February 4, 2010

IRELAND: Unacceptable Influence in Poolbeg Incinerator Process

An Bord Pleanála Directorate?

EPA Directorate?

ESRI Directorate?


Who appointed directorate level employees to An Bord Pleanála, EPA, ESRI, RTE and others between 1995 and 2010? 

Board of Bord Pleanála
RPS represents Dublin City Council's incinerator team and has a "former" RPS employee on the Board of Bord Pleanála.  Apparently RPS received the majority of €25 Million in 'consultancy fees' from Dublin City Council, with DCC apparently controlled by The Galway Tent.

EPA Ireland
EPA's "independent" Board contains a former industry employee (Burke of Indaver), a situation condemned by The Green Party in 2005.  An ex-EPA Director has worked to promote the Poolbeg Incinerator and the failed West Dublin Incinerator.

DUBLIN CITY Council paid almost €125,000 for a February 2010 Economic and Social Research Institute report.  This report was published in Dublin on the day of a Covanta media event in Dublin - purely a coincidence says the ESRI's report writer.

In April 2007, CBRE's Director of Research made a curious presentation to the Poolbeg Incinerator Oral Hearing, under the influence of DCC.   Was the Bord Pleanála Inspector fully informed?   Was this an early indicator for Judge McKechnie's unapproved judgement?

"Artistic images" of the incinerator are widely used by RTE.  Do these images truly and fully honestly inform?  Do they come directly from the incinerator promoters?  Has RTE fully informed the public?

Irish Times
Does the Irish Times provide robust critical insight to the talking points it receives from Dublin City Council?   Has The Irish Times declared the sums in advertising revenue which it has received from RPS and Dublin Council over the past ten years?  Has The Irish Times investigated and reported the history of Covanta's contracts and Covanta's history of fines for the management of its modern incinerators?  Has The Irish Times investigated the Poolbeg Incinerator process, a process supposedly carried out in the public interest? 

Unacceptable Influence
"Massaging of reports by Matt Twomey, which were later, in their edited versions, released publicly, is a strong indicator to me of unacceptable influence in a process supposedly carried out in the public interest."  Judge McKechnie said in his unapproved judgment.  [Sunday Business Post]


Anonymous said...

Incinerator advisers paid €21 million.

07 February 2010 By John Burke Public Affairs Correspondent

Dublin City Council has paid nearly €15 million more than it originally agreed to consultants advising it on the controversial Poolbeg incinerator project.

The council agreed to pay €6.5 million to the consortium, headed by consulting engineers RPS, in July 2001, according to documents seen by The Sunday Business Post.

However, the local authority had paid out more than €21 million up to the start of this year for services connected to the incinerator project.

The consortium consisted of RPS, engineering firm MC O’Sullivan, Cowi Consult, and several smaller service providers and sub-contractors. RPS bought out MC O’Sullivan in 2002, shortly after the initial deal was signed with the council.

According to a breakdown of the sums paid out to the consortium members, MC O’Sullivan and RPS had been paid €13.3million and €5million respectively by January. RPS was recently criticised in a High Court judgment for ‘‘massaging’’ key waste reports which it carried out for Dublin city council.

Mr Justice Liam McKechie criticised the firm after a High Court case in which private waste operators Panda and Greenstar challenged the council’s plan to vary the capital’s waste plan and direct waste to the planned incinerator.

RPS won the separate tender to carry out these technical reports at the same time as it had the contract to provide consultancy services to the council.

A spokeswoman for the consortium said that the fees for consultants had been paid to RPS as the lead consultant on the ‘clients rep team’ over a nine-year period.

The clients rep team consists of RPS, Cowi , Durango Browne, Mary Murphy Associates, PricewaterhouseCoopers, McCann Fitzgerald, EC Harris, and at least 15 additional sub-consultants.

While the €21 million has been paid out by the council, the spokeswoman said that significant costs had already been recouped from Covanta, the private firm that is partnering the council on the incinerator project.

She said it was envisaged that there would be a further reconciliation of consultancy costs with Covanta before opening the plant.

© Thomas Crosbie Media 2010.

Anonymous said...

IWMA demand halt to Poolbeg project
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February 08 2010

Peter Curran

The Irish Waste Management Association have called for the Poolbeg incinerator project to be halted immediately.

They have also demanded that a thorough examination of all aspects of the project should be carried out, including contracts, the size of the facility, and the "extraordinary" level of monies used.

The Minister for the Environment has estimated that these penalties could cost the taxpayer up to €450m over the duration of the Poolbeg incinerator.

The Minister for the Environment has estimated that these penalties could cost the taxpayer up to €450m over the duration of the Poolbeg incinerator.

This follows the acknowledgement from the ESRI that major errors were made in their report – An Economic Approach to Municipal Waste Management in Ireland. Brendan Keane, Spokesperson for the IWMA, said.

“It is inconsequential whether the ESRI report is being withdrawn or re-examined. The point remains the same, the findings of the ESRI report have been seriously undermined” explained Keane.

"The acknowledgement of significant errors in the report follows the confirmation that Covanta is already planning to import waste – from across Ireland or from abroad – for treatment at Poolbeg.

"This became clear at the appearance before the Oireachtas Committee on the Environment by Dublin City Council and Covanta last Wednesday, and highlighted again that the facility planned at Poolbeg is way too big for the Dublin Region,” said Keane.

“The IWMA is now calling for the Poolbeg project to be completely halted. The inspector which is to be appointed by the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government should undertake the most thorough examination possible of all aspects of the Poolbeg project,” he said.

The IWMA fear that taxpayers could be exposed to heavy penalties if Dublin City Council fails to provide a high level of waste to the Poolbeg project.

The Minister for the Environment has estimated that these penalties could cost the taxpayer up to €450m over the duration of the Poolbeg incinerator.

Dublin City Council to date have spent €120m on the Poolbeg project, which the IWMA estimate to be over 20 times more than a private operator would have spent. They have also expressed fears that the oversized incinerator will severely harm recycling rates in the Dublin region.


Anonymous said...

Justine McCarthy: In all honesty, O’Dea’s perjury is a sad sign of our lying times.