Company planning Cork incinerator to apply for waste licence within weeks

 

Indaver, the Belgian company which is proposing to construct a €90 million hazardous waste incinerator at Ringaskiddy, Cork Harbour, will apply to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) within the coming weeks for a waste licence under the Waste Management Act.

The company's proposal for Ireland's first hazardous waste incinerator has already received the approval of the Health and Safety Authority (HSA), and last week Cork County Council management supported a material contravention of the county development plan necessary for the project to go ahead as rezoning of the Ringaskiddy site is required.

The council's decision will have to go before a meeting of the local authority for ratification before the rezoning can take place and it is not expected to be given the go-ahead.

In that event, Indaver will appeal to An Bord Pleanála. If approval is granted, objections will be lodged by CHASE, the Cork Harbour anti-incineration group which has collected the signatures of thousands of people who oppose the incinerator plan, primarily on health grounds.

Indaver says its technology will be state of the art, but CHASE and other lobby groups, including the Irish Doctors' Environmental Association, claim no proof exists to show the extent or otherwise of the potentially harmful effect of emissions from the incinerator.

The Ringaskiddy Residents' Association is also against the proposal which, it says, would generate an unprecedented amount of heavy traffic in the harbour village as trucks deliver waste to the incinerator.

The association claims that the existing road infrastructure in Ringaskiddy is not geared for such a traffic increase and that the village nature of Ringaskiddy would be damaged.

Indaver, however, believes the planning application has now passed two important hurdles and that its proposal remains on schedule. HSA approval and now the decision by the management of Cork County Council to support the contravention of the county development plan means that within a year, the issue should be in the hands of An Bord Pleanála.

Indaver's managing director in Ireland, Mr John Ahern, said yesterday the company would go ahead immediately with the waste licence application to the EPA, which it hoped would be granted.

According to the EPA, a decision on the licence could take from six months to a year, depending on the number of submission and objections received. If it is granted, Indaver believes it will then have a powerful case to argue at An Bord Pleanála level.