Sunday 30 May 2010

Licence granted for 'superdump'

A 300,000-tonne capacity regional landfill near Lusk in north Dublin, in which one sixth of the county's waste will be dumped, has been granted a waste licence by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The licence for the landfill, which has been once of the most contested developments ever proposed for the region, is subject to more than 250 conditions relating to environmental management operation, control and monitoring of the facility.

The EPA held two public hearings on the development and said the conditions take into account the concerns expressed at those hearings.

However local residents opposing the development said they are "horrified" by the decision which they have today referred to the European Commission and the European Petitions Committee.

The EPA said it was satisfied that the operation of the facility, in accordance with the conditions of the licence, will not adversely affect human health or the environment, and will meet all relevant national and EU standards.

The conditions it said impose "strict controls" on all emissions from the facility. They also require that leachate - contaminated liquid which drains from landfills, be collected and treated to prevent contamination of soil and ground water.

Odour management infrastructure will have to be installed, all waste must be pre-treated so that only residual waste is dumped, and landfill gases must be collected and treated.

Strict monitoring will be required, the EPA said, particularly in relation to ground water which will be monitored throughout the life of the landfill and after its closure in 30 years time.

Fingal County Council initially applied for a licence for the landfill in the townland of Tooman/Nevitt close to Lusk in July 2006. More than 100 objections to the facility were received, a particularly large number for the EPA, and two public hearings were held.

The licence would allow 500,000 tonnes of waste to be dumped annually at the landfill, but the planning permission for the plant, granted by An Bord Pleanála last year, restricts the intake to 300,000 tonnes a year.

Nevitt Lusk Action Group, which objected to both the EPA and An Bord Pleanála against the development said the facility was unnecessary and would destroy a valuable ground water resource.

"We're not surprised by the EPA decision but we're still absolutely horrified by the Government and Government agency's lack of foresight in allowing this to go ahead," group spokeswoman Gemma Larkin said

The landfill would also destroy ground-water essential to the operation of the horticulture industry in the area, she said.

A spokeswoman for Fingal said the council was considering in detail the conditions and sub-conditions set out in the waste licence, but did intend to proceed with the development.

Irish Times

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