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Ireland.com - 19-10-05
Cork Harbour group 'furious' over dioxin levels
By Luke Cassidy

Environmental campaigners said today they were "furious" at what they call the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) "cavalier attitude" to people's health in Cork.

The Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment (CHASE) said today's EPA survey, which revealed that the amount of dioxins in the air around Cork Harbour almost doubled in the last four years, should have stopped the EPA granting a license to Indaver Ireland for two mass-burn incinerators.

"We know from evidence admitted by Indaver's own expert at the EPA Oral Hearing that these two incinerators will burn waste 24/7 and will increase the dioxin levels in the Cork area," a CHASE spokesman said.

"The people of Cork cannot be expected to tolerate any further increase in dioxin levels and it is not acceptable that the EPA issue liciences to industries that will add to the dioxin burden," the spokesman concluded.

However, according to the EPA report "there were no unusually high values meriting particular attention in any of the samples".

Dioxin levels in the country generally were 33 per cent lower last year than 10 years ago, the EPA found. The report, Dioxin Levels in the Irish Environment, also found that levels were 20 per cent lower than in 2000.

The conclusions, based on a survey of dioxins in cow's milk, confirm that Ireland's dioxin levels remain among the lowest in Europe.

Green Party Cork South Central TD, Dan Boyle, said he would raise the issue about dioxin levels in Cork with the Minister for the Environment in the Dáil today.

"I will be demanding answers from the Minister as to whether it is still Government policy to insist on locating a national toxic waste incinerator in Ringaskiddy," Mr Boyle said.

"The already unacceptable risk posed to the residents of Cork Harbour, demonstrated again in this EPA report, can not be increased even further. It is high time that the Government and the EPA take the findings of increased dioxin levels in the area seriously," he added.

© 2005 ireland.com

     

Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment
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