Limerick Against Pollution want regulator to hold oral hearing

Nick Rabbitts


Nick Rabbitts

LAP has called a further oral hearing into Irish Cement's plans for Mungret

LAP has called a further oral hearing into Irish Cement's plans for Mungret

THE group set up in opposition to Irish Cement’s €10m plans for Mungret has called a further oral hearing to discuss the health risks associated with the proposal.

It comes after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sought more information on the blueprint, which will see the Mungret-based company switch away from fossil fuels in favour of solid recovered waste and used tyres.

There has been huge opposition to the proposals, with Limerick Against Pollution (LAP) one of almost 4,000 objectors the regulator who will ultimately decide on the granting of the licence. Chiefly they cite environmental concerns.

For its part Irish Cement has always maintained that the change in process will not lead to an increase in toxic emissions into the atmosphere, due to the fact the burning of the waste will take place at such high a temperature.

The firm also says the scheme will protect the existing jobs in the factory.

But in a letter to our sister newspaper, the Limerick Leader, Limerick Against Pollution want the EPA to convene an oral hearing, similar to the one An Bord Pleanala held at the South Court Hotel last year, “whereby the health and environmental implications in this licence application can be discussed in an open and informed space.”

At that event, the HSE faced criticism for not providing testimony.

“Hopefully this time the HSE will consider this matter of sufficient gravity to grace the hearing with their presence. And hopefully, Limerick City and County Council will have worked out what they mean exactly by 'sustainable’ in the context of their 2030 development ambitions. Only then can the citizenry of this city decide whether the public interest is being protected by these public bodies,” states the letter, signed by Dr Angus Mitchell, Claire Keating, Derek O’Dwyer, Maria Corbett and Tim Hourigan.

The group also rejected a claim from Irish Cement communications boss Brian Gilmore that its new plan will “help recover valuable resources that might otherwise end up in landfill”. This, they said is “rationalising language which belongs to a redundant age of corporate doublespeak. An age oblivious to the consequences of decision making that ignored the social and environmental costs.” Irish Cement were contacted for comment but there was no reply at time of going to press.