Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Gormley comes under fire as Poolbeg incinerator is approved

THE MINISTER for the Environment John Gormley has rejected Opposition claims that yesterday's decision to give the go-ahead for a controversial incinerator in his own Dublin constituency has highlighted the Green Party's "ineffectuality" in Government.

The proposed €250 million incinerator in Poolbeg, set to be one of the largest municipal waste incinerators in Europe, was yesterday granted an operating licence by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It is located in Mr Gormley's own constituency of Dublin South East.

The Green Party leader has been one of the project's most vocal opponents over the past 10 years and yesterday's decision was viewed as politically awkward for him.

Dublin City Council will be allowed to burn 600,000 tonnes of waste annually. The licence also frees the council from having to pre-sort the waste using mechanical biological treatment (MBT), a waste management process favoured by the Green Party leader.

Mr Gormley has said that the use of MBT and other methods could reduce the volume of waste for incineration throughout the State to 600,000 tonnes per annum, a fraction of the proposed capacity of the eight incinerators envisaged by regional waste plans. It is equal to the total volume of waste Dublin City Council has committed to provide the Poolbeg incinerator each year.

The licence is subject to more than 216 conditions relating to the environmental management, operation, control and monitoring of the facility.

However, it is understood that despite the many conditions, some of which are likely to result in considerable extra costs, the council will be able to go ahead with the facility and expects to begin construction in the second half of next year. It will also need approval from the Commission for Energy Regulation.

Ruairí Quinn of Labour, also a TD in Dublin South East, called on the Minister to fund a judicial review of the decision and claimed he could have used his powers as Minister to stop the incinerator.

"This really is his last chance to act. If he doesn't, he will be to blame if this incinerator is built," he said.

Lucinda Creighton, the Fine Gael TD in the constituency, contended that Mr Gormley was a "do-nothing Minister" who had sat on his hands rather than intervening. Mr Gormley portrayed Opposition calls on him to intervene as "bogus" and "hypocritical". "That planning process had begun before I entered office. You have to go back many years before this process began," he said, adding that the legal framework forbade him as Minister to intervene.

Irish Times


The Galway Tent Blog. said...

Is this consistent with the Big Lie technique?

Statutory Processes, 25 September 2004, Dublin Waste to Energy - Information Day 5

Extract Source: "Statutory Process - Session 1.doc"; The document "Statutory Process - Session 1.doc" does not appear to declare the Consultant's Ten Year Directorship of EPA-Ireland.

Question: Who staffs the office of Environmental Enforcement? Who will conduct the monitoring of the plant and at what frequency?

Ann Butler, Environmental Consultant:
The licence which the EPA issues will set out what monitoring and reporting must be carried out, for example, real time monitoring, intermittent monitoring of other emissions and the requirements to submit information on a regular basis. The EPA will also undertake checks and independent monitoring, as is required in legislation.

Document omits: The document "Statutory Process - Session 1.doc" does not appear to declare the Consultant's Ten Year Directorship of EPA-Ireland.

The Galway Tent Blog. said...

Mr Gormley met Anne Butler, an environmental consultant hired by Energy Answers (An alias for Covanta-Poolbeg? -Blog Text Insert-), last July. Previously, she was director of the Environmental Protection Agency for 10 years and president of the Institute of Engineers for one year.

The Galway Tent Blog. said...

Revolving Doors At EPA, ABP, Indaver, RPS: Dublin Bay Incinerator.
Brown envelopes are not needed. Just provide "career opportunities" to the public servants. Have a nice day.

Green Party calls for removal of EPA director due to unresolvable conflict of interest

Issued: 27 August 2004

27 August 2004
Green Party calls for removal of EPA director due to unresolvable conflict of interest

The Green Party has today called for the removal of Environmental Protection Agency director, Ms Laura Burke, due to an unresolvable conflict of interest. Ms Burke was formerly project manager for Indaver Ireland?s planned incinerators at Ringaskiddy, County Cork and Carranstown, County Meath.
Green Party Leader Trevor Sargent TD said today that, ?Ms Burke?s position is no longer tenable. The fact that Ms Burke will not be allowed to attend the EPA board meeting, which will decide on the Ringaskiddy incinerator, only highlights the ongoing conflict of interest created by her appointment to the EPA. Her role as director utterly compromises the position of the EPA as a body seen by the public as being independent and impartial.?
?Ms Burke clearly should not have been appointed and should not continue. Apart from her lack of credibility in environmental protection arising from her previous role as a promoter of incineration, she effectively denies a more suitable expert a place on the EPA board. As a result, we now have a weaker EPA and a more vulnerable environment.?
?Minister Cullen has made a series of appointments to the executive board of the EPA which show all too clearly that he sees the Agency as protecting the interests of business, with environmental protection being given a very low priority.?