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EPA grants licence to Dublin City Council to operate Poolbeg incinerator

Irelands Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a licence to Dublin City Council, to operate an incinerator at Poolbeg, Dublin, much to the dismay of an environmental group.

The decision to grant a licence to the council has been seen as controversial by the campaign group, Combined Residents Against Incinerators (CRAI), which has been campaigning against the proposals for the incinerator to be built in Poolbeg for the last 10 years. The group say that the incinerator will bring environmental and traffic problems to the area.

The licence provides for the operation of the incinerator to burn non-hazardous waste and to recover energy in the form of steam and electricity for export to the national grid, and for the transfer of heat to a municipal district-heating system. Dublin City Council, as licensee, will be responsible for the operation and management of the facility.

CRAI member Frances Corr told MRW: We are totally shocked and disgusted at the EPAs decision and we are going to appeal this decision. We are going to speak to our legal team and intend fighting on. If we have to fight for another 10 years we will keep on going.

Waste firm Covanta USA and Danish company, DONG Energy Generation, hope to build the plant. If built the incinerator could be the biggest in Europe processing 600,000 tonnes of waste per year.

Corr said: The council wants to control the waste so that it can monopolise the system to get the waste to feed the incinerator.

This has been really draining and people are actually ill thinking about it.
She said that this case was linked to waste firms Panda and Greenstar taking Dublin local authorities to court to stop them from making changes to a waste management plant to give them more control over rubbish collection.

Corr added that the council should invest in more recycling facilities and mechanical biological treatment facilities rather than build an incinerator. She said: There are no glass recycling facilities in Ireland and all our paper is exported. By building some of these facilities it could create jobs.

The people who live at Poolbeg are extremely worried. We intend fighting on and we will fight. If we have to come on to the streets we will come and block it to stop them building it.

A statement by the EPA said: The EPA is satisfied that operation of the facility, in accordance with the conditions of the licence, will not endanger human health or harm the environment in the vicinity of the facility or over a wider area.

Previous story, Poolbeg incinerator comes under fire from green group, 14/01/08

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