Emissions license may be sought for Cork incinerator despite ongoing court case

Published by Shamim Malekmian on

June 20th, 2019

A Cork-based citizen group against a planned incinerator in Ringaskiddy has criticised Indaver Ireland’s plan to apply for an emissions licence despite a pending court judgment on the validity of planning permission.

Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment (CHASE) said that it has been recently informed by Indaver of its plans to proceed with an application to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

“Indaver are obviously presuming that their permission will stand in advance of any High Court decision, which we believe is a premature assumption,” Mary O’Leary, Chairperson of CHASE said.

Ms O’Leary reiterated the group’s concerns about the health implications of living near an incinerator, reasoning that scientific studies have shown that “particles coming out of incinerators are more toxic than for other combustion processes”.

A new study carried out by Chinese researchers has revealed that fine particles emitting from urban waste-to-energy plants can“contain high amount of toxic compounds and pose a serious threat to environment and human health”.

The High Court commenced hearing the controversial incinerator case earlier in March with no final judgment issued yet.

The case brought on by CHASE challenges An Bord Pleanála’s (ABP) decision to grant planning permission for an incinerator in Ringaskiddy, Cork Harbour.

The planning authority gave the green light to Indaver Ireland to build a €160 million waste-to-energy plant in Cork Harbour last year despite the recommendation of its own inspector not to grant permission.

The board’s decision prompted an outcry from local residents, businesses and both local and national politicians, including such as Tánaiste Simon Coveney, TD. Minister Coveney has said that he was “disappointed” and “frustrated” by the board’s decision.

Inspector Derek Daly gave five grounds for his recommendation to refuse permission, including air quality, air travel safety, inconsistency with surrounding development in the harbour, lack of consideration of alternative sites and overdevelopment of the site itself.

The Board, however, stated that the development was in line with European, national and regional waste management policy.

Indaver has been trying to build the multi-million-euro waste-to-energy plant since 2001 and this was its third application for permission.

The proposed incinerator, which qualifies as Strategic Infrastructure Development (SID), would be capable of transforming 240,000 tonnes of both industrial and household waste into 25 megawatts of electricity per year.

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Shamim Malekmian

Shamim is a Senior Reporter at The Green News and a contributing writer to the Irish Examiner, Cork Evening Echo and the Dublin Inquirer.