VOC Solvents Regulations
Commercial Solvents Usage
The Organic Solvents Regulations were adopted to regulate the commercial usage of solvents within various sectors of industry in Ireland. The regulations affect a wide variety of industrial activities, from dry cleaning, printing, lamination and surface coating processes, to footwear and pharmaceutical products manufacturing.
Commercial solvent users must determine if these regulations apply to their individual operations, based on the consumption threshold limits applicable to their respective sectors. Different limits and exemptions apply to particular types of industrial activity, depending on the amount of solvents used in the production process. If a particular installation or premises’ solvents usage exceeds the specified thresholds for that type of activity, then that business is legally required to obtain a Certificate of Compliance from their respective local authority in order to continue operating.
The regulations do not provide any exemptions for the Dry Cleaning sector based on levels of solvents' usage. Therefore, all commercial premises where dry cleaning activity occurs are legally obliged to register with their local authority and obtain a Certificate of Compliance.
It is an offence for any dry cleaning installation to operate without a valid Certificate of Compliance, and breaches of the Regulations may incur fines of up to €5,000 upon summary conviction in the District Court.
Certificates of Compliance
In order to obtain a certificate, a commercial operator must commission an inspection report from an approved assessor and submit this report, along with the prescribed application fee and form, to their local authority.
A certificate may be issued for a maximum period of up to three years in certain circumstances and must be renewed before its date of expiry.
The application fee for a new Certificate of Compliance is €70, with a reduced fee of €50 applying for the renewal of an existing Certificate. However, if an application for the renewal of a Certificate is submitted after its date of expiry, then the higher fee of €70 will apply.
For more information on the regulations including EPA Best Practice Guidelines for Dry Cleaning installations, visit the Solvents.ie website here.