Solvents

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short and long-term adverse health effects. Regulations are in force to reduce emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the environment, especially through controlling, preventing and reducing emissions to air. This is because VOC releases can have negative impacts on human health and the environment.

The title of the latest Regulations is S.I. No. 565 of 2012 - European Union (Installations and Activities using Organic Solvents) Regulations 2012.

Businesses affected include:

  • Vehicle refinishing companies which carry out original coating of road vehicles or trailers. (Please refer to relevant section on this site).
  • Dry cleaners installations using solvents.

The activities of small businesses are under the control of the local authorities. Activities using more than 10 tonnes per annum of solvents require an Integrated Pollution Prevention & Control (IPPC) licence from the EPA.

Special Requirements for Dry Cleaners

The EPA has appointed Approved Assessors to be the inspection bodies for carrying out inspections under the regulations. From 29th September 2015 onwards the Approved Assessors for Dry Cleaning installations are:

Enviroguide Consulting
3D Core C
Block 71
The Plaza 
Park West
D12F9TN
 
Tel: 01 5654730
 
 

 

 

New aspects of the regulations:

  • Cavan County Council can now issue certificates of compliance for up to a 3 year period. However, certificates of a shorter duration may be issued if there are concerns about a specific installation (including failure to renew certificates in time).
  • Regardless of the duration of certificates, all operators are required to submit an annual self-assessment compliance report to Cavan County Council, commencing with a report for the year 2014 (to be submitted in 2015). Templates for these reports will be issued to operators in advance of the reporting period. If an operator fails to submit a self-assessment annual report they may not be allowed to renew their certificate until such time as any outstanding reports are submitted.
  • The application fee payable by operators to Cavan County Council is now €70 for new applications (but is €50 for renewals). If an operator does not renew their certificate of compliance 28 days prior to its expiry date, they must then apply for a new certificate.
  • The fine for uncertified operators is now €5,000 or imprisonment for up to six months, or both.
  • A copy of your certificate of compliance must be displayed in a prominent position at your premises.

What Will I Have to Do If These Regulations Apply to Me?

Dry Cleaning businesses should directly engage and pay either of the approved assessors for the purposes of getting their premises inspected. In order to obtain the certificate of compliance from Cavan County Council, the operator must send a compliant Approved Assessor report along with the application form (Print the dry cleaner application form (Word, 29 Kb) and appropriate fee (payable to Cavan County Council) to the following address:

Environment Section
17 Farnham Street
Cavan Town
County Cavan

 

Keeping Records – the Excel Spreadsheet

From the 1st January 2014 you will have to start keeping records on a regular basis to help you generate the information you require. Please visit the EPA website for an example of the type of records that can be kept

These record sheets can be maintained on computer or filled in on paper. These record sheets contain all the record keeping you will need to show compliance or otherwise with the emission limit value(ELV). Appendix 3 of the Best Practice Guidelines for Dry Cleaning gives a summary list of the information you will have to obtain and keep on record.

Within this set of records, there is a weekly record sheet which should be filled on an on-going basis by hand, regardless as to whether the overall records will be kept on computer or on paper. The best place to keep this weekly record sheet is attached to the machine itself (or on each machine where there is more than one in operation). The other summary record sheets can be filled in by hand or on computer on an on-going basis. You can modify these sample record sheets to suit your own requirements.

Self-assessment annual report

By the 31st January each year, dry cleaners are required to supply Cavan County Council with data, enabling us to verify the compliance of the installation during the previous calendar year. A report template  has been provided to allow you carry out this requirement. You are required to report your total emission value for your installation for comparison with the Total Limit Emission. If you fail to submit a self-assessment annual report you may not be allowed to renew your certificate until such time as any outstanding reports are submitted.

Where Can I Find Best Practice Guidelines for Dry Cleaning?

Special Requirements for Vehicle Refinishers

Under the Regulations entitled: European Union (Paints, Varnishes, Vehicle Refinishing Products and Activities) Regulations 2012 (S.I. No 564 of 2012), it is an offence to operate a vehicle refinishing for repair installation without a valid certificate of compliance. Any such operators should arrange for an inspection immediately. Motor factors and paints suppliers also need to be aware it is an offence to place non-compliant vehicle refinishing products on the market.

The EPA has appointed Approved Assessors to be the inspection bodies for carrying out inspections under the regulations. From 26th September 2013 onwards the Approved Assessors for vehicle refinishers are:

Enviroguide Consulting
3D Core C
Block 71
The Plaza 
Park West
D12F9TN
 
Tel: 01 5654730
 
 
 

New aspects of the regulations:

  • Cavan County Council can issue certificates of compliance for up to 3 years.  However, certificates of a shorter duration may be issued if there are concerns about a specific installation (including failure to renew certificates in time).
  • The application fee payable by operators to Cavan County Council is €70 for new applications (but is €50 for renewals). If an operator does not renew their certificate of compliance 28 days prior to its expiry date, they must then apply for a new certificate.
  • The fine for uncertified operators is €5,000 or imprisonment for up to six months, or both.
  • A copy of your certificate of compliance must be displayed in a prominent position at your premises.

Additionally, if an operator receives non-compliant materials, they must notify the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) of this fact and take appropriate steps to minimise the risk to human health and the environment.

What Will I Have to Do If These Regulations Apply to Me?

Vehicle refinishers should directly engage and pay a listed assessor for the purposes of getting their premises inspected. In order to obtain a certificate of compliance from Cavan County Council, the operator must then send a compliant Approved Assessor report along with the application form (Print the vehicle refinisher application form (Word, 32 Kb)) and appropriate fee (payable to Cavan County Council) to the following address:

Environment Section
17 Farnham Street
Cavan Town
County Cavan
Ireland

Where Can I Find Best Practice Guidelines for Vehicle Refinishing for Repair Installations?

If you have any questions or queries regarding your application for a certificate, then please get in touch using the details below.

 

Penalties and Enforcement

Since 28th June 2016, Local Authorities can issue fixed penalty notices (“spot fines”) in respect of alleged breaches of the EU (Paints Varnishes Vehicle Refinishing products and Activities) Regulations 2012 (“Deco Paints Regulations”) and the EU (Installations and Activities Using Organic Solvents) Regulations 2012 (“Solvent Regulations”). 

The penalties are detailed below -

  • €1,000 for placing a product on the market where the volatile organic compound exceeds stipulated limits (“Deco Paints Regulations”).
  • €500 for placing a product on the market with deficient labelling (“Deco Paints Regulations”).
  • €500 for operating an installation without a current certificate of compliance where such a certificate is required (both sets of Regulations).

The recipient of a fixed penalty notice is not legally obliged to pay the fine but if payment is received within 21 days of the date of the notice, then Cavan County Council will not instigate legal proceedings against the recipient.

However, if the recipient does not pay the fine, then Cavan County Council will prosecute him/her in the District Court.

Where court proceedings have been instigated, the maximum fine for breaches of these Regulations is €5,000, or a term of imprisonment for up to six months, or both.