Limerick Against Pollution group to host talk by US expert

Group opposed to plans for Irish Cement plant in Mungret

Maria Flannery

Reporter:

Maria Flannery

Limerick Against Pollution group to host talk by US expert

Controversy over plans: The Irish Cement factory in Mungret

THE Limerick Against Pollution group is set to host a talk on the dangers of incineration with an expert from the US to give his views.

The group has opposed plans by Irish Cement to phase out the use of petroleum coke, and use rubber tyres and solid recovered waste instead, a process which they fear will release a number of toxic emissions into the air including dioxins, furans, and sulphur dioxide and in turn can cause a range of health problems.

Irish Cement has said the process planned in a €10m plan to burn waste at its Mungret site is combustion and not incineration. 

The contentious plans led to protests in Limerick earlier this year, and a flurry of appeals to An Bord Pleanala after the local authority granted planning permission for the development.

The firm’s licence application – which has caused concern in many quarters – is currently before the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The event – in the Strand Hotel on this Friday, June 9 at 7.30 – will be the latest in a series of public meetings for the group.

Dr Paul Connett, a professor in Environmental Chemistry at St Lawrence’s University in Canton, New York, will speak about the process of incineration at the event.

“For the past 30 years, Paul has put his scientific knowledge to work by helping communities around the world understand the science of controversial issues like incineration and fluoridation,” said a LAP spokesperson.

“In addition to explaining the dangers of these practices, he offers details of the alternatives.”

The deadline for people to object the plans to the EPA is July 17 of this year.

“So far over 2,500 objections have been submitted,” according to LAP.

In May, Irish Cement moved to reassure Mungret residents that no burning of rubber material is currently taking place at its factory.

Claire Keating, the chairperson of neighbouring Sli na Manach residents association, said many parents in Mungret park complained of a smell of rubber allegedly emanating from the plant.

She said LAP had received reports that Irish Cement has already started tests of rubber at the plant.

But a spokesperson for the factory issued a firm denial of this, saying: “Irish Cement can categorically state there is no burning of any rubber material taking place at the Mungret factory at the present time.”