EMISSIONS FROM a hazardous waste incinerator planned for Ringaskiddy in Cork harbour will be in compliance with the ambient air quality standards set down in law, an expert witness on behalf of the developers of the incinerator has told the public hearing.
Air quality consultant Dr Edward Porter told the hearing he had used two models to examine the quality of air emissions from the proposed incinerator. Both confirmed that emissions would be within existing ambient air quality standards.
Making a submission on behalf of Indaver Ireland, Dr Porter said he had obtained meteorological data from Cork airport from 2003- 2007 to feed into his two models.
He said the Ringaskiddy facility would have two main emission points or flues within the one 85 metre stack, with one flue taking emissions from the grate incinerator, the other taking emissions from a post-combustion chamber.
“The results show that the combination of stringent emission limits laid down in the waste incineration directive and the selected stack height are appropriate in ensuring that the ambient air quality standards are not exceeded.”
In a detailed submission, Dr Porter said the results showed that sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide and total dust emissions under maximum conditions ranged from 10 per cent to 33 per cent of the ambient air quality standards at the nearest test receptor point.
Dr Porter added that the proposed facility would not have any impact on climate change, in line with incinerators generally.
Safety expert Thomas Cleary, for Indaver, said Ringaskiddy was classified as a Seveso site – which covers a European directive on control of major accidents involving dangerous substances – because of the various wastes likely to be handled there, including aqueous wastes, waste solvents, flammable materials and harmful solid wastes.
He said the waste tanks would be relatively small with the largest being just 400 cubic metres. The main solvent tanks would be at the southern side of the site and shielded from the Ringaskiddy Road by the incinerator plant itself.
Mr Cleary acknowledged there had been explosions and fires at incinerators which resulted in fatalities, but such fatalities had been confined to those on the site.