Friday 13 August 2010

Environmentalists hit out at revised incinerator plan

ENVIRONMENTALISTS CAMPAIGNING against a proposed €150 million twin incinerator project in Cork Harbour have called on the developers to submit a new planning application after they reduced the size of the project by 40 per cent.

Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment (Chase) have criticised Indaver Ireland, who have amended their proposed project at Ringaskiddy following a recommendation by An Bord Pleanála that it should make changes to the plan.

Indaver Ireland had applied under the Planning and Development (Strategic Infrastructure) Act 2006 for a 100,000-tonne hazardous industrial waste incinerator, a 140,000-tonne municipal waste incinerator and a transfer station at the 12-hectare Ringaskiddy site.

Last January, An Bord Pleanála refused planning for the municipal waste incinerator part of the project but indicated it was considering granting permission for both a hazardous waste incinerator and a transfer station if certain concerns were addressed.

An Bord Pleanála said that Indaver should make amendments to its environmental impact statement to address concerns over flooding, coastal erosion and revised emissions if it wished to obtain planning for the hazardous waste incinerator and transfer station.

On Tuesday, Indaver said it had reduced the size of buildings by 40 per cent while maintaining capacity while it also proposed a water management system that will enable all water on site to be re-used and recycled and not discharged as originally proposed.

According to Indaver Ireland managing director John Ahern, the company listened to views expressed at an oral hearing about the project and the proposed smaller building will improve views to and from locations such as Martello Tower, Cobh, Ringaskiddy and Spike Island.

However, Chase chairwoman, Mary O’Leary said the group believed the amendments made by Indaver amounted to “a completely changed physical structure” and that it should “constitute a new planning application”.

Ms O’Leary said that while Indaver had changed the size of its proposed plant, the site at Ringaskiddy remained unsuitable particularly as the landscape had “changed enormously” since Indaver’s application in 2000.

Since then the National Maritime College of Ireland has been built across the road from the site.

The Coastal and Marine Resources Centre at Haulbowline is also set for expansion after receiving approval for a €7 million investment.

Irish Times

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