Real-time data on Poolbeg Incinerator must be made available to public, says Green Party

Published by Niall Sargent on

May 4th, 2017

Comprehensive real-time data on the Poolbeg Incinerator must be made available to the public following local concern over testing, says the Green Party leader.

The comments from Eamon Ryan, TD come as locals voice concern over the volume of steam coming from the plant during tests of the incinerator’s  steam turbines this week.

The steam was part of the commissioning process during which stream was used to clean out piping, according to Poolbeg’s US operator Covanta. Temporary oil burners were also used to fire up the boilers during this process.

According to Mr Ryan, locals were also worried about the simultaneous arrival of fly ash, although this is likely to have come from a gorse fire on Howth hill rather than the incinerator.

However, Mr Ryan said that local concern still raises the need for “absolute transparency” at the new facility.

He called on the EPA to ensure that all real-time information on the likes of “temperatures, transport routes, use of carbon in the scrubbing facility, and the level of hazardous residues within the bottom and fly ash” are made available to the public.

The Green Party has been a constant opponent of the Poolbeg project since it was first mooted, stating that it does not fit in with a sustainable waste management strategy for the Dublin region.

According to Mr Ryan, the plant is the “wrong technology in the wrong location at the wrong scale,” adding that with the project in place it is now the role of the Green party to monitor the operation.

“The plant will fire up properly next week and we will be demanding that the EPA does its job to protect the public from all eventualities.”

According to Covanta, some waste will be delivered to the plant over the coming days, but only to test a weighbridge and bunker cranes.

The incinerator is expected to be in full service by the end of the summer. Once fully operational, the plant is expected to process 600,000 tonnes of municipal waste every year and generate enough electricity to power 80,000 homes.

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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