O’Dea publishes new bill to remove EPA absolute immunity


Fianna Fáil TD for Limerick City, Willie O’Dea TD has today published a draft bill that would remove the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) absolute right to immunity.

The Environmental Protection Agency (Amendment) Bill 2018 seeks to delete Section 15 of the 1992 EPA Act and amend Section 67 of the 1996 Waste Management Act that gives the EPA immunity from suit.

Commenting, Deputy O’Dea said: “This is a short but important piece of legislation. At present, the EPA has absolute immunity from suit despite a 2011 expert review group report saying that ‘doubts have been expressed about the constitutionality of this immunity and whether it is compatible with obligations arising under the European Convention on Human Rights.

“Furthermore, the review group concluded that ‘the absolute nature of the EPA’s immunity was difficult to justify in a modern legislative scheme and that it should be revised, as appropriate, when the opportunity arises.

“The EPA is an incredibly powerful organisation whose decisions impact on communities up and down the country. I don’t believe they should have absolute immunity, in all cases, from suit. Their actions have consequences,” concluded O’Dea.


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