Residents reject plans for waste facility near Carlingford Lough

Published by Kate O'Brien on

July 18th, 2017

Plans to set up a waste management and bulking facility at Warrenpoint Harbour, County Louth has met with great opposition from residents and local politicians.

The Newry -based company Re-Gen have submitted an application for a Pollution Prevention and Control (PPC) Permit for the operation of a waste management facility in the Harbour.

Campaigners against the proposed facility recently launched a petition against the proposed facility in the Carlingford Lough area which now has over 1,200 signatures.

The petition calls on politicians, councillors and the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs to reject the application due to fears for the “health, safety & well-being of the people of the Lough”.

The petition also points to the potential impact of any spills, leaks or emissions on the biodiversity of Carlingford Lough, an environmentally protected area.

Local politicians have also spoken out against the plans, including Fine Gael TD Peter Fitzpatrick. “The treatment plant, which will be over 1,000 sq. m in size, is by no means a small development”, said,” he said.

“It has been indicated that at any one time the treatment plant will store 200 tonnes of carcinogenic waste, one tonne of readily combustible solids and one tonne of spontaneously combustible solids,” he added.

Sinn Féin President, and Louth TD, Gerry Adams also highlighted the “understandable fears” of locals about potential damage from the waste disposal facility to the area of “outstanding natural beauty”.

In a statement, Warrenpoint Harbour Authority (WHA) said that the proposal “will be subject to exactly the same rigorous processes, procedures and scrutiny as any other proposed development on the site”.

The statement added that WHA is committed to working with the community and has “encouraged the applicant to undertake a comprehensive community consultation exercise to ensure full transparency”.

Re-Gen Waste have indicated that a comprehensive community consultation will take place, with the decision welcomed by Sinn Féin’s Chris Hazzard, MP.

The South Down MP said that the local community had been concerned that plans to construct a hazardous waste facility were being advanced behind closed doors.

“Having raised this issue with Re-Gen last week I welcome their confirmation that a comprehensive community consultation will take place this summer giving the local South Down and north Louth community the opportunity to scrutinise the proposal in full view of the facts,” he said.

“Sinn Féin has been clear from the outset that any plans to construct a hazardous waste facility on Carlingford Lough must be fully transparent and open to public scrutiny.”

He concluded: “From this point onwards the community must be afforded full transparency and openness to what is proposed.”

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Kate O'Brien

Kate is a freelance writer with work published in The Guardian, the Financial Times and the New York Times blog. She is a former Editor of The Plant, a UK magazine on plants and other greenery