please download our information booklet to read more. A5 booklet print version
The Waters and Communities Office operates as a shared service on behalf of all Local Authorities, with two key objectives:
To coordinate the water quality work of Local Authorities through agreed regional structures, thereby providing a collaborative approach to river catchment management.
To engage local communities and promote public participation in the management of our water environment.
Our Community Water Officers will work closely with local communities, public bodies, sectoral interests, Public Participation Networks (PPNs), Local Development Companies and other stakeholders to promote collaboration in the management of our natural water environment.
We are the State agency responsible for marine research, technology development and innovation in Ireland.
We carry out environmental, fisheries, and aquaculture surveys and monitoring programmes to meet Ireland’s national and international legal requirements. We provide scientific and technical advice to Government to help inform policy and to support the sustainable development of Ireland’s marine resource.
We aim to safeguard Ireland’s unique marine heritage through research and environmental monitoring. Our research, strategic funding programmes, and national marine research platforms support the development of Ireland’s maritime economy.
The Marine Institute was set up under the Marine Institute Act 1991:
“to undertake, to coordinate, to promote and to assist in marine research and development and to provide such services related to research and development, that in the opinion of the Institute, will promote economic development and create employment and protect the marine environment.”
Since then, we have grown from a staff of one to over 170 and our vision is for
"a thriving maritime economy in harmony with the ecosystem and supported by the delivery of excellence in our services."