Department of the Environment as Lead Department

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Introduction

Emergencies and crises occur every day and are dealt with either by the emergency services or by the crisis management procedures of organisations and agencies.  Occasionally, an emergency or crisis, by virtue of its scale, impact or duration, requires the activation of additional procedures and resources and the co-ordination of the response across multiple organisations.

At local and regional level An Garda Síochána, the HSE and the Local Authorities have major emergency plans that can be activated in response to large scale emergencies. These are called the Principal Response Agencies.

At national level the co-ordination of the whole of Government response to a crisis or emergency falls to the designated “Lead Government Department”.  In emergency management there are two distinct areas of activity that have to be undertaken; planning for the generic activities that are common to all emergencies and planning for the specifics of different emergency types.

Emergencies for which the Department of Environment has been nominated as Lead Government Department

The revised Annex ‘A’ to the Strategic Emergency Planning Guidance produced by the Office of Emergency Planning assigns Lead Government Department responsibility to the DECLG for national level coordination of response for the following emergency and crisis types:

  • Nuclear Accidents/ Incident/ events
  • Incidents Involving Hazardous Materials (Including in transit)
  • Radioactive Contamination- Local
  • Environmental Pollution
  • Severe Weather
  • Flooding Response
  • Coastal Erosion
  • Major impacts on water services, quality infrastructure or supplies
  • Fire
  • Landslide Response
  • Building Collapse/ Accidental Explosions

Responsibility for undertaking DECLG’s Lead Government Department Role has been assigned to the National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management since its establishment in June 2009.

Delivering the Departments Lead Role

Delivering the Lead Government Department Role requires both internal coordination across the Department’s Divisions/ Sections and wider coordination with other Government Departments and Agencies.  In the case of the severe weather of December 2015, twenty seven organisations/ sectors were routinely involved in the national response.

Contact Details

National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management
The Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government
Rm. G59
Custom House
Dublin 1
D01 W6X0

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