Nationally, water enforcement in 2018 remained 'Above Target', similiar to 2016 and 2017 performance (EPA, 2020). Specific areas of interest within this include:
- Overall, combined performance for farm inspections remained 'Below Target' in 2018. Similarily, farm inspection numbers decreased in 2018, with approximately 650 less inspections undertaken in 2018 compared with 2017.
- There were insufficient cross-reporting of farm non-compliances to the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine (DAFM) for Single Farm Payment penalties. Local authority farm inspections are an important function in terms of providing advice and guidance to farmers to change behaviour and improve environmental protection practices.
- Planned inspections of discharge licences to water improved to on 'Target' in 2017 and 2018 from 'Below Target' between 2014 and 2016.
- Performance of domestic waste water treatment systems (DWWTS/septic tanks) inspections remained on 'Target' in 2018.
- Groundwater and hydrometric activities remained 'Above Target' in 2018. However, five local authorities had no budget allocated or maintenance programmes in place for groundwater and hydrometric activities.
Overall, 11 local authorities were 'Excellent', 12 were 'Above Target' or on 'Target', and 2 were 'Below Target', 'Minimum', or 'Unsatisfactory' with respect to waste enforcement in 2018 (EPA, 2020).
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