Persistent foul odour problems at Clare County Council's €11 million waste dump have prompted the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to accuse the council of further breaches of its landfill licence.
In response to the council's failure to eradicate the nuisance, the EPA has issued the local authority with two further non-compliance notices.
Now, the EPA has warned that if the council does not remedy the problem, it "will leave the agency no option but to consider legal action in relation to the matter".
Since the waste dump at Ballyduffbeg, Inagh, near Ennis, opened in September 2002, the EPA has issued the council with 18 non-compliance notices.
The most recent non-compliance notice was served last November and the notice before that was served in September.
The November notice resulted from an inspection of the site and surrounds by EPA staff, which recorded eight incidents of odour affecting homes in the vicinity of the dump. The report found that five homes were affected by bad smells and the inspector concluded that in each case the odour detected "did result in significant interference with amenities and the environment beyond the boundary of the licensed facility".
Reporting on foul smells from the dump at the home of Brian Fitzgerald, the EPA found: "The intensity of the odour was strong and was persistent, being detected throughout the period of the observation.
"The odour detected was of landfill gas and was consistent with the operational of the central landfill." In the other incidents, the EPA found that the odour nuisance was described as moderate.
The council spent a further €3.6 million on the facility last year and in response to the EPA's notices about breaches of the licence, Ger Dollard, the council's director for the environment, said.