Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Review of decision on landfill sought

AN APPLICATION is to be made to the High Court seeking a judicial review of the decision to grant a licence to Fingal County Council for a landfill site at Nevitt near Lusk in north Co Dublin.

Gemma Larkin of Walshtown, Lusk, Co Dublin, a member of the Nevitt Lusk Action Group (NLAG), is seeking a review of the decision by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in May this year to grant a licence for the landfill site.

The 300,000-tonne capacity landfill site, in which an estimated one-sixth of the State’s waste is to be dumped, is subject to more than 250 conditions relating to environment management operation, control and monitoring.

It was one of the most contested developments in Irish planning history, and the EPA held two public hearings about the site. The action group has already referred the agency’s decision to the European Commission and the European Petitions committee.

Papers are to be lodged today with the High Court, while the EPA, Fingal County Council and the Department of Environment, as notice parties to the case, have been informed of the application, being made on four grounds.

Ms Larkin said the licence granted contravenes the EU ground-water directive and would destroy ground-water in the area, a major horticulture location.

The applicant also says “bottom ash” – the residue after incineration from the Poolbeg incinerator complex at Ringsend – will be exported to Fingal. Ms Larkin claimed the original intention was to temporarily store bottom ash at Lusk and treat it to make it safe.

She claimed bottom ash from incineration has never been landfilled before and requires a strategic environmental assessment, but that there had been no investigations or examinations, and no review had been made of how it would be transported or what environmental effect that transportation would have.

Ms Larkin also claims the existing landfill site at Lusk is unauthorised and has not been properly remediated for use as landfill.

The applicant also alleges that the Aarhaus Convention, which obliges member states to allow citizens access to justice at reasonable cost, has not been implemented through legislation by the State. Ms Larkin said the convention allows concerned citizens to take legal action at reasonable cost, but such cases in Ireland can take years and cost millions.

Provision is being made to allow citizens to bring proceedings on issues of public interest where they would not face paying the State’s charges if they lost, but would still have to pay their own costs.

Irish Times


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