AN ORAL hearing by An Bord Pleanála into a proposed €150 million incinerator planned for Ringaskiddy in Cork Harbour will resume today when objectors to the proposal will get an opportunity to question the developers on their submissions.
Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment (Chase) and other opponents of the plan will start their questioning of experts called by Indaver Ireland who last week made submissions on various aspects of the proposal including air quality, traffic impact and safety risks.
Among those likely to be questioned at length by Chase and others this week is Indaver’s medical expert, Dr Martin Hogan, who presented a submission based on a review of a number of studies of the impact of incinerators on public health.
Dr Hogan said most of the published studies looked at incinerators whose emissions of dioxins, dust and heavy metal were far greater than would be emitted by a modern waste resource recovery facility such as that proposed by Indaver for Ringaskiddy.
He quoted from a report published in 2004 by the UK department of the environment, food and rural affairs which did not find a link between the current generation of municipal solid-waste incinerators and health effects.
“We looked in detail at studies of incineration facilities and found no consistent or convincing evidence of a link between cancer and incineration. There is little evidence that emissions from incinerators make respiratory problems worse.
“In most cases, the incinerator contributes only a small proportion to local levels of pollutants,” Dr Hogan claimed, before going on to refer to the Health Research Board’s 2003 report, Health and Environmental Effects of Landfilling and Incineration of Waste.