Wednesday 10 February 2010

Cabinet backs Gormley over incinerator row

ENVIRONMENT Minister John Gormley has secured a vote of confidence from the Cabinet on his handling of the Poolbeg incinerator controversy.

But it was confirmed last night that there had been no change in government policy toward incineration and that no decision had been made on capping the amount of waste to be processed at the forthcoming Poolbeg incinerator or others. Mr Gormley -- a strong opponent of the Poolbeg incinerator -- went to yesterday's cabinet meeting to get backing from his colleagues in the wake of "suggestions" in the media that he was acting alone on the issue.

After consulting with Attorney General Paul Gallagher, the Cabinet released a statement afterwards saying Mr Gormley had the "full confidence" of the Government to develop a new waste resource management policy. This could include a cap on incineration, which would affect the 600,000-tonne incinerator being built in Poolbeg in the heart of Mr Gormley's Dublin South East constituency.

But a Government spokesman confirmed last night that no cap on incineration had been introduced and that no change in government waste policy had been made yet.

He denied that the cabinet statement was being released simply to provide political cover for Mr Gormley.

Last week, Dublin city manager John Tierney said there had been no change to waste management policy since Mr Gormley took office.

- Michael Brennan

Irish Independent

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