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Irish Independent - 05-01-06
Alliance to step up battle on incinerator
Kathy Donaghy

PEOPLE claim their community will be turned into a public dump for the whole country if a controversial incinerator is given the green light.

Campaigners in Meath and Louth have condemned plans by the owners of the country's first approved mega incinerator in Duleek to increase capacity by one-third before the facility is even built.

And the No Incineration Alliance last night vowed to step up their fight against Indaver Ireland, which hopes to start construction of the incineration facility later this year.

Alliance spokesman Pat O'Brien said they felt like the "goalposts had been shifted" overnight in relation to the incinerator and said locals felt they could either "lie down" and accept the incinerator or "continue to fight the battle".

He said while it was no shock to the group that the company planned to expand the Carranstown plant's capacity, they were surprised at the timing of the application - since the facility had not even been built yet.

"There's major concern in the community that having started a campaign against a regional incinerator, it looks like we are going to have a national incinerator imposed on us. We could end up accepting waste from all over the country," Mr O'Brien said.

"With a bigger plant we will undoubtedly have bigger problems. We will have increased emissions and increased traffic. We either lie down and accept this as inevitable and that it's going to become a national incinerator or we grow the campaign and continue to fight the battle," he said.

Alternatives

Mr O'Brien pointed out that they were not just an "opposition party".

Rather he said they had been actively promoting the alternatives like reduce, re-use and recycle. If the Government provided the initiative for these in real terms, there would be no need to incinerate, he said.

The Green Party hit out at Indaver's attempts to increase the capacity of the proposed incinerator.

"This confirms the fears of many that the company has only ever been interested in getting its 'toe in the door' regarding planning and waste licensing procedures so that it can ultimately engage in burning maximum waste to increase its profitability," said Dan Boyle, the party's finance spokesman.

"The campaign against incineration continues strongly . . . Indaver should begin to be honest in this debate and state what its real end-goal is.

"Will the company now also be seeking permission for a toxic ash dump to dispose of the hazardous residues of this unwanted facility?" he asked.

Gerald Nash, Labour Party councillor for Drogheda, which is only two miles away from the proposed facility, said there was a very palpable sense of anger at the latest move by the company. "Local people are very disillusioned at the local authority but the most profound anger is being directed at the Government," Mr Nash said. "There's huge depth of anger out there - people don't want this," he added.

Fine Gael's environment spokesman Fergus O'Dowd added he believed the health and environment effects of incineration on the local community had not been fully discussed.

     

Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment
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