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PRESS RELEASE - November 22, 2004

EPA Incinerator Licence Exposes Catalogue of Deceit

Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment (CHASE) have today lodged their appeal against the decision of the Environmental Protection Agency to grant a waste licence for the Ringaskiddy Incinerator, and have requested an oral hearing of same.

The objection shows the licence to be inadequate, differing from the original planning application, and non-compliant in a number of areas with WHO guidelines and EC legislation. Points raised include:

  • More hazardous waste means higher risk plant
    Indaver originally submitted incorrect waste categories to the EPA. Indaver then changed their characterization of waste and moved non-hazardous wastes into their proper hazardous category, meaning more hazardous waste. This should move the facility to a higher risk tier under the Sevesco Directive with a blast zone of typically 1.5km, and more stringent criteria to comply with, and should be assessed as such under the planning process.
  • Increase in waste to be burned
    In Jan 2004, An Bord Pleanala granted planning permission for a single, 100,000 tonne hazardous waste incinerator at Ringaskiddy. In their waste licence application to the EPA, Indaver applied for permission to burn 300,000 tonnes of waste per annum in two incinerators. The EPA's draft licence permits burning of up to 215,260 tonnes, in two incinerators. This exceeds by 115,000 tonnes the tonnage specified in the plant's planning permission and licences a second incinerator for which plannning permission has not even yet been sought.
  • Premature granting of licence for MUNICIPAL Incinerator
    A licence has been granted for a municipal incinerator for which planning permission has yet to be applied for. This is an underhand attempt to slip Phase II of the plant, i.e. the municipal waste incinerator, in through the back door, and should not be allowed. It again raises the question of vested interests with ex-Indaver staff working within the EPA.
  • Inadequate bond will leave taxpayer to foot clean up bill
    Indaver Ireland proposes to only partly fund a clean up operation in the event of an accident, leaving the taxpayer to fund the rest. The Euros12.5m bond offered to fund clean up operations in the event of an accident is completely insufficient given that in Belgium in 2000 a food contamination incident cost the national economy Euro500m.
  • Flooding after issuing of licence invalidates data given
    New data emerging after the licence was granted, by way of the floods of 28/29 October, showed the flood water levels at 2.85m (i.e. 0.2m above floor level). Ground floor level in the EIS is given at 2.65m (Ordinance Data) OD with flood levels are given as 2.55m OD using Malin Head Datum. The new flood levels show the site to be clearly unsuitable under WHO guidelines, and the site should be reassessed using the new data.

A spokesperson for CHASE said, “The original application for a waste licence was misleading and manipulative and should be declared null and void. We are seeing a licence issued for a higher risk plant, burning higher volumes of waste, and more hazardous waste than we were originally led to believe, underwritten by a lower clean-up bond than should be expected.

By right the whole application, with the new facts, should be resubmitted for planning permission. This would have the additional benefit of allowing health and environmental issues to be raised under the new planning act.”

----- ENDS ----

For further information contact:
Linda FitzPatrick, CHASE PRO Tel: 021 4374506 Mobile: 087 7410849
Mary O’Leary, Chairperson, CHASE Tel: 021 4811952 Mobile: 086 8177737


Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment
Bishop's Road, Cobh, Co. Cork
Tel - 021 481 5564      Email -
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