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CHASE Press Release - 14-05-09
- Hydrogeological Expert Says Site On Most Vulnerable Coast In Ireland
- Coastal Erosion Will Eventually Undermine Incinerator Structure
- Office Of Public Works Confirm Site Vulnerability

Experienced Hydrogeologist Shane Bennett told today's Oral Hearing that the particular stretch of coast line on which the proposed Incinerator site is located must be considered among the most vulnerable in Ireland, and that the incinerator, as proposed, would eventually be undermined by coastal erosion.

Mr Bennett explained that the easily erodible nature of the soil/rock along the beach exposure of the site, which contains a fine sand layer under heavier upper rock layers "is observed to collapse under conditions of supersaturation. A number of such collapse features can be seen further along the coastal exposure."

He criticised the proposed construction saying "It appears from the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that the incinerator is to be constructed on such material without rock piling. Without sea defences coastal erosion would be expected eventually to undermine such a structure."

Representatives from the Office of Public Works (OPW) in attendance repeated concerns that the site was highly vulnerable, and expressed further concern about access to the site in the case of flooding, citing the 28/29 October 2004 floods on the proposed site as very significant. The OPW confirmed that there was an expectation of exceptionally high tides and surges in that area.

Mr Bennett left no doubt about site unsuitability when he gave his flooding assessment, saying that combining a 1m sea level rise* with a 3m surge for a 1 in 100 year storm (Oxford 1989) would suggest a 4m flood level, which when combined with a 4.2m Spring Tide Level "would have catastrophic consequences for this site".

He also said "The predicted coastal retreat of 55m per 100 years is expected to significantly undermine the proposed footprint of the incinerator building and eventually overtake the entire site."

A spokesperson for CHASE said "Mr Bennett has drawn a line through Indaver's claims that this site is suitable to build an incinerator on. Construction with this knowledge would be reckless."

*Mr Bennett cited correspondence from Prof John Sweeney, NUI Maynooth college, in which Prof Sweeney suggests that a 1m rise in sea level by 2090 is conceivable, and that the ranges projected by the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (.26m - .59m) are insufficiently pessimistic based on the most recent evidence including projected carbon emissions and data on the Greenland Ice Sheet retreat.


Mary O’Leary, 086 8177737, 021 4811952
Mary Hurley, 086 8162448, 021 4803070
Linda FitzPatrick, 087 7410849, 021 4374506


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