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Irish Examiner - 18/02/05
Incinerator plan ‘ignores WHO guidelines’
By Mary Dundon Political Reporter

THE World Health Organisation has warned that toxic waste incinerators should not be located in sites prone to flooding and fog - making Ringaskiddy completely unsuitable, an oral hearing heard yesterday.

Passage West Town Councillor Michael McGrath told the fourth day of the oral hearing into the draft licence for the €93 million toxic waste incinerator in Co Cork that the selected site was ‘like a lake’ last October when there was serious flooding.

“Indaver has ignored the WHO guidelines on site selection and compromised public trust and confidence in the process,” the Fianna Fáil councillor said.

The Ringaskiddy site is also prone to low-lying fog and is therefore most unsuitable, environmental engineer Marcia D’Alton said.

But Indaver spokesman Paul Gardiner said the WHO guidelines also state that “too stringent criteria can needlessly exclude large areas” from incineration.

The guidelines also say a combination of screening criteria that are reasonable on an individual basis can guide development in certain areas and exclude others, Mr Gardiner added.

Another objector, Ger Clancy, representing the Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment, said the draft licence granted by the EPA was invalid.

“It is like a Junior Cert science teacher giving a group of teenagers a random mix of chemicals and telling them to go away and see what happens when they put them all together,” Mr Clancy said.

In a detailed presentation to the hearing, Mr Clancy said the toxic waste incinerator’s draft licence should be withdrawn because the process/operations are unknown; additional hazards are not identified; the company has a poor safety record and there will be a deterioration in air quality.

Mr Gardiner pointed out that emissions from the plant would be within the limits of the Waste Incineration Directive.

The hearing’s chairman Dr Jonathan Derham informed the firm he would be seeking more information on seven issues in the coming days: air modelling; low-lying fog; dust; ash classification; pre-sampling of waste; classification of waste and flooding.


Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment
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