EPA open investigation into at incident at Poolbeg Incinerator that left 11 in hospital

Published by Niall Sargent on

June 8th, 2017

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has opened an investigating into an incident at the Poolbeg Incinerator in Dublin last night that left eleven workers in hospital.

In a statement released this evening, the EPA said that waste feed to the incinerator has stopped and waste incineration has also been suspended.

The incident is believed to have stemmed from the release of lime from the flue gas treatment system, exposure to which can cause severe skin irritation, chemical burns, blindness and lung damage.

Covanta, the company which runs the incinerator, said that it believes the release of lime occurred due to a problem with a door seal in the fabric filter baghouse, where emissions of small hazardous particles that form as part of the burning process are filtered.

The company said that a combustion unit operating at the time was shut down “in an orderly and controlled manner” and that the lime was contained and did not escape into the environment.

The EPA confirmed that the lime release was contained in the building and there was no loss of lime to the environment.

The EPA is satisfied that there was no danger to the public or local community from this release, the statement continues.

An EPA inspector was on site today, with the regulator liaising with the Health & Safety Authority (HSA) over the incident.

“The EPA will require a full report from the licensee in relation to this incident, which will address corrective and preventative actions to be taken,” the EPA statement reads.

“On foot of this report, and the EPA’s own investigation, further action may be considered by the EPA.”

Earlier today, Green Party leader Eamon Ryan called or activities at the facility to cease while an investigation is carried out by the proper authorities.

“We are extremely concerned at this incident happening so soon after incineration began at the site,” he said. “The authorities need to get to the bottom of this as soon as possible.”


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Niall Sargent

Niall is the Editor of The Green News. He is a multimedia journalist, with an MA in Investigative Journalism from City University, London