Inventories of Persistent Organic Pollutants in Ireland 1990 and 1995-2006

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Resource or Project Abstract

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as required by the European Union?s Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) Regulation and to assist with the development of a National Implementation Plan, has commissioned AEA and the Clean Technology Centre (CTC) to produce a multimedia emissions inventory for selected POPs. These pollutants were: Hexachlorobenzene (HCB); The polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) required by the POPs Regulation (benzo[a]pyrene, benzo[b]fluoranthene, benzo[k]fluoranthene and indeno[1,2,3-cd]pyrene); Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs); and Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs) and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs) commonly collectively called dioxins and reported as a total. Releases of these substances to air, land and water were quantified for the period between 1990 and 2006. The approach adopted was to provide, where possible, compatibility with the EPA?s existing inventory tools, using plant-specific release data where available and, in their absence, emission factors from a range of other international sources. The project approach encompassed an extensive literature and Ireland-specific emissions and activity data gathering phase, followed by source screening, preparation of lists of key source sectors and sites, limited consultation with Irish stakeholders, methodology development and emission estimation, and inventory compilation and reporting. The development of inventories to land and water has been limited by a lack of literature and measurement data. Despite researching the most recent guidance from the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), several gaps are evident in the knowledge base regarding POPs emission sources to all media, but especially to land and water. The study provides best estimates for current emissions in Ireland but these estimates are subject to very significant uncertainty for many sources. These uncertainties are outlined within the sector spreadsheets that make up the inventory system, and key assumptions and areas for future work are highlighted within the report. Recommendations are given in the report as to where measurements and data gathering could significantly reduce uncertainty in the release estimates. The spreadsheets provided as a model of how to calculate releases of POPs are supplied separately to the EPA. Pollutant-specific findings are as detailed in the attached report.

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Contact Information for This Resource

Dr. Glen Thistlethwaite
AEA Group

Dr. Mairead Creedon
Clean Technology Centre

Dr. Eileen O'Leary
Clean Technology Centre

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Data, Files, Information Objects Related To This Project Resource

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Attachment Name and Download Link
Att: 1    CCRP_2_Executive_Summary.pdf  (0.1 Mb)
Offline Print Quality Version    CCRP_2_Thistlethwaite_POPs_prn.pdf  (2.51 Mb)
Project Report Optimised For Online Viewing    CCRP_2_Thistlethwaite_POPs_web.pdf  (1.73 Mb)

Suggested Citation Information

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Author(s)Thistlethwaite, G. Creedon, M. O'Leary, E.
Title Of WebsiteSecure Archive For Environmental Research Data
Publication InformationInventories of Persistent Organic Pollutants in Ireland 1990 and 1995-2006
Name of OrganisationEnvironmental Protection Agency Ireland
Electronic Address or URL
Unique Identifier0fc2202f-727c-102d-b891-8d8f2407b579
Date of AccessLast Updated on SAFER: 2024-06-17

An example of this citation in proper usage:

Thistlethwaite, G. Creedon, M. O'Leary, E.   "Inventories of Persistent Organic Pollutants in Ireland 1990 and 1995-2006". Associated datasets and digitial information objects connected to this resource are available at: Secure Archive For Environmental Research Data (SAFER) managed by Environmental Protection Agency Ireland (Last Accessed: 2024-06-17)


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Access Information For This Resource

SAFER-Data Display URL
Resource KeywordsPOP Persistent Organic Pollutants Spreadsheet Hexachlorobenzene Clean Technology Center
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project ThemeClimate Change
Resource Availability: Any User Can Download Files From This Resource
Limitations on the use of this ResourceIn the event of the download datasets, data, or information resources being used in a journal article or other means of publication the original authors should be informed of this usage and an appropriate acknowledgement or citation is included within the published article. The EPA advise that this acknowledgement should take one of the following forms dependent upon how heavily the published work relates to the downloaded data:
* Co-Authorship(s) for the original author(s)* Written acknowledgement within the body of the article* Written acknowledgement by means of the inclusion of a bibliography entry which clearly cites the original authors.
Number of Attached Files (Publicly and Openly Available for Download): 3
Project Start Date Tuesday 1st January 2008 (01-01-2008)
Earliest Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Monday 1st January 1990 (01-01-1990)
Most Recent Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Sunday 31st December 2006 (31-12-2006)
Published on SAFERWednesday 24th February 2010 (24-02-2010)
Date of Last EditWednesday 24th February 2010 at 10:03:55 (24-02-2010)
Datasets or Files Updated On Wednesday 24th February 2010 at 09:59:57 (24-02-2010)

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Geographical and Spatial Information Related To This Resource

Description of Geographical Characteristics of This Project or Dataset
This report presents the inventory of POPs for 1990 to 2006. The POPs covered are dioxins, HCB, PCBs and certain PAHs specified in the UNECE Protocol. The inventory covers releases to land and water, as well as emissions to the atmosphere. The report covers all of the island of Ireland and data from inventories from sources within the island.

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Supplementary Information About This Resource

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Lineage information about this project or dataset
This study aims to inform the EPA, the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government (DEHLG) and other stakeholders regarding national POPs emissions and provide a template to comply with of this project is to compile consistent emission inventories for POPs for the years 1990 and 1995 - 2006 and to make recommendations on how to develop the time series into the future.
Supplementary Information
The key objectives for this study were: The identification of POPs sources to air, land and water in Ireland; The acquisition of activity data, emission factors and emissions data for those sources through literature research and consultation with stakeholders within Ireland; The development of appropriate methodologies to derive POPs inventories for Ireland, considering the data available for emissions to air, land and water; The presentation and reporting of POPs inventories to enable the EPA to meet international reporting obligations; and The identification of recommendations for future work to improve the POPs inventories.
Literature review of existing data sources and research reports, to include: the previous EPA study into dioxin inventories (URS Dames & Moore, 2000), the EPA?s Annual Environmental Report (AER) returns for key industrial sources, activity data for industrial production, fuel combustion, water treatment and waste processes, POPs inventories of other Member States, the latest UNECE guidance and the UNEP toolkit for estimating POPs emissions, UK-based data resources such as the National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory (NAEI) (air) and the Pollution Inventory (air, land, water). Desk-based research into Ireland-specific emissions and activity data and develop appropriate inventory estimation methods for each source. Where possible estimates have been based on local emissions data and locally derived emission factors. For sources where local data are not available, methods and factors derived from UNECE guidelines, the UK NAEI, and the UNEP standardised toolkit for dioxin emissions were used, in conjunction with source-specific knowledge and expert judgement to determine the most appropriate methods and emission factors available.

In addition, the study included direct phone and e-mail consultation with stakeholders in Ireland to obtain their insight into sources of POPs emissions, including: EPA POPs experts (as suggested by the EPA inventory team); EPA Site Inspectors for several sites highlighted as potential POPs sources; EPA National Waste Database experts; The Electricity Supply Board power station operators; Cement kiln operators (Irish Cement, Lagan Cement, Quinn Cement); A refinery operator; Cork County Council; Sustainable Energy Ireland; Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (DAFF) PCS; Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (DCENR); DEHLG; Department of Transport (DoT); Waste management companies (landfill operators and exporters of PCBs); Incinerator operators; Chemical manufacturing operators, particularly those operating incineration plant and solvent recovery plant; Water treatment operators; The sole remaining creosote preservation company; and Government contacts responsible for submissions under the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic (OSPAR) (for dredging data).

Due to a scarcity of local emissions and activity data, some source estimates have had to be calculated using ?top-down? methods, drawing on activity data and expert judgement to ascertain the most appropriate methodology that is consistent with the requirements and guidance for international reporting. Where possible, details of plant design, abatement and related operational, fuel-use and emissions data have been used to determine the most representative POPs emission factors for sources where raw data on emissions are not evident. The research has identified several significant potential sources of POPs where limited data exist and hence assumptions have had to be made to provide a quantitative estimate of POPs releases. This lack of data is evident across emissions to all media, although much more literature information is available for emissions to air, whilst little data are available for emission sources to land and water. Hence, the level of uncertainty in the air emission inventories is generally less than for the water and land inventories.
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