Thursday 29 January 2009

Councillors seek meeting over plan for sewage-treatment plant

CONNEMARA COUNCILLORS are seeking an urgent meeting with Minister for the Environment John Gormley over plans to build a sewage-treatment plant at one of the area’s most scenic parts of coastline.

Sruthán pier at Carraroe has been earmarked for the treatment plant by Galway County Council.

The local authority says the site would facilitate linkage to the existing sewerage network running through the village. Attempts to reach an agreement on an alternative location over the past year appear to have failed.

Raw sewage is currently discharged untreated into Casla Bay. However, the local community believes a plant overlooking the Atlantic and within 75m of housing would have a negative impact on the area.

A community group, Coiste Chéibh an tSrutháin, says its main areas of concern relate to “visual impact, odour pollution, noise pollution and discharges from the plant”.

“We believe that developing this sewage-treatment plant at this location will have an adverse effect on the wellbeing of the whole local community in many ways – environmental, physical, psychological and economic.”

The group says camouflaging the plant would be impossible. and it knows of “no other similar sewage-treatment plant in a similar location anywhere in the country or, indeed, anywhere abroad”.

Representatives of the community staged a protest at Galway County Council’s headquarters this week, which resulted in deferral of a draft proposal before the authority to begin building the plant.

Connemara councillors who are seeking to discuss the issue with Mr Gormley have been advised that the Galway county manager has the authority to pursue the project if a decision is not taken within six weeks.

Irish Times

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