Environmental Protection Agency v Neiphin Trading Ltd & Others

JurisdictionIreland
JudgeMr Justice John Edwards
Judgment Date03 March 2011
Neutral Citation[2011] IEHC 67
CourtHigh Court
Docket Number[2009 No. 191 MCA]
Date03 March 2011
Environmental Protection Agency v Neiphin Trading Ltd & Ors
APPROVED
Mr. Justice Edwards
JUDGMENT
IN THE MATTER OF THE WASTE MANAGEMENT ACTS 1996 -2010 and
IN THE MATTER OF SECTION 57 OF THE WASTE MANAGEMENT ACT 1996 , AS AMENDED BY SECTION 48 OF THE PROTECTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT ACT, 2003

BETWEEN

THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
Applicant

AND

NEIPHIN TRADING LTD, DEAN WASTE COMPANY LTD, JENZSOPH LTD, ANTHONY DEAN, KEITH CAIRNS, THADY NEALON and SAMUEL STEARS
Respondents
AND BY ORDER IRELAND AND THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
Notice Parties

[2011] IEHC 67

Record No: 191MCA/2009

THE HIGH COURT

COURTS

Precedent

Stare decisis - Court of equal jurisdiction - Fully argued case - Statutory interpretation - Purposive approach - Contrary view - Preliminary isse (2009/191MCA - Edwards J - 3/3/2011) [2011] IEHC 67

Environmental Protection Agency v Nephin Trading Ltd

PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENTAL LAW

Waste management

Environmental pollution - "Polluter pays" principle - Waste Management Directive - Waste Framework Directive - Stare decisis - Conditions necessary to depart from decision of equal jurisidiction - Statutory Interpretation - European Union legislation - Teleological approach - Implementation of European Union legislation - Interpretation contra legem - European Union Recommendation - Whether national court could have regard to recommendation in interpreting European Union legislation - Legal effect of "polluter pays" principle - Enforcement mechanism - Whether s. 57 gave effect to requirement of effective enforcement mechanism - Company law - Separate legal personality - Corporate veil - Conditions necessary to lift corporate veil - Whether "fall back" order could be made against directors and/or shareholders of corporate entities - Whether court could lift corporate veil to grant orders against directors and/or shareholders of corporate entities - Whether Waste Management Directive adequately transposed - Irish Trust Bank Ltd v Central Bank of Ireland [1976- 1977] ILRM 50, Marleasing SA v La Comercial Internacional de Alimentación (Case C-106/89) [1990] ECR I-4135; Pfeiffer v Deutches Rotes Kreuz, Kreisverband Waldshut eV (Joined Cases C-397-403/01) [2004] ECR I-8835; Murphy v Bord Telecom Éireann [1989] ILRM 53; Albatros Feeds Ltd v Minister for Agriculture [2006] IESC 51, [2007] 1 IR 221, Harding v Cork County Council [2008] IESC 27, [2008] 4 IR 318, Monaghan v Legal Aid Board [2008] IEHC 300, [2009] 3 IR 458, Grimaldi v Fonts des maladies professionnelles (Case C-322/88) [1989] ECR 4407 and Wicklow County Council v Fenton (No 2) [2002] 4 IR 44 considered - Waste Management Act 1996 (No 10), s 57 - Council Recommendation 75/436/Euratom, ECSC, EEC - Council Directive 75/442/EEC - Council Directive 91/156/EEC - Council Directive 2008/98/EC - Preliminary isse (2009/191MCA - Edwards J - 3/3/2011) [2011] IEHC 67

Environmental Protection Agency v Nephin Trading Ltd

Facts Proceedings had been commenced by the applicant in which orders were sought against the respondents pursuant to section 57 of the Waste Management Act, 1996. As a preliminary issue it fell to be considered whether a "fall-back" order can be made against individual directors and/or shareholders of a corporate entity under the provisions of the Waste Management legislation. It was submitted by the respondents that it was quite clear that the Oireachtas did not intend that s. 57 could be used to pierce the corporate veil and impose civil liability on directors. Section 57 made no provision for the piercing of the corporate veil in civil proceedings so as to allow orders to be made against directors of corporate respondents that were holding, recovering or disposing of waste. It was further submitted that in so far as O'Sullivan J had held in Wicklow County Council v Fenton that a "fall-back" order could be made against individual directors and/or shareholders of a corporate entity under the provisions the Waste Management Act legislation, that case (and subsequent cases) were incorrectly decided. In the absence of specific provisions in EU and domestic legislation requiring him to do so, O'Sullivan J had incorrectly applied the "polluter pays" principle and in effect treated that principle as a directly effective principle of EU law, which it was not. On behalf of the applicants it was submitted that that there could be no doubt but that the Court had jurisdiction under s. 57 to grant orders against the directors of companies, even where - as in the current proceedings - the relevant licence was held by the company. This position was entirely consistent with the relevant European legislation.

Held by Edwards J in finding that such a jurisdiction did not exist. The "polluter pays" was a binding principle of EU law that required to be applied in the field of waste management generally and, in particular, with respect to the costs of disposing of waste. However the Waste Framework Directive did not specifically require the putting in place of an enforcement system that allowed for the making of fallback orders. The Court was unable to identify any particular article of the Waste Framework Directive mandating the establishment of an enforcement system predicated upon the "polluter pays principle" and structured to ensure that liability, and in particular civil liability, was determined with reference to that principle. The Court could not disregard the fundamental nature of the separate legal personality principle and should lean against an interpretation permitting the corporate veil to be pierced. Absent the existence of a fraudulent or improper purpose the Courts would not lift the corporate veil unless authorized to do so by statute. The Waste Framework Directive had not been properly or adequately transposed in so far as enforcement was concerned, in so far as the existing enforcement procedures contained in s. 57 of the 1996 Act did not in fact allow for the making of fall back orders against individual shareholders/directors of a corporate entity.

Reporter: R.F.

WASTE MANAGEMENT ACT 1996 S57

PROTECTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT ACT 2003 S48

WICKLOW CO COUNCIL v FENTON & ORS (NO 2) 2002 4 IR 44 2002/28/7382

WASTE MANAGEMENT ACT 1996 S58

CORK CO COUNCIL v O'REGAN & AGGREGATE SUPPLIES & TRANSPORT LTD 2009 3 IR 39 2005/12/2461 2005 IEHC 208

LAOIS CO COUNCIL v SCULLY & ORS 2006 2 IR 292 2006/33/7051 2006 IEHC 2

WICKLOW CO COUNCIL v O'REILLY & ORS UNREP CLARKE 8.2.2006 2006/58/12369 2006 IEHC 265

IRISH TRUST BANK LTD v CENTRAL BANK OF IRELAND 1976-7 ILRM 50

DUNNE v O'NEILL 1974 IR 180 1975 109 ILTR 101

WASTE MANAGEMENT (LANDFILL LEVY) ORDER 2010 SI 13/2010 ART 2

WASTE MANAGEMENT (LANDFILL LEVY) ORDER 2010 SI 13/2010 ART 3

WASTE MANAGEMENT ACT 1996 S2

WASTE MANAGEMENT ACT 1996 S4

WASTE MANAGEMENT ACT 1996 S5

WASTE MANAGEMENT (REGISTRATION OF BROKERS AND DEALERS) REGS 2008 SI 113/2008

WASTE MANAGEMENT ACT 1996 S9

EEC DIR 75/442 ART 1

EEC DIR 75/442 ART 8

EEC DIR 75/442 ART 15

EEC DIR 75/442 ART IIA

KRAMER EC ENVIRONMENTAL LAW 4ED 2000 PARA 1.32

DIRECTOR OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS v BANK OF IRELAND 2003 2 IR 217 2003/12/2610

HOWARD & ORS v CMRS OF PUBLIC WORKS IN IRELAND 1994 1 IR 101

B (D) v MIN FOR HEALTH & HEPATITIS C COMPENSATION TRIBUNAL 2003 3 IR 12 2003/4/812

KEANE & NAUGHTON v BORD PLEANALA & ORS 1997 1 IR 184

GOODEN v ST OTTERANS HOSPITAL 2005 3 IR 617 2001/11/2896

CRAIES & EDGAR CRAIES ON STATUTE LAW 7ED 1971

MAXWELL & ST JOHN LANGAN ON THE INTERPRETATION OF STATUTES 12ED 1969

DIRECT UNITED STATES CABLE CO LTD v ANGLO-AMERICAN TELEGRAPH CO LTD & ANOR 1876-77 2 APP CAS 394

INTERPRETATION ACT 2005 S5

SCANNELL ENVIRONMENTAL & LAND USE LAW 2006

KEATING THE POLLUTER PAYS PRINCIPLE IN DOMESTIC LAW 2006 13 DULJ 172

TREATY OF ROME ART 249

GRIMALDI v FONDS DES MALADIES PROFESSIONNELLES 1989 ECR 4407 1991 2 CMLR 265 1990 IRLR 400

MAHER & ORS v MIN FOR AGRICULTURE & ORS 2001 2 IR 139

MARLEASING SA v LA COMERCIAL INTERNACIONAL DE ALIMENTACION SA 1990 ECR I-4135 1993 BCC 421 1992 1 CMLR 305

BYRNE v CONROY 1998 3 IR 1

LOCAL GOVT (PLANNING & DEVELOPMENT) ACT 1976 S27

PLANNING & DEVELOPMENT ACT 2000 S160

DUBLIN CO COUNCIL v ELTON HOMES LTD (IN LIQUIDATION) & ORS 1984 ILRM 297 1983/9/2517

DUBLIN CO COUNCIL v O'RIORDAN 1985 IR 159 1986 ILRM 104 1985/5/1156

DUN LAOGHAIRE CORP v PARKHILL DEVELOPMENTS LTD & ORS 1989 IR 447 1989 ILRM 235 1989/1/155

SLIGO CORP v CARTRON BAY CONSTRUCTION LTD & MAGUIRE UNREP O CAOIMH 25.5.2001 2001/23/6165

EEC RECOMMENDATION 75/436/EURATOM 3.3.1975 PARA 2

EEC DIR 1999/31 RECITAL 5

WASTE MANAGEMENT (AMDT) ACT 2001 S2

EEC DIR 1999/31 ART 1

EEC DIR 2006/12 RECITAL 14

EEC DIR 2006/12 ART 4

EEC DIR 2006/12 ART 15

COMMUNE DE MESQUER v TOTAL FRANCE SA & TOTAL INTERNATIONAL LTD 2009 PTSR 588 2009 AER (EC) 525 2008 ECR I-4501 2008 3 CMLR 16 2009 ENV LR 9

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY ACT 1992 S52(2)(D)

KEANE COMPANY LAW 4ED 2007 CHAP 11

CUMMINGS v STEWART 1911 1 IR 236

JONES & ANOR v LIPMAN & ANOR 1962 1 WLR 832 1962 1 AER 442

MASTERTRADE (EXPORTS) LTD & ORS v PHELAN & MASTERCUT FOODS LTD UNREP MURPHY 4.12.2001 2003/34/8207

THE ROUNDABOUT LTD v BEIRNE & ORS 1959 IR 423

ADAMS & ORS v CAPE INDUSTRIES PLC & ANOR 1990 CH 433 1990 2 WLR 657 1991 1 AER 929 1990 BCC 786 1990 BCLC 479

TREATY OF ROME ART 10

TREATY ON EUROPEAN UNION ART 4(3)

TREATY OF LISBON ART 3A(3)

TREATY OF LISBON ART 5

TREATY OF ROME ART 10

MURPHY & ORS v BORD TELECOM EIREANN 1989 ILRM 53

LAWLOR v MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE & ORS 1990 1 IR 356 1988 ILRM 400 1987/7/1798

O'BRIEN v IRELAND & ORS 1991 2 IR 387 1990 ILRM 466 1990/8/2431

YOUNG v PHARMACEUTICAL SOCIETY OF IRL & ORS 1995 2 IR 91 1994 2 ILRM 262 1994/7/1927

HMIL LTD (FORMERLY HIBERNIA MEATS INTERNATIONAL LTD) v MIN FOR AGRICULTURE 1996 ICLY 398 1996/5/1371

NATHAN v BAILEY GIBSON LTD & ORS 1998 2 IR 162 1996/7/2004

TELECOM EIREANN v O'GRADY 1998 3 IR 432 1998/32/12660

...

To continue reading

Request your trial
8 cases
  • Brownfield Restoration Ireland Ltd v Wicklow County Council
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 12 June 2017
    ...historic waste. 54 Mr. Connolly relied on the decision of Edwards J. in Environmental Protection Agency v. Neiphin Trading Limited [2011] IEHC 67 [2011] 2 I.R. 575 to support a restrictive reading of the Act, but there are a number of reasons why that argument falls flat. The decision relat......
  • Simmonds and Another v Ennis Town Council (No 2)
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 23 March 2012
    ...2008 IEHC 34 BRADY v DPP UNREP KEARNS 23.4.2010 2010/5/1016 2010 IEHC 231 ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY v NEIPHIN TRADING LTD 2011 2 IR 575 CASUAL TRADING ACT 1995 S8(3)(A) 2011/10285P - Clarke - High - 10/2/2012 - 2012 42 12522 2012 IEHC 281 1 JUDGMENT of Mr. Justice Clarke delivered th......
  • Vodafone Ireland Ltd v Commission for Communications Regulation
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 10 December 2013
    ...1002, [2012] CAT 28; Grimaldi v Fonds des Maladies Professionnelles [1989] ECR 4407; Environmental Protection Agency v Neiphin Trading [2011] IEHC 67, [2011] 2 IR 575 and Vodafone Espana SA v Commission of the European Communities (Case T-109/06) [2007] ECR II-5151 considered - European Com......
  • John Ronan & Sons v Clean Build Ltd (in voluntary liquidation) and Others
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 4 August 2011
    ...& ORS UNREP CLARKE 2.3.2007 2007/60/12967 2007 IEHC 71 ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY v NEIPHIN TRADING LTD & ORS UNREP EDWARDS 3.3.2011 2011 IEHC 67 INTERPRETATION ACT 2005 S27(2) WASTE MANAGEMENT ACT 1996 S58(1) PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENTAL LAW Waste Management Environmental pollution - âÇ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT