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Irish Times - 25-02-05
Firm hired no medical experts for waste plan
Barry Roche, Southern Correspondent

The company developing Ireland's first hazardous waste incinerator yesterday confirmed it had not hired any medical experts when preparing its proposal. It said it had relied on guidelines on incineration set down by international agencies.

Indaver Ireland's general manager, John Ahern, told the EPA oral hearing into the granting of a draft waste licence for the plant at Ringaskiddy that there was no legal requirement on the company to include a health impact assessment in its proposal.

"We relied on the World Health Organisation and the European Commission who say that if we operate within the limits set down, the public will not be impacted - it's wrong to say that we operated in the absence of any medical advice, we just didn't hire any."

Mr Ahern strongly disagreed with suggestions by the solicitor for Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment, Mr Joe Noonan, that the site chosen for a 100,000-tonne hazardous waste incinerator and a 100,000-tonne municipal waste incinerator did not meet the site selection criteria set down by the WHO.

Mr Noonan said the guidelines of both the WHO and the US Environmental Protection Agency excluded areas subjected to flooding as suitable sites for incinerators, which meant the Ringaskiddy site should not have been considered as it had flooded last year.

Mr Noonan put it to Mr Ahern that "it was quite incredible" that he had not asked Indaver staff to measure the depth of flooding when they inspected the flooded site on October 27th, and he suggested it because it was "troubling information that you didn't want to know".

Mr Ahern denied this and said he had not asked staff to measure flooding on the site because it was data that had already been recorded by consultants who had examined the site for Indaver. "It certainly wasn't because of the reason you gave."

Mr Ahern also rejected concerns raised by Mr Noonan about coastal erosion in the proposed site, saying only 15 per cent of the site was exposed to the sea. "It's only a small part of the site and it's easily monitored and easily defended," he said.

     

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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