Displaying items by tag: Ispat
#CORK HARBOUR - The Government has finally set a deadline for the clean-up of the toxic waste site on Haulbowline Island in Cork Harbour, under threat of massive fines from the European Commission.
RTÉ News reports that a two-and-a-half year deadline has been set to complete the sanitation of the illegal dump on the island at the site of the former Irish Steel/Ispat plant.
Some 500,000 tonnes of waste, including toxic heavy metals and cancer-causing materials, have been blamed for the area's notoriety in having one of the highest cancer rates in Ireland.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, in October last the Government signed off on a €40m package to begin clean-up of the toxic waste site on the island.
In an editorial yesterday, the Irish Examiner welcomed the Government's decision, but emphasised it was long overdue.
"[It] cannot dispel the great frustration that it has taken so very long to do what should have been done years ago," the paper said.
"To this day nobody has explained how an illegal dump of this scale was allowed to develop on a site that is not exactly secluded, remote or out of the public eye - it is, after all, just next door to the country’s main naval base."
The Irish Examiner also reports on worries that the toxic waste may never be fully removed from the island, but rather sealed off and made impermeable.
Minister for the Marine Simon Coveney was quoted as saying: "This whole clean-up plan will be peer reviewed so it’s best practice but it could be better to contain the material onsite rather than remove it.
"We will be doing all that is reasonable to ensure the site is safe."
The Government has signed off on a €40 million package to begin clean-up of the toxic waste site on Haulbowline Island in Cork Harbour, the Cork Independent reports.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the site at the former Irish Steel/Ispat plant - which closed a decade ago - contains an estimated 500,000 tonnes of waste, including toxic heavy metals and cancer causing materials, and has been blamed for the area's notoriety in having one of the highest cancer rates in Ireland.
The move comes after an ultimatum from the European Commission earlier this year to act on cleanup of the island.
Mary O'Leary, chair of the Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment (CHASE) lobby group, is cautiously optimistic about the Caninet's move on the issue, but said "the proof of the pudding is in the eating".
She told the Cork Independent: “Obviously we welcome the announcement, we have been fighting for 15 years for this. It is a guarded optimism because we were promised something in 2008. We didn’t see anything then so we will see what happens here."
O'Leary has been invited to join the steering committee that will oversee the cleanup.
“It is in all our interests that a solution is found for the former Ispat site," said Minister for the Marine Simon Coveney, "and I am determined to ensure that there are no further delays in finding a solution."
The Cork Independent has more on the story HERE.