Eirgrid cable case dismissed by court
THE HIGH Court has dismissed a Co Dublin community group’s claim that the proposed east-west electricity interconnector going through the town of Rush will be operated in a manner not in compliance with planning permission.
Rush Community Council Ltd brought the proceedings against Eirgrid due to concerns about an association between electromagnetic fields generated by high-voltage power cables and childhood leukaemia.
Eirgrid insisted the interconnector would be operated in accordance with its planning conditions and would comply with international guidelines on electromagnetic fields.
In his judgment yesterday, Mr Justice Michael Peart said he was of the view the proceedings were “misconceived”. He also believed they had “wasted a lot of valuable court time, not to mention, I imagine, a great deal of money”.
Issues as to liability of costs of the action will be dealt with later.
The case centred on a section of the interconnector which comes to shore from the seabed at North Beach in Rush to the Rogerstown estuary and which will run close to residential areas in the town.
The group sought an order restraining Eirgrid from operating the interconnector in any manner which resulted in the creation, production or emission of time varying magnetic fields and declarations, if the interconnector created any time varying magnetic field, that it amounted to unauthorised development.
Eirgrid had argued the interconnector’s cables would produce a magnetic field lower than the naturally occurring geomagnetic field of Earth and that there was no risk to public health or safety.
The proposed interconnector will connect the Irish power system to the electricity grid in Britain through undersea and underground cables. Expected to have the capacity to supply power to about 350,000 homes, it is due to be completed later this year.
In his ruling, Mr Justice Peart said he believed the case “ought not to have been brought”. While he could understand residents’ health concerns, they had agreed an independent report compiled by Dutch firm Kema would be undertaken to deal with their concerns. That report found the magnetic fields generated by the cable could be considered very low.