Floods prove proposed incinerator site is unsuitable - campaigners
Environmental activists tonight claimed almighty floods proved plans for a 100,000 tonne toxic burner in Cork harbour were awash with flaws.
Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment said it would be disastrous if the tidal deluge struck again when the Ringaskiddy incinerator was up and running.
Storm force winds, high tides and heavy rain battered the south coast for almost 24 hours leaving the incinerator site submerged in three feet of water.
CHASE chairwoman Mary O’Leary said, “It was just a fortuitous act. We have no hand in that but we can’t complain.
“We are glad that this has happened now, where it illustrates that the site is wrong, rather than when there is hazardous waste in storage on the site,” she said.
Around 15,000 residents on Great Island, near the proposed incinerator site, were left stranded last night as high tides swamped the area. Further flooding is expected with high seas and rain lashing the harbour area.
Ms O’Leary said it was direct proof the site failed World Health Organisation criteria and backed up inspectors’ concerns over the plan.
“It is a cause for major concern, and highlights the absolute unsuitability of the site for such a high risk project.
“It is irresponsible to proceed with the project,” she added.
“If there had have been a serious accident last night there would have been no escape route,” Ms O’Leary said.
Indaver Ireland had applied for an incineration licence to handle hazardous and non-hazardous waste in Ringaskiddy, Cork, and non-hazardous materials in Duleek, Meath.
An Bord Pleanala granted planning permission for the Cork incinerator last January by a majority of nine to one as it was in line with Government waste management policy.
But a senior inspector gave 13 reasons why the site should be refused.
The group said they would be checking water levels and comparing the situation against flow projections in the planning submission.
The Ringaskiddy plant, which will cost more than 75 million euro, will deal with 100,000 tonnes of industrial and commercial waste each year.
The burner, which could be up and running by 2007 and employ 50 people, will handle both hazardous and non-hazardous materials.
Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment