WASTE processor Indaver claims yesterday’s Supreme Court decision has brought it a step closer to building two incinerators in Cork harbour.
Following the ruling, the company said it is hopeful it could clear a High Court challenge by objectors and have the toxic and municipal waste incinerators, worth €150 million, operational in Ringaskiddy by 2013.
About 30,000 objectors, led by Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment (CHASE), are taking a High Court challenge on the decision by An Bord Pleanála to grant Indaver planning permission.
However, CHASE sought to have the High Court case adjourned, because the European Court is investigating if Ireland has failed to implement strict EU laws on environmental impact assessments. CHASE claims Indaver has failed under these laws to submit a proper health and environmental assessment for the project. The Supreme Court decided yesterday not to grant the adjournment.
“Indaver welcomes the decision as we want it to proceed through the system. We’re now one step nearer. We plan to build both of the incinerators together,” said a company spokeswoman.
She said the company was hopeful the CHASE High Court challenge would be overcome, as had a similar objection to an Indaver’s project for an incinerator in Meath, building of which is to start later this month. “Much of the arguments [to be put forward by CHASE] will be similar. We are hopeful that the Meath decision has set a precedent,” she said.
However, CHASE chairwoman Mary O’Leary remains defiant. “I would not presume to pre-empt a High Court judge’s decision. We don’t need a municipal waste incinerator as Cork County Council will have ample capacity at its Bottlehill landfill for the next 20 to 30 years.”
Indaver wants the toxic waste incinerator to handle up to 100,000 tonnes of hazardous waste per annum.
“That is way over capacity and it could lead to the importation of hazardous waste,” she added
“The toxic waste uncovered on Haulbowline has proved a wake- up call for Cork harbour, and has underlined a situation where the relevant authorities have failed to protect the community and the environment,” said Ms O’Leary.