‘Stomach churning’ smells from landfill subject to €20m fine

Locals living close to the dump near Naas worry for the health of their children

 

Locals have described the “stomach churning” smells emanating from a landfill near Naas, which a Dublin company was fined €20 million for “nuisance odours”.

Jenzsoph Ltd, with a registered address at Terenure Place, Terenure, Dublin 6, was convicted at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on one count of holding or disposing of waste in a manner that caused environmental pollution in the form of nuisance odours at Kerdiffstown, Kildare between February 1st, 2007, and November 25th, 2008.

It was also convicted of holding or disposing of a large mound of waste in a manner likely to cause environmental pollution at the same location between October 22nd, 2003, and November 25th, 2008.

The trial was unusual as Jenzsoph Ltd was not represented in any way and no defence was offered.

Joe Friel, who lives nearby the dump and is part of a campaign called Clean Air Naas, said locals were worried about their health and the health of their children.

“The smell was as bad as you could ever imagine. A very heavy sulphuric smell. At times it smelled like raw sewage,” he said.

Mr Friel said it was difficult living near the landfill that held 3.1 million tonnes of waste through the years.

There have been a number of fires at the site and Mr Friel said when an underground fire broke out in early 2011 it burned for more than four weeks.

“They had to put liquid nitrogen into the ground to control it,” he said.

Mr Friel told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland he had seen a Environmental Protection Agency report that estimated the site would cost €30 million to clean up over a 30 years period.

Evidence was heard at court on Tuesday that a large amount of non-hazardous domestic waste had been accumulated in the northwest corner of the facility, which lies outside Naas.

Judge Patrick McCartan imposed fines of €10 million for each count and directed the company to pay within one month.

The EPA has been contacted for comment.