Friday 21 November 2008

Rathcoole anti-incinerator group to seek costs from firm

A GROUP opposed to the building of an incinerator at Rathcoole in west Dublin is to seek to have its costs paid by the company proposing the development, Energy Answers International.

Rathcoole Against Incineration Dioxins (Raid) is giving evidence at a Bord Pleanála hearing on the proposed €200 million incinerator, energy recovery facility and concrete plant.

Raid said it would lodge a claim for about €55,000 with inquiry inspector Michael Dillon before the close of the inquiry, expected in early December.

Under legislation governing strategic infrastructure applications Bord Pleanála may direct the applicant to pay all or some of the costs of other parties.

Outlining its case yesterday, Raid called a range of expert witnesses including lawyers, planning and transport specialists, biologists, a biochemist and representatives of the bloodstock industry.

Spokesman Liam McDermott said Raid believed it was correct that its costs should be borne by Energy Answers. "If they put us to such trouble and expense it should be [they] who pay for it," he said.

Horse breeder and broadcaster Ted Walsh said "incinerators are bad neighbours" and that putting one in Rathcoole would be putting substantial bloodstock interests in Co Kildare at risk.

Consultant ecologist Mieke Muyllaert said the site was "of greater biodiversity significance than suggested by the environmental impact statement".

Transportation expert Christy O'Sullivan said there were significant dangers posed for traffic on the N7; during the construction of the plant, there would be 500 vehicle movements on the road per day, and 428 during its operation. Dangers were also likely to arise at the junction of the slip-road from the plant.

Biochemist Deborah McDermott was incredulous that the applicant had claimed the boiler ash did not qualify as hazardous waste. "As there is no toxic landfill in the Republic of Ireland one must ask . . . where will this toxic waste go?" she said. Rónán Mac Diarmada, an agricultural scientist, said the drawings in the application were flawed. "The landscape drawing is unsatisfactory in terms of detail and accuracy. The site boundary does not correlate with other consultants' drawings. The site layout does not show levels and does not correspond to engineers' drawings."

Irish Times

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