March 31, 2010

Dirty Bomb for Dublin.

Covanta Fingers Stoopid House-Persons for Explosion.

Imagine if the waste was a small radioactive device shielded by a propane cylinder.  Or something much more clever.  Dirty bomb for central Dublin, here we come.  This is mad speculation.  There is not any risk to human health from modern incinerators says Homer.


Have 'modern incinerators' been cleared by Homeland Security, DIA or anyone else? 

+++ +++ +++ +++ +++


SEMASS Explosion Heard in Tri-Town


10:01:26 am SEMASS Explosion Heard in Tri-Town

Several emergency calls from Rochester households reported a loud explosion in the area on Thursday evening, March 18, at 8:30 pm.

The explosion came from the area of the Covanta SEMASS shredding plant in West Wareham. According to Mark Davis from SEMASS, there was a shredder explosion.
“Propane is a problem at this time of year,” said Mr. Davis. “Instead of disposing of [propane tanks] properly, [residents] hide them in the trash.”

Mr. Davis said that they try to inspect all the trash, but if a small propane tank is hidden in a trash bag, it can go unnoticed.

The spark of the metal hitting the shredder, combined with the release of the propane gas, can cause an explosion like the one heard Thursday night.

The explosion was heard as far as Fairhaven. Luckily, the fire burned itself out almost immediately.

The cost of fixing the shredder “is not excessive” this time, said Mr. Davis, but he said that people should understand how dangerous it is to dispose of propane illegally.
By Anne O'Brien-Kakley
1 feedback »PermalinkPermalink


Comment from: Albert Roos [Visitor]
03/20/10 @ 05:08
I am awaken daily by this facility from just general operation noise from back up alarms heavy equipment,trains and explosions that shake my home so bad it is if a bomb was dropped in my front yard.

There has to be some rules in place in the State of Mass.I know there is noise ordinance between certain hours of the night and week-ends.I intend to call every government agency available to me from the Attorney Generals office to the EPA,and DEP to find out what rights are.This facility should be shut down as far as I'm concerned. It sits in the middle of a residential area and should be relocated to some baron location. It and has no regards for the surrounding home owners and the impact it has on the community.

I am a Supervisor in the commercial construction industry and no way could I create the amount of noise pollution and disturbances this facility generates 24-7, There are laws in place and something has to be done about it.I am going to start a partition and get signatures from the surrounding community voicing there feelings about the operation hrs and noise that is generated from Seamass.I have been woken up again at 3.45 this morning and the quality of my life is effected daily by this business.

Covanta Huge Increase in "Lobbying"

Big Increase in Covanta Money for "Lobbyists".

Covanta has greatly increased its reported  lobbying budget with USA lawyers.  Dublin's incinerator promoters have used a lawyer with apparent US interests - including running a fundraiser in Dublin for the US presidential elections. Covanta's purchases of influence in Brussels, London and Dublin is not reported. 

Firms Hired, Reported Contract Expenses (included in Total Reported by Filer)

Dickstein, Shapiro et al:   $440,000
F/S Capitol Consulting: $160,000
King & Spalding: $360,000
Kinghorn, Hilbert & Assoc: $150,000

NOTE: All lobbying expenditures on this page come from the US Senate Office of Public Records. Data for the most recent year was downloaded on February 01, 2010.

Feel free to distribute or cite this material, but please credit the Center for Responsive Politics.


All information concerning lobbying expenditures in Ireland are the private property of the galway tent cartel.

March 30, 2010

Galway Tent Honest Accident

IN the midst of the chaotic furore over Bertie Ahern's financial affairs during the last general election, a senior Fianna Fail spindoctor privately conceded the most cringe-inducing headline was: "Bertiegate: Haughey tax man helped Ahern."

The Irish Independent simply reported that Ahern had turned to Charlie Haughey's former tax adviser to help prepare his financial records for the Mahon Tribunal.
Nothing wrong with that and the accountant concerned, Des Peelo, is widely respected in financial circles.

But the association in public minds between Ahern and Haughey and their 'unique' personal finances was what concerned the handler.
Ahern brazened it out and fought through the general election, although the tribunal probe into his finances ultimately caused his downfall.

His successor, Taoiseach Brian Cowen, is proving to be far less resilient than the Teflon Taoiseach in terms of evading the punches.
Cowen has resembled a heavyweight stuck on the ropes, taking blow after blow.

Aside from his own party's backbenchers sniping at his leadership, Cowen is also taking flak over his role in sanctioning the Dublin Docklands Development Authority's borrowing for its part in the purchase of the Irish Glass Bottle Site.

As Minister for Finance back in 2006, his approval was required for the State agency to borrow money, as prescribed under legislation.
The Taoiseach is robustly defending his handling of the DDDA request.

He insisted he acted on the recommendation of two Government departments when he was Finance Minister and he did not extend borrowing limits.

"The issue was the limit of €100m set back in 1998; the issue that came before the Department of Finance was that they be allowed borrow up to their existing limits. I didn't extend any limits. And the decision was in line with recommendations from both departments -- the Department of the Environment and the Department of Finance.

"It was an order to authorise them to continue to borrow up to existing limits. I didn't extend any new limits.
"I had no other involvement other than that, where the consent of the Minister for Finance is required for that to happen," he said last weekend.
Simple as that.

Except the timing makes it a tad more awkward for Cowen.

Today, the Financial Regulator will determine what level of capital the banks will need and NAMA will confirm the write-down on the first tranche of loans to be transferred to it.

Finance Minister Brian Lenihan will announce the banking strategy, setting out what the Government believes needs to be done to get the banking system steady again.

Also this week, Anglo Irish Bank is expected to announce losses of €14bn -- the largest ever for an Irish company. Anglo plays a central role in the Irish Glass Bottle site affair as its directors, Sean FitzPatrick and Lar Bradshaw, were on the board of the DDDA and the bank provided the loans for the purchase.

At the same time as another Government bailout of the banking sector, NAMA transferring properties and Anglo announces its losses, Cowen's fingerprints are being attached to the biggest white elephant property deal of the Celtic Tiger -- a €400m site, which is now worth a small fraction of this price.
The complicity of a State agency, supposedly under the supervision of two Government departments, merely makes matters worse.

Cowen says only his consent was required for the borrowing and he simply approved the loan on foot of the recommendation of his officials.

The lack of questions being asked about the deal at the time by Cowen and the Department of Finance shows how they bought into the ideology of the time.

When land was being sold for €50m an acre, the IGB site sale was part of a trend.
However, the price paid assumed a continued demand for multi-storey blocks of apartment being sold at ever increasing prices.
Stuck in the mindset of a never-ending property bubble in late 2006, nobody shouted stop and Cowen was as guilty as anybody.

The DDDA didn't even fall under his remit as its activities are supervised by the Department of Finance.
But as Finance Minister from 2004 to 2008, he was responsible for the tax regime most believe was responsible for fuelling the boom.

Cowen's opponents are now trying -- with some degree of success -- to draw a direct link between a decision taken by the Taoiseach, the State sponsoring the excesses of the property bubble and the worst offending bank of the financial collapse.

Fine Gael doesn't have any magic bullet which shows Cowen was directly responsible for the site purchase.
It doesn't need one.

"You've got Anglo, Sean FitzPatrick, bad planning and the Taoiseach all in one sentence -- that is quite legitimate," a party source said yesterday.

Paints quite the picture and this week when Cowen is putting a further tranche of taxpayers' money into a dead bank, Fine Gael can just keep on repeating it.

It's like shooting fish in a barrel.
Fairness doesn't come into the equation.
All the party has to do is put the perception in the public mind.
Cowen's own personal toxic debt will continue to cost him for some time to come.
- Fionnan Sheahan

March 26, 2010

DDDA Reports Download Site

Look for what is omitted.
The Who and the When.
Substitute 'fraud' for 'mistakes' and 'expert advice' and other euphemisms.

The reports are by Mrs McDowell, acclaimed by all residents of the Galway Tent.
Mr McDowell was sales man in chief for Manhattan-Poolbeg.


From: thestorydotie
65.6 MB

BIffo & Gormleys DDDA Cover Up

Cowen 'rushed approval' for loan


Fri, Mar 26, 2010

Taoiseach Brian Cowen took just 14 working days to sign off on approval for the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) to increase their borrowing levels in order to take part in a deal to buy the Irish Glass Bottle site.

According to Freedom of Information (FOI) documents released to Fine Gael this week, Mr Cowen, who was the then Minister for Finance, sanctioned the extension of the DDDA's borrowing allowance to up to €127 million in October 2006.

At the time the authority’s net worth was valued at €110 million. Mr Cowen's approval allowed the authority to take part in a consortium headed by property developer Bernard McNamara to acquire the Dublin site at a cost of €412 million.

The authority invested €47 million for its 26 per cent stake in the project through a series of loans to Becbay. However, its latest accounts now say that the site is worthless and taxpayers could be left facing a multmillion euro bill to cover the losses.

The FOI documents, which were released to Fine Gael's environment spokesman Phil Hogan, show that there was no independent valuation carried out on the site, which the DDDA valued at €220 million.

The documents also indicate that the Department of Finance questioned the authority's decision to repay monies borrowed and the source of funding but carried out no further due diligence.

An internal Department of Finance email sent on October 6th, 2006 - two weeks before Mr Cowen gave his approval - stated that its main concern was over the fact the DDDA seemed to want to borrow up to the full statutory limit in one go.

On October 18th an email from the Department of Environment said the authority should be able to borrow money as it understood the question of Exchequer support did not arise.

Approval was given for the increased borrowings on the basis of the DDDA being "self financing" and able to "repay borrowed monies".

Commenting on the FOI documents, Mr Hogan said they confirmed "a rushed decision to approve the DDDA's heavy involvement in the speculative property deal" on the Irish Glass Bottle site. "As a result of the rushed decision, key issues to protect the taxpayer were overlooked."

Mr Hogan said there was no evidence that the DDDA's request had ever been discussed at Cabinet level and described the decision to grant approval as evidence of "State-sponsored property speculation."

He also claimed that Minister for the Environment John Gormley was "complicit in covering up the core of the corporate governance that underpinned this deal".

Mr Hogan said the DDDA should now be declared insolvent. 
Speaking to reporters in Tullamore, Co Offaly Mr Cowen said he acted “in compliance with the official advice” in relation to the DDDA and rejected Fine Gael's claims solely to allow it to enter into a speculative property deal.

“That’s not true. The involvement of the minister for finance in relation to this relates to giving a consent in respect of the DDDA reaching their statutory limits,” Mr Cowen said. “They had already a statutory borrowing limit. I simply gave consent that they would use that and that’s all that was involved. So there was no new limits set by me or anything like that.”

Asked if he had ignored legal advisors’ recommendations, he said: “The giving of the consent was in compliance with the official advice.”

Yesterday, Mr Gormley said he may call for further investigations into past actions of the DDDA following the publication of the three draft internal reports. Mr Gormley also rejected allegations Mr Hogan that the Government was involved in a “cover-up”. He described the claims as scurrilous and “muck-raking”.

March 17, 2010

Fresh Water Habitat Destruction for DCC-Covanta Incinerator

Did DDDA authorise the destruction of the largest fresh water resource for wildlife in south Dublin Bay, an area of special protection (SPA & SAC)?  DDDA previously authorised the HQ for Anglo Irish Bank and did so illegally ('ultra vires').  Is DDDA again acting 'illegally'?

Did Dublin City Council authorise this habitat destruction?  If so is DCC acting illegally.  In December 2009 Judge McKechnie adjudicated DCC to have massaged facts and to have used undue influence in a process supposed to be in the public interest.

  • Where was the planning approval?  Bord Pleanála did not approve this destruction.
  • Where is the Environmental Impact Statement?
  • Where is the EPA approval?
  • Is Mr Gormley again looking for excuses?

The land is owned by a state company, Dublin Port Company.  Bertie freely acknowledges he appointed his buddies to run Dublin Port Company.  Does Dublin Port Company have permission from any authorised body to destroy habitat in a SPA?








March 13, 2010

Habitat Destruction Starts Beside Covanta's Poolbeg Incinerator

Some unidentified organisation is destroying the fresh water habitat beside Irish Town Nature Park.

Dublin Bay Habitat 
March 2010.  View From Proposed Incinerator 


Dublin Bay Habitat Being Destroyed.
March 2010.  Beside Proposed Poolbeg Incinerator.

EU taxpayers recently paid Ireland a very large sum of money to restore the wildlife & fauna habitat beside Irish Town Nature Park.  Unfortunately the wildlife resource is in The Banama Republic of Poolbeg.  So this past week the freshwater habitat was destroyed; hardcore is in place ready for to be covered in tarmac.  This is another taxpayer liability massaged out of public view by unaccountable institutions.

The habitat beside Irish Town Nature Park is an area controlled by Bertie's Buddies at Dublin Port Company & is the only local freshwater resource for wildlife, mainly seabirds.  The work which is possibly unlawful is being done in preparation for the proposed Covanta managed Poolbeg Incinerator, a waste to toxins facility. 

There is a history of ultra vires activity by Dublin Council & The Corpo in Poolbeg.  This march 2010 destruction of the freshwater resource is quite possibly ultra vires, just like DDDA's ultra vires approval for the nearby Anglo-Irish Bank headquarters. Any liabilities for habitat destruction will fall on taxpayers, a burden the incinerator promoters at DCC continue to disregard. 

February 2010 - Before Habitat Destruction.
Wildlife Obtaining Critically Endangered Fresh Water

February 2010 - Before Habitat Destruction.
Wildlife Obtaining Critically Endangered Fresh Water

The Light-bellied Brent Geese (Branta bernicla) were observed before the noisy construction machines moved in.  They were not observed during one March 2010 observation when the machines were generating large quantities of dust.  The noise was audible by humans from at least half a kilometre away, at surface level behind sound barriers. The reckless dust and noise possibly breaches planning permission conditions set by  Bord Pleanála's Inspector, Mr Thornton.

Brent Geese (Branta bernicla) are a conservation concern: Amber-listed (National, BoCCI), SPEC 3 vulnerable (Europe).

The following March 2010 photographs show hardcore being dumped on the freshwater habitat.  One worker is wearing a jacket with an "RPS" logo.  Expensive PR spins RPS to be an expert organisation with only the purest of independent and professional ethics. Is RPS too closely associated with an unaccountable institution and does this create a very serious serious problem for the Irish State?


Already the Board Pleanála condition on particulate pollution has been laughed at.

Many workers' number plates are from outside the Republic of Ireland meaning foreign governments are benefiting from payroll and business taxes funded by Irish taxpayers.  This is while the Irish State has been bankrupted by massive speculation across Poolbeg - reducing public sector pay and closing hospitals.

Identified taxpayer burdens imposed by the Galway Tent Cabal in The Banama Republic of Poolbeg include:
  • Dublin Docklands Developer Autocracy's Irish Glass Bottle Site: €500 Million.
  • Carroll Fabrizia Site: part of €2 Billion collapse.
  • Proposed Poolbeg Incinerator: billions in future health liabilities; €450 million in future contract penalties.
Was RPS via an alias, also involved in the farcical Poolbeg Sewage Facility?   Has the queen awarded RPS's finest engineers any charters for rendered propaganda services?  It's reported RPS's "consulting" has soaked taxpayers on the Poolbeg Incinerator for €25 million.  RPS's Rudden, a VP of Engineers Ireland is apparently placing massaged misinformation or possibly lies into the public domain.  Does this make Engineers Ireland just another of the Irish Institutions condemned by Niall Fitzgerald (Unilever, Reuters chairmanships)?  Of course it's only a lie if RPS is totally moxified after trips to head shops and has lost all professional engineering ethics.  So obviously Mr Rudden and RPS are not liars even if adjudged to be associated with massaged official reports: Mr Rudden and RPS have been taken advantage of by Dublin's public servants.  But what are they?  Ask Judge McKechnie and Niall Fitzgerald.  Or go to Covanta territory and set up a meet in Bada Bing with Toni Orlando or Toni Soprano or BIFFO or Bertie Ahern or Matt Twomey.

DCC was condemned in December 2009 by Judge McKechnie for working with RPS on the massaging of public information and for undue influence in a public process supposedly meant to benefit the public.  Does this mean that DCC and innocent victim RPS were lying through their teeth to the institutions of the Irish State? 


Heads must roll over DDDA greed (Irish Independent)

Does the Dublin Docklands Developers Autocracy forecast how NAMA will operate?

 Banama Republic of Poolbeg
Mr McDowell Selling The Docklands (Left Hand). 
Mrs McDowell Governancing The Docklands (Right Hand)


Heads must roll over greed
SHOCKING, but not exactly surprising, is the first reaction to the news of the extraordinary extravagance of the former board of the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA).

It has been clear for some time, especially since the revelations abut the state-training agency FAS, that something has been deeply rotten at the heart of some state bodies -- perhaps of many.

Even so, the wanton waste of public money unveiled by the Irish Independent still almost beggars belief. It is the details which will jar with the public -- the Bollinger champagne; the caviar. Anger may become rage at the news of the very different treatment for community representatives on a study tour with the DDDA.

Money corrupts, and it is clear that the gigantic sums of money created by the credit bubble were deeply corrupting. It is a word with several meanings -- not just the taking of money for personal gain.
Indeed, among all the allegations which have surfaced since the crash, almost none have involved theft. Despite all the comparisons, there has been no Bernie Madoff, the Wall Street fraudster. What there has been is in many ways more difficult to deal with.

Politicians and many public servants were blinded by the boom into abandoning their duty to protect the taxpayer and the economy, whether in their policies, the running of their departments and agencies, or in conducting their own lifestyles in the way a public servant should.

It is difficult now to remember that the docklands re-development was to be carried out in a way which would serve the interests of the community, with the DDDA at its heart.
Instead, we got greed and folly, with the DDDA apparently under the direct influence of Anglo Irish Bank executives.

The damage is not just financial: it is also that no-one now believes the Government can be trusted to do what it says it will; or that its agencies are what they claim to be.
Even worse is the loss of faith in those who guard the guardians.
The failures of the Central Bank and Financial Regulator, and the growing questions over the Comptroller & Auditor General, mean the public feels it has nowhere to turn for protection.

A bright light must be shone into all these dark corners, if the country is to have any chance of developing the solidarity needed to get it through this enormous crisis.

Whatever heads must roll, however eminent, should do so. It is time for the few good men who have so far said nothing to speak out.


March 11, 2010

Covanta Chairman Sam Zell. Collosal Debt & Bankruptcy at another Zell Company

Covanta Chairman Sam Zell Ranks 237 in Forbe's Billionaire List.

Sam Zell is chairman of Covanta, operators of the proposed Poolbeg Incinerator.  The winning Property baron is in a bankruptcy bind.

Colossal debt, declines in ad revenue forced Zell's Tribune Company (not Covanta) into bankruptcy.

Covanta has a secret contract for operation of the proposed Poolbeg Incinerator, located by philistines in Dublin Bay.  Covanta also has a massive debt load.  Ireland has been bankrupted by native property speculators.  Are Irish taxpayers protected from Covanta's special purpose entity offshored behind unknown legal firewalls in Luxembourg?


The World's Billionaires

#237 Samuel Zell 03.10.10, 06:00 PM EST
Property baron in bankruptcy bind.

Net Worth:$3.8 billion
Fortune:Self Made
Source:real estate, private equity
Country Of Citizenship:United States
Residence:Chicago, Illinois
Education:U of Michigan, Bachelor of Arts / Science; U of Michigan, Doctor of Jurisprudence
Marital Status:Married, 3 children  
Property baron in bankruptcy bind. Took control of Tribune Co. 2007 in $8.2 billion deal done with newspaper giant's employees. Colossal debt, declines in ad revenue forced firm into bankruptcy; working out reorganization plan, ceded chief exec. title to top deputy, Zell remains chairman. Bondholders claim property maven is responsible, demanding investigation. Made first fortune buying and selling real estate from distressed owners with partner Robert Lurie (d. 1990). Sold Equity Office Properties to Blackstone for $39 billion cash 2007. 

Still owns stakes in Equity Residential and Equity Lifestyle REITs. Other investments: affordable housing in Egypt, shopping malls in Brazil, homes and warehouses in China. Raised $625 million fund in August; capital to be used to buy real estate, corporate debt.

March 10, 2010

Irelands Institutions Are A Serious Problem.

“If the leaders of a society are not prepared to hold themselves accountable or there are not the institutions which are sufficiently independent to hold them accountable, then I think you have a very serious problem on your hands.” 

Mr Fitzgerald left Ireland in 1970 and went on to become chairman and chief executive of the giant conglomerate Unilever and chairman of the global media agency Reuters.

March 7, 2010

Covanta's Secret Contract and Dodgy Dealings in Dublin?

"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, unapproved judgment.

“If the leaders of a society are not prepared to hold themselves accountable or there are not the institutions which are sufficiently independent to hold them accountable, then I think you have a very serious problem on your hands.” 

  • The institutional hearings into the Poolbeg Incinerator were not conducted in a fair and open way.  
  • The Poolbeg Incinerator hearings have been a charade with a predetermined outcome.
  • Vital information on the Poolbeg Incinerator was obfuscated and concealed.

This supposition is supported by the recent McKechnie judgment.  The McKechnie judgement is apparently not being appealed by DCC, who, according to RTE, have had costs estimated at €5,000,000  awarded against them, yet another waste of taxpayers’ money.

It is obvious from the Report that a great deal of underhand dealing has taken place during this process, and that the communities concerned, who have expended great time and effort in opposition, were certainly kept in the dark.

2006: Danish Oil and Natural Gas (DONG) was not prepared to continue the Poolbeg Incinerator project alone.
2007: Billionaire mogul Zell sold his massive residential and commercial real estate empire in 2007 for $39 billion. In 2007 Mr Zell owned $666 million of Covanta stock.

January 2007: Irish DONG was reconfigured with New Jersey's Covanta. Covanta kept a very low profile until after the public hearings.

May 2007:  Oral hearings by An Bord Pleanála were in session.

May 2007:  DCC and RPS repeatedly assured the oral hearings that waste would only be collected from the Dublin Region.

September 2007: The still secret  “put or pay” contract guarantee for 600,000 tonnes for Poolbeg Incinerator was concluded - signatories are unknown.  This is before the fully professional Bord Pleanala Inspector initially approved just 400,000 tonnes as being sufficient for Dublin.

November, 2007: After Bord Pleanála's Inspector had initially approved 400,000 tonnes didn't a cute wee man dressed up in an unacceptable influence suit come along? 
The board of Bord Pleanála contains at least one employee who formerly was employed at DCC's consulting company, RPS.  Planning permission was given by the board of Bord Pleanála for 600,000 tonnes.

February 2009:  Scott Whitney of Covanta: “[Covanta is] in Ireland to make money”.   Covanta intends to source waste ”throughout Ireland”.


“BURNING ISSUES” No. 4       

An Occasional Newsletter of happenings that affect the Poolbeg Incinerator Project, comprising the personal opinions and experiences of Maurice Bryan, technical adviser to CRAI.

This was the week when much of the conjecture about the infamous “most secret” contract suddenly became clear.  The clarity was provided by a document that came to hand which is a “Report to the Chairman and Members of the Environment and Engineering Strategic Policy Committee re Dublin Waste to Energy Project at Poolbeg” by DCC Assistant City Manager Seamus Lyons, dated 26th January last.  Everyone concerned with the implications of this project should take the trouble to read all six pages with great care.

The report gives a summary of the history of the project from its inception in 1996 to the present time. Much of this is already well known by those who have campaigned against it for so many years, so only the vital new parts will be highlighted here.

The Waste Strategy report of 1998 proposed that 25 percent of waste would be converted to energy and suggested a capacity for the incinerator of 750,000 tonnes per annum, which would have required total waste arisings from the Region of 3,000,000 tonnes, a ludicrous figure!  At the same time a Regional Steering Group was set up to implement the strategy which was said to have “gained broad political acceptance with the Elected Members, the general public and the media” (?)  The management plan was adopted by the elected member bodies of all four local authorities in the region, who can have had little or no idea of its full implications.

An “Invitation to Negotiate” was sent to four possible bidders in November 2003, and a “Project Board” was set up the following January, clearly dominated by DCC with no input from the other authorities. There was also a “Project Execution Board” whose membership is not stated. Only two compliant bids were received, one of whom withdrew in November 2004, leaving no choice of selection. The remaining bidder, Elsam of Denmark, continued in negotiation with DCC, and procurement was finalized in June 2005!  It was cleared by the NDFA in June of that year.
However during the negotiations Elsam was acquired by Danish Oil and Natural Gas (DONG) who were not prepared to continue the project alone, and in January 2007 their Irish entity was restructured to include the American firm Covanta.  Negotiations continued with the new firm “Dublin Waste to Energy Ltd.” and on 14th May 2007 approval was sought to finalise a contract with this consortium, which was eventually signed off on 4th September 2007, though again the signatories are unknown.

The provisions of this contract included a “put or pay” guarantee to the consortium, and the capacity was broken into three bands: (1) 320,000 tonnes (2) 60,000 tonnes and (3) 150,000-200,000 tonnes.  The local authorities would have sole rights to Band 1 capacity at a rate set below the market rate, linked to inflation.  They would have first right of access to Band 2 at market rate, and have standard commercial access to Band 3.  If the waste from the authorities falls below the Band 1 target there would be financial penalties, not operable if the total input exceeded 550,000 tonnes.

It should be noted that in May 2007 the oral hearings before the Inspector of An Bord Pleanala were in session, and planning permission was not issued until the following November, 2007!   In fact the inspector recommended that the capacity be reduced to 400,000 tonnes as it become obvious that the original target was grossly in excess of the needs of the Dublin Region, but was over-ruled by the Board who restored the 600,000 tonne capacity, as they obviously had to, given that a contract had already been signed, unbelievable as this may seem!

The reasons for this must be open to speculation, but given the recent statement by Mr. Scott Whitney of Covanta that “they were in Ireland to make money” and the current arrangement whereby Covanta intends to source waste ”throughout Ireland” (not yet defined), and the unwillingness of DONG to continue as sole constructor/operators it must be concluded that the high figure was needed to achieve economies of scale that would allow a palatable gate fee for the authorities. It has to be noted that DCC and RPS repeatedly assured the oral hearings that waste would only be collected from the Dublin Region, so that condition 4 of the planning permission now appears to have been breached! 

Whatever took place it is clear that the hearings were not conducted in a fair and open way, but were a charade with a predetermined outcome, and that vital information was obfuscated and concealed, which supposition is supported by the recent McKechnie judgment. (Incidentally this is apparently not being appealed by DCC, who, according to RTE, have had costs estimated at 5,000,000 euro awarded against them, yet another waste of taxpayers’ money).

It is obvious from the Report that a great deal of underhand dealing has taken place during this process, and that the communities concerned, who have expended great time and effort in opposition, were certainly kept in the dark. Indeed it seems fair to say that, had the real situation been exposed to the public enquiry, it would not have been possible for An Bord Pleanala to issue planning permission due to public outrage! This scandal must now merit proper investigation and the project should immediately be halted until and unless proper justification can be established by Independent Experts with full access to all the necessary data for its continuation.

As it stands it seems that the current situation is that all Irish families will see their waste charges rise by a significant amount (estimates at the hearings suggested multipliers of two or three) to provide profits for American stockholders!  Will this be allowed, and, if so why?



Listen to the interesting FM 98 DEBATE about the incinerator, featuring politicians and residents AT 7 P.M. ON MONDAY 8TH MARCH.

March 6, 2010

Poolbeg Incinerator Affair Complicit With Recklessness and Lacks Any Accountability?

“If the leaders of a society are not prepared to hold themselves accountable or there are not the institutions which are sufficiently independent to hold them accountable, then I think you have a very serious problem on your hands.”
Mr Fitzgerald.
The Irish Times - Saturday, March 6, 2010

 Is Poolbeg Incinerator Affair Complicit With Recklessness?

Is there a serious problem with the Poolbeg Planning process?  That underhand and predetermined process was rubber stamped by these politically controlled and possibly unaccountable institutions:


Here are a few questions on the apparently rigged Poolbeg Incinerator Hearings.  They attempt to emulate the views on business in Ireland as expressed by Niall Fitzgerald, former chairman & CEO of Unilever, chairman of Reuters.

  • In order to pursue a consulting career in Ireland's waste industry is it necessary to compromise one's principles?
  • Are the promoters of the proposed Poolbeg Incinerator aware of the health and financial risks that will be taken and are they thus “complicit with recklessness”? 
  • Or are they unaware of what is going on and are thus failing to discharge their responsibilities as public servants?

Here are some pointers for your own research to answer these questions: 


“unless I was prepared to engage more directly with politicians . . . and at some point be ready to compromise on my own principles, that that would restrict my abilities to develop a business career in Ireland”.
  Mr Fitzgerald.
The Irish Times - Saturday, March 6, 2010
Mr Fitzgerald left Ireland in 1970 and went on to become chairman and chief executive of the giant conglomerate Unilever and chairman of the global media agency Reuters.

Top Irish businessman rails at 'intertwining with politics'

 FINTAN O'TOOLE   [Emphasis added in this blog posting]

ONE OF Ireland’s most successful businessmen, Niall Fitzgerald, has told The Irish Times he did not feel that he could have pursued a business career in Ireland without compromising his personal principles.

Mr Fitzgerald left Ireland in 1970 and went on to become chairman and chief executive of the giant conglomerate Unilever and chairman of the global media agency Reuters.

In an interview published today, Mr Fitzgerald suggests that “many people in domestic Irish business succeeded because they were intertwined with politics” and that “unless I was prepared to engage more directly with politicians . . . and at some point be ready to compromise on my own principles, that that would restrict my abilities to develop a business career in Ireland”.

Mr Fitzgerald is critical of what he calls the “claustrophobia” of Irish business. He says “that very intimacy, the knowledge that you can take one small envelope and write all the names that matter on the back of it” militated against independent jjudgment and high ethical standards, contributing to the current crisis in the Irish economy.

Recalling a dinner last summer with friends who had served on the boards of Irish banks, Mr Fitzgerald (himself a director of Bank of Ireland during the 1990s) says he posed a question: Were they aware of the risks that were being taken and thus “complicit with the recklessness”? Or were they unaware of what was going on and thus failing to discharge their responsibilities as directors? The question, he says, prompted a “very ferocious conversation”.

Mr Fitzgerald is also critical of the argument that banks must continue to pay very high salaries to retain senior managers. “You mean, these terribly valuable people who either didn’t understand the risks they were running or understood them and continued anyway without thought for the consequences? You know what? I could do without those valuable people.”

He also criticises high-level business people and bankers who are going into exile in tax havens such as Switzerland. He is, he says, “deeply sad” that some seem obsessed with “how you avoid at almost any cost to yourself and your family being a supportive member of the wider society in which you live”.

Mr Fitzgerald expresses concerns about the ability of those in positions of power to take responsibility for what has happened. “If the leaders of a society are not prepared to hold themselves accountable or there are not the institutions which are sufficiently independent to hold them accountable, then I think you have a very serious problem on your hands.”

Another Covanta Contract Forces Waste Importation

Covanta Harrisburg Contract Forces More Waste Importation

The Covanta incinerator in Harrisburg is threatening to make the city bankrupt. The city is on the hook for about $288 million.  There is a critical shortage of waste to feed the incinerator. 

The Covanta incinerator near Orlando is threatening to ruin Lake County finances ($300 million extra).   There is a critical shortage of waste to feed the incinerator.  Recycling promotion has been stopped.

[Feel free to add possible corrections or updates as a comment].

Source: Page 3 of Covanta's cryptic monthly report.

Sanctimonious Irish Times Condemns Others, Not Itself

Here is a sanctimonious editorial from The Irish Times. It includes:

"Most importantly for Ireland, Mr Fitzgerald raises the fundamental issue of accountability. It would be nice to be able to dismiss his perception that the Irish elite has little interest in taking responsibility for its actions and inactions. He is, unfortunately, right. There is precious little evidence that those at the top in the banks, in government or in the wider nexus of business and politics really understand the idea of being answerable for the disaster they caused."
- Irish Times Preaches What It Does Not Practice.
Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Irish Times is being disingenious.  The 'elite' fully understand the alien concept of being answerable for the disaster they caused.  They just make sure there is no evidence.

There is precious little evidence that those at the top in The Irish Times are really answerable for the disaster they helped to cause.  The Irish Times had regular 50 page property supplements full of guff.  How much active non-action was there?  Was there any investigative journalism?  What did The Irish Times uncover about Anglo, The Financial Regulator, Billion-Euro speculators, DDDA, etc, before the schijt hit the fan?

Today there is precious little evidence that those at the top in The Irish Times have any interest in any investigative journalism concerning the Poolbeg Incinerator Affair.  Many, but not all, informed people believe the Irish Times reporter simply prints press releases directly from Dublin City Council's adjudicated massagers of facts.  This promotes a one-sided view, possibly misinforming the general public.  Additionally, The Irish Times seems to ensure unproven and possibly misleading statements posing as 'letters to the editor' from the incinerator promoters are published whilst letters from the informed public are rejected. 

The Irish Times inaction and lack of investigative journalism into the Poolbeg Incinerator Affair seems to confirm it is part of the claustrophobic and excessively intimate world of Irish business in which the courage to criticise is at a premium. 

March 5, 2010

Financial Liabilities Of Poolbeg Incinerator Contract

Why spend another €90,000 on another political "report"?  Is it so Mr Gormley can stall for another six months on the secret Poolbeg Incinerator Contract?  Here is an instant and free report on a Covanta contract in Florida. It is quite likely Covanta has used the Orlando contract as 'best practice' for its secret Dublin contract.  The Orlando contract has apparently created $300 million in penalty payments and has stopped recycling efforts.