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Irish Examiner - 28/02/05
Where are agencies that really matter?

LET’S call a spade a spade. The Environmental Protection Agency has been inaccurately named, leading to a public expectation that it will act to protect the environment.

The title Environmental Pollution Licensing Authority would be much more appropriate and clearly signal its function as a regulator of industrial waste.

The oral hearing of a draft licence for an incinerator at Ringaskiddy has led to much disquiet locally. There are many difficulties with oral hearings. One of the most glaring is the lack of state participation.

The EPA, as an agency, is not represented to answer questions about the draft licence which it has authorised. Neither the Health Services Executive nor Cork county council has a statutory role to play at the hearing - or, indeed, in the licensing process.

As a licence will indemnify the polluter from any damages arising from sanctioned emissions, surely the statutory bodies with responsibility for the health and environmental impact of the licensed pollution should be represented.

Bearing in mind the lessons learned from past oral hearings regarding IPC licences at the Syntex/Roche plant in Clarecastle and the Aughinish Alumina plant in Askeaton, I wonder does the community in Ringaskiddy have the tenacity of the McLibel Two?

Sheelagh Broderick
Church Strand
Co Cork


Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment
Bishop's Road, Cobh, Co. Cork
Tel - 021 481 5564      Email -
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