July 8, 2010


Copied From Burning Issues No 12.    Some text-formatting.



Posted by dublin incinerator on July 2, 2010.


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



During their recent analysts tele-conference Covanta promised to lobby hard in Ireland to overcome obstacles to building the oversized Poolbeg facility, and this week has seen the results, culminating in the demand of the U.S. Ambassador for a meeting with Minister Gormley to promote the project for fear damaging Ireland’s reputation! Strange, given that gross product from foreign firms is actually rising!

This does appear to be a last desperate throw of the dice for Covanta for some good news to stem the steady decline in their stock price. It is all the more strange given that this month they will distribute the funds that were borrowed to build the plant in a share buy-back programme and dividend distribution, as already reported. The firm has suffered reverses in Asia and the UK together with many labour and regulatory troubles in their homeland operations, and is obviously now seeking to avoid a second lapse into Chapter 11 protection from bankruptcy.

Leinster House rumour has it that those lobbying include a retired senior politician who has already used all his influence to ram the project down the throats of Dublin (and all Irish) people despite all the demonstrated hazards of the process, firstly resulting in a badly informed opinion piece in “The Paper of Record” that repeated many of the errors contained in the releases of the PR firm concerned, which have now become a tired mantra for the proponents. On the 1st July it featured strongly in RTE programming, again with the same correspondent showing his lack of proper research, and the subsequent listener responses showed how widely the proposed incinerator is the subject of objection and even derisionPat Kenny’s attempt to portray the opposition as “Dublin 4 nimbyism” certainly showed fundamental misunderstanding of the issues.

Perhaps the saddest aspect was to see a major political party abandon its long-declared and admired stance on a matter of principle in the search for short term advantage in the Minister’s constituency, a lapse that may eventually cost them electoral support across the country.

To list the misconceptions:

1. The Local Authorities have not “selected the safest and most efficient waste disposal system”.

2. The EU fines will not come into force for some time to come.

3. The “commercial developers” would be hard put to prove a legal claim given their recent actions.

4. The Bord Pleanala approval was an empty gesture, given that the contract had already been signed six months previously.

5. The EPA licence only stipulates limits to emissions and working practices. The facility might never be able to operate given the level of atmospheric pollution discovered in recent EPA tests, which seriously breach the old EU limits, never mind the new tighter ones that come into force this month.

6. The “preliminary work” done for the Foreshore Licence” was miserably inadequate.

7. The promoters have now acknowledged that almost half the refuse feedstock for the plant would have to come from outside the Dublin Region. Legal advice is that they will be open to challenge should they attempt this importation which breaches the planning permission.
8. Most European countries have ceased to build incinerators.

9. The serious potential for negative impacts on the health of Dubliners and further afield has not been properly considered, despite ever increasing scientific evidence of long term harm.

10. The bulk of the reputed 600 jobs would be only available during the relatively short construction period, and more than half of these would be filled by imported specialists in incineration technology. The permanent jobs (60 were quoted to Bord Pleanala) would also be largely for foreign specialists.


SEE THE C.R.A.I. WEB SITE AT http://www.nodublinincinerator.webs.coml
Telephone me at 01-4931877 or Frances Corr at 087-7715825.
Next week – An interesting European view of the project to date !



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