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Irish Times – 21st dec
Public hearings to debate licences for waste incinerators
Tim O'Brien

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is to hold public hearings into its plans to grant waste management licences for incinerators in Cork and Meath.

Draft waste management licences for the State's first toxic waste incinerator to be located at Ringaskiddy, and the State's first municipal waste incinerator to be located near Duleek, were published by the EPA last October.

The proposed €75-million Ringaskiddy plant is designed to handle about 100,000 tonnes of hazardous and non-hazardous industrial and commercial waste each year. The plant, which could be operational by 2007, is likely to employ some 50 people.

The proposed €85 million municipal incinerator at Carranstown, near Duleek, is designed to handle some 150,000 tonnes of non-hazardous waste annually.

The company behind both ventures, Indaver Ireland, is among those that objected to parts of a draft operating licence for its Cork plant, on the basis it would limit the types of waste it could accept. Other objectors include community groups in both locations who have campaigned against the facilities.

No date has yet been set by EPA for the licence hearings.

Indaver Ireland first announced plans for the Ringaskiddy incinerator in April 2001. The Carranstown proposal was announced the November prior to that. The company says it has spent more then €12 million on the projects in the intervening period.

Last night Indaver Ireland said it was pleased "that the planning and licensing process has not finished without the public being given the opportunity to discuss this important issue," which had been a long-time bone of contention for members of the public.

"We welcome this opportunity for all interested parties to have a full, proper and open debate" said Mr John Ahern, Indaver's general manager.

Announcing its draft licence for the Cork plant, the EPA said it had taken account of the geographical spread of hazardous waste arising in the State, with a concentration of large-scale chemical and pharmaceutical industries in the Cork Harbour area. In addition, it said the Indaver site had good transport links and was adjacent to the N28.

The proposal also caused controversy when it emerged that a former Indaver manager, Ms Laura Burke, had been appointed a director of the EPA. The EPA said Ms Burke would not be involved in the decisions regarding her recent employer's projects. She had been project manager for both planned incinerators.


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