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16 January 2004


Towards Sustainable Resource Management

This is a sad and disappointing day for Ireland and its environment, and for democracy in Ireland. A deeply flawed evaluation process has led to the bizarre situation of An Bord Pleanála going against the recommendations of one its own senior Inspectors, and granting planning permission for a hazardous waste incinerator in Ringaskiddy, County Cork. Over 23,000 people signed petitions against the incinerator proposed for Ringaskiddy. The decision is at odds with government positions in most other developed western countries where incinerators are now seen to be an obsolete technology in terms of acceptable health, environment and sustainable development risks and standards.

Outside of Ireland, widespread public and scientific resistance to incineration as a waste management tool has grown in proportion to the rapidly expanding body of knowledge about incinerators' actual and potential disruptive effects on ecosystems and living organisms, including plants, animals and human beings.

However, in Ireland, Government has decided that incinerators are an element of Ireland's future waste disposal infrastructure. The Government's position is in direct contradiction to widely-expressed concerns throughout the country, and is totally contrary to the stated pre-election policy of one of the two coalition partners in Government (Progressive Democratic Party).

It is also hard to believe that no health or environmental considerations could be raised during the four-week hearing that led to An Bord Pleanála's decision. Because of a major flaw in Ireland's development control legislation and decision-making procedures, health and environment matters are excluded from planning decisions taken by An Bord Pleanála (the Planning Appeals Board), and are considered by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) only in relation to emissions of pollutants controlled under its licensing procedure.

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CHASE - Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment, 1 Lower Midleton Street, Cobh, Cork
Tel: 021 481 5564
- Email: info@chaseireland.org