April 7, 2008

Incineration Means 300 Deaths in Dublin?

Since 1999, the air across Holland has become cleaner - except in Amsterdam. The Amsterdam Council says it does not know why. It's pertinent to note that a modern Poolbeg-sized incinerator went into operation at Amsterdam-Westerpoort during the 1990s.

This large modern incinerator has not been ruled out as an explanation for the excess Amsterdam deaths.

Deaths in Amsterdam from air-pollution are thirty percent above the Dutch average. Based on the November 2006 article in the respected Het Parool national newspaper (see below), it appears 300 extra deaths occur in Amsterdam annually from the higher pollution. As Amsterdam's population is similar in size to Dublins it's valid to ask the responsible government department to determine whether the Poolbeg Incinerator will prematurely kill up to 300 people annually. The Environment Minister basically said he was not responsible for environmental matters. Whether his reply was accompanied by the use of two fingers, or just one, is unknown.

Can an Environment Minister not be responsible for managing the impact of environmental air pollution on people? How about even an honest effort to research the issue?
By rejecting the Dail Question from the Dublin TD in early 2007, Ireland's Environment Minister Dick Roach passively confirmed the Poolbeg Incinerator will prematurely kill up to 300 Dubliners annually.

Amsterdammers sterven vroegtijdig door fijnstof
FREEK SCHRAVESANDE © Het Parool, 11-11-2006, 12:23 uur
AMSTERDAM - Tussen de negenhonderd en elfhonderd Amsterdammers per jaar sterven vroegtijdig door fijnstof, goeddeels veroorzaakt door luchtvervuiling door het verkeer. Tot die conclusie komt de Amsterdamse GGD na eigen onderzoek.
De lucht in Amsterdam is de afgelopen zeven jaar niet schoner geworden, blijkt uit recent onderzoek van de dienst, terwijl dat gemiddeld over heel Nederland wel het geval is.
De sterfte in Amsterdam door fijnstof is grofweg dertig procent hoger dan het landelijk gemiddelde. In Nederland sterven per jaar achttienduizend mensen aan die oorzaak, blijkt uit gegevens van het Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu (RIVM). De slachtoffers – veelal mensen die al met ademhalingsproblemen kampten - sterven naar schatting enkele maanden tot tien jaar eerder dan wanneer zij geen fijnstof binnen zouden hebben gekregen. Deskundigen wijzen er wel op dat fijnstof in steden 'nu eenmaal' meer voorkomt dan elders.
De concentraties fijnstof en stikstofdioxide dalen volgens het luchtmeetnet van de GGD al sinds 1999 niet meer - ondanks de introductie van schonere auto's. ''We hebben hier nog geen duidelijke verklaring voor'', zegt Fred Woudenberg, onderzoeker luchtkwaliteit van de GGD. ''Op de snelwegen rond Amsterdam is wel sprake van een dalende trend, maar binnen de bebouwde kom blijven de concentraties nagenoeg gelijk''.
Een 'verrassende' uitkomst, vindt ook onderzoeker Ronald Albers van het RIVM, dat landelijk luchtmetingen verricht. ''Het verbaast mij, want je ziet in heel Nederland een dalende trend voor fijnstof in de lucht. Ook bij onze meetstations aan straten in de Rijnmond, Eindhoven en Utrecht nemen deze concentraties af. Dat geldt eigenlijk voor heel Europa''.


Anonymous said...

Recent studies have shown that PM2.5 in the air contribute to the premature death of 350,000 people across the European Union every year.

EUbusiness © Copyright EUbusiness Ltd 2008


The Galway Tent. said...


Greens call on EPA to withdraw Poolbeg incinerator licence.

Issued: 22 April 2008

Statement by CiarĂ¡n Cuffe

Spokesperson on Transport and Marine; Justice, Equality and Law Reform; Foreign Affairs

Green Party representatives today called on the Environmental Protection Agency to withdraw its proposed decision to grant a waste licence for a massive incinerator at Poolbeg in Dublin.

Speaking at the EPA oral hearing in Dublin today, Green Party TD for Dun Laoghaire Ciaran Cuffe said the granting of the licence would significantly undermine the waste hierarchy as set out by the EU.

Deputy Cuffe said: "Incineration is the least favoured option in the waste hierarchy set out by the EU. Environment Minister John Gormley has already put it on record that there simply would not be enough waste for the Poolbeg Incinerator even if it were to proceed. Not only is there not enough waste from Dublin to feed it, but there wouldn't be enough waste from the entire country for this facility, which is nothing more than a white elephant. The licence must be viewed within the context of the government waste review which is currently ongoing. Any decision made by the EPA in light of this must be considered premature."

Green Party representative on Dublin City Council Cllr Bronwen Maher called on the EPA to carry out a detailed assessment of the air quality of the area likely to be affected by the proposed plant. "This assessment is absolutely necessary, especially as An Bord Pleanala did not specifically deal with this issue and instead considered it a matter for the EPA. Furthermore, this kind of 'passing the buck' is symptomatic of the difficulties which the European Commission has raised in its criticism of Ireland's split system of Environmental Impact Assessments for activities requiring both planning and EPA approvals."

Cllr Maher reminded the EPA that the failure to carry out a proper impact assessment would make their decision procedurally illegal.

"Environmental Impact Assessments consider all aspects of the proposed development, including the effects on human health. These assessments are carried out in advance and inform whether or not to give consent for the development. Failure to carry out a proper Environmental Impact Assessment would make any decision by the EPA procedurally illegal."

Cllr Maher appealed to the EPA to be mindful of the precautionary principle: "The onus in this matter must be on Dublin City Council to prove that their facility will not damage the health of the people of Dublin and the agency should not grant a licence unless they are satisfied that this is the case."

Dublin South East representative Claire Wheeler also spoke at the hearing and questioned the health implications for the local area if the incinerator was to proceed: "We have already heard much evidence both anecdotal and scientific that the health of the surrounding area is already at risk. To place further strains on this situation without a comprehensive health assessment would be at best negligent." Ms Wheeler specifically asked about the health implications of nanoparticles: "We have heard evidence of the severe risks of exposure to these tiny particles which can be responsible for a range of cancers. Dublin City Council must realise that they will be held responsible for health problems caused into the future."