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Irish Times - 06-02-07
Warning of floods on incinerators site
by Olivia
Kelleher

The first place in Cork Harbour to be affected by global warming, flooding and rising sea levels will be a Ringaskiddy site which is the proposed location for the development of hazardous waste and municipal waste incinerators, a local environmental group claimed yesterday.

Mary O'Leary was speaking yesterday at a special Cork Harbour Area for a Safe Environment (CHASE) meeting called to discuss the impact of the report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which gave unprecedented recognition to the effects of global warming.

Experts have predicted that parts of Cork Harbour could be under water in 40 years' time, with severe flooding and sea levels rising by a projected 28-43 centimetres.

Ms O'Leary says evidence presented by CHASE at the Environmental Protection Agency oral hearing on the Ringaskiddy incineration project showed the proposed hazardous waste storage area to be just 5 centimetres above the current high-water mark.

She said any plans to build an incinerator in Ringaskiddy should immediately be halted.

"Indaver have proposed protective measures such as a kerb, but at this stage the only moral decision is not to build the plant at all. The UN report clearly exposes the EPA folly in ignoring the warnings of independent experts and local knowledge. We will be bringing this issue to the attention of politicians on doorsteps looking for our vote in the coming months."

CHASE says Indaver has ignored World Health Organisation guidelines on site selection and compromised public trust and confidence in the process.

A spokesman for Indaver said yesterday that the company had specifically designed engineering measures to avoid flooding.

"Most of the Cork region does not have these measures in place and therefore is in more danger of suffering damage as a result of local flooding." Indaver says the Cork region is suffering from an infrastructural deficit for the management of its waste. This, it claims, has led to astronomical prices and an increased level of illegal dumping of Cork waste in Northern Ireland and mainland Europe.

The Indaver spokesman added the development of waste to energy facilities would reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions by reducing international waste transportation and by generating renewable energy, which displaces fossil fuels.

In January 2006 objectors to the proposed Ringaskiddy incineration development applied to the High Court for leave to seek a judicial review of the EPA's assessment of the waste licence application. The High Court has yet to make a decision as to whether to grant or refuse permission.

     

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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