Chemifloc's commitment to the Environment
Chemifloc's commitment to the Environment
Chemifloc is an indigenous Irish owned company setup in Shannon in 1981. Chemifloc operate in a highly regulated and statutorily audited industry and have operated under the control of the Environmental Protection Agency for the past 22 years.
"Environmental stewardship is integral to every decision we make. "
Chemifloc take our responsibility to our over 50 employees, our local community in Shannon and the environment very seriously. A core pillar of our company philosophy is that environmental stewardship is integral to every decision we make. Environmental stewardship is especially important to us considering that we manufacture water and wastewater treatment products, used in water and wastewater treatment plants across Ireland, which are specifically developed and designed to protect the public health and receiving environment from pollution.
It is reassuring that Ireland has implemented a transparent environmental regulatory system based on EU Directives for over 20 years. This system supports the principles enshrined in the Aarhus Convention whereby the public can access relevant information and participate in decision making that affects the environment. Chemifloc is fully licensed by an Industrial Emissions Licence (IEL) – formerly known as an Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Licence (IPPCL) – authorised and regulated by the EPA. The EPA are prohibited from granting such a licence unless they are satisfied that the site meets the substantial environmental requirements set out in legislation and that Best Available Technology is utilised onsite. Further information regarding the licensing process and details regarding our IEL are available on the EPA website (www.epa.ie).
Our policy is to maintain proactive and constructive interactions with all relevant regulatory agencies in order to ensure we maintain compliance with all relevant statutory and regulatory obligations. These interactions typically include: routine and annual reporting; changes in practices and protocols; amendments to our IEL and; development onsite to reflect new, updated or revised legislation and guidance.
In 2012, there was a regrettable accident onsite which resulted in the temporary hospitalisation of eight employees, interruption to local businesses and uncontrolled release of material to atmosphere. The incident was fully investigated by the company and all of the relevant regulatory authorities. After the careful consideration of the results of the investigation, significant changes to the relevant processes and practices onsite were introduced to the satisfaction of the relevant agencies. The site is also now independently accredited by the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) to the following internationally-recognised and best practice certification schemes:
• Occupational Health and Safety (OHSAS 18001)
• Environmental Management (ISO 14001)
We are also system certified by NSAI for our Quality Management System (QMS ISO 9001). These certification schemes are independently audited and include regular site visits and inspections by the accreditation bodies.
The independent certification process, coupled with site visits, inspections (including unannounced inspections), audits and monitoring from regulatory agencies including the EPA and HSA mean that since 2012 we have had 57 site visit and monitoring events by independent agencies/bodies. The table below, outlines the breakdown of these events.
|Year||Health & Safety Authority||Environmental Protection Agency||National Standards Authority of Ireland||National Standards Authority of Ireland||Clare County Council|
|(inc. Site Audits, Visits, Inspections & Site Monitoring)||(Independent Health & Safety Site Visits)||(Independent Environmental Site Visits)||(Continuous atmospheric odour assessment)|
Note that this table does not include the many phone and email communications we have with these bodies or the substantial amount of daily, weekly and monthly self-monitoring practices that are completed according to the site Environmental Management System and under the direction of the dedicated Safety, Health, Environment and Quality team led by the SHEQ Manager who is also part of the senior management team. We have also attached a copy of our annually-reviewed Safety, Health, Environment and Quality (SHEQ) Policy for your information.
As mentioned above and as reflected in our SHEQ Policy, environmental stewardship is integral to all aspects of the business, therefore it is difficult to estimate a specific figure exclusively attributable to environmental compliance as we would contend that every euro spent onsite incorporates this philosophy.