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Irish Independent - 26-04-05
Incinerator appeal 'crucial' for environmental cases

AN APPEAL by a man who lost his High Court challenge against planning permission for an incinerator near Duleek, Co Meath, began in the Supreme Court yesterday.

In the High Court, Mr Justice Thomas Smyth dismissed Eric Martin's judicial review challenge. However, the judge referred to the Supreme Court for final determination of an important point of law raised in the case - which has implications for other environmental cases, including a challenge to the development of the State's first toxic waste incinerator at Ringaskiddy, Co Cork.

The Supreme Court is being asked to decide whether an EC directive (EC 85/337) relating to the carrying out of environmental impact assessments has been properly transposed into Irish law.

Mr Martin argues that the legislative framework within which the decision by An Bord Pleanala to grant permission for the project was taken failed to comply with the requirements of the directive regarding the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment.

He contends that, because of the Irish legislative framework, the board's inspector and the board itself was expressly precluded from considering the risk of environmental pollution arising from "the activity" of the plant.

The Board could only consider the risks of pollution arising from "the construction" of the plant because consideration of the risk of pollution arising from the "activity" was a matter for the Environmental Protection Agency.

The issue for the Supreme Court is whether this division of responsibilities adequately gives effect to the directive's requirement that an "integrated" assessment of the relevant matter should be carried out.

The appeal continues today.

John Maddock

     

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