The Department of Defence has made a major intervention at the Bord Pleanala hearing into the proposal by Indaver to build a hazardous waste incinerator at Ringaskiddy, close to the Naval Base operational headquarters on Haulbowline Island in Cork Harbour.
It has said the location and its possible effects on the Base "cannot be an acceptable situation..."
Naval operations at Haulbowline Headquarters Cork Harbour could be seriously affected if the Indaver incinerator is built at Ringaskiddy, the Bord Pleanala inquiry into the third attempt by the company to get approval for a hazardous waste incinerator has been told.
Commdt David Brown, Irish Air Corp, speaking on behalf of the Department of Defence following consultation with the Naval Service and Irish Air Corps, presented observations on the proposed incinerator indicating that the Air Corps may be forced to impose a no-fly restriction around the site, with additional restrictions on operations to Haulbowline Naval base and Spike Island.
The Department of Defence in a submission said:
"Given the location of the site to the South and West of Haulbowline and Spike Island and the prevailing winds, if the propose resource recovery centre is developed the Air Corps may be forced to impose a local no-fly restriction around the site with an additional restriction on operations to Haulbowline Naval Base and Spike Island which wold result in no possible operations to the Naval Base during Southerly Wind conditions."
In its statement the Department also said:"Haulbowline Island (where the Naval Base is located) is accessed by road as a sort of cul-de-sac to the Ringaskiddy Road. The proposed incinerator is to be built adjacent to this road, before Haulnbowline. Therefore, in the event of any accident at the incinerator, road access to and from Haulbowline is threatened. For example, if an accident at the incinerator necessitated local area evacuation, the evacuation of Haulbowline would be denied. This cannot be an acceptable situation for those that work at or visit Haulbowline nor for the necessary functioning of a fully operational Naval Base therein."
In February an explosion at the Indaver incinerator facility in the port of Antwerp, Belgium, was described as "a municipal disaster..." A road tunnel was shut down and residents and workers were warned to shut doors and windows and to stay inside buildings.