Wednesday 16 February 2011

Go ahead sought for major toxic dump

PLANS FOR a major landfill capable of taking hazardous ash from Ireland’s proposed incinerators have been lodged with An Bord Pleanála.

Murphy Environmental Hollywood Ltd (Mehl) is seeking permission for a 500,000-tonne-per-annum landfill to include hazardous waste on a site west of the M1 motorway at Hollywood Great, Nag’s Head, Naul, Co Dublin.

According to plans, the landfill would be capable of taking all of the estimated 86,000 tonnes of “hazardous flue gas treatment residues” produced annually by three incinerators in development in the Republic, as well as one in Northern Ireland.

The incinerators include the Poolbeg waste to energy plant in Dublin and the Indaver Ireland plant at Carranstown in Co Meath which are under construction. Also named in the application is the Indaver Ireland plant proposed for Ringaskiddy, Co Cork, along with a fourth, described as “provision for waste to energy in Northern Ireland”.

The application is being considered by An Bord Pleanála, which has set a deadline of February 11th for submissions. A licence is also required from the Environmental Protection Agency.

The Naul site is a former quarry operating as a landfill and licensed by the environmental agency for 500,000 tonnes of inert material per annum. The proposers note there would no need to change the permitted tonnage involved.

According to the environmental impact assessment associated with the application, the flue gas residues would typically contain heavy metals and dioxins and lime.

Dioxins are known carcinogens while other elements of the gases are classed as irritants to skin and respiratory systems. According to the plans, an onsite “solidification” facility would receive the treatment residues, solidifying them before their removal to “engineered cells”.

The application is for a term of 25 years and the area of the site is 54.4 hectares.

In a statement, Mehl general manager Patricia Rooney said the company was engaged in extensive public consultation on the project and pointed out it was national policy to have a licensed hazardous landfill in place by 2012.

A spokesman for Indaver Ireland said it was favourably disposed towards the project. He pointed out that a hazardous landfill was part of waste management infrastructure which the environmental agency said this week was lacking in the Republic.

However, PJ Rudden of RPS Consultants, who are working on the Poolbeg incinerator, said it was not disposed to send either its non-hazardous “bottom ash” or its hazardous flue ash to Mehl for treatment.

Mr Rudden said it was intended to choose recycling ahead of landfill and the bottom ash would be sent to the UK with the flue ash going to Scandinavia.

A spokesman for An Bord Pleanála said it was policy to hold public oral hearings into applications which come before its strategic infrastructure division.

However, no date for a hearing has been set.

Irish Times

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