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Poolbeg incinerator, Dublin City Council, corruption and new energy direction needed

category national | environment | feature author Monday September 08, 2014 14:06author by Alan Hall Report this post to the editors

Council for Energy Regulation (CFR) recommends new smart grid & renewable energy for Ireland

featured image
Proposed Poolbeg incinerator.

Corruption and incompetence rule in certain corridors of Dublin City Council. Coventa the company which somehow won the tender (despite not being a party to the bidding) and Dublin City Council have pushed the cost up to nearly €100 million for the land. Council Manager Owen Keegan said not one cent of the €96 million that has already been spent will be clawed back if the plan doesn't go ahead. Despite also as extra €36 million in extra costs many Councillors state that this whole thing has nothing to do with mad ideas from Bertie Ahern. Even if it does not go ahead it will still cost €600 million, and obviously this is the best interests of every else abroad who likes to sabotage Irish planning and make a few million doing so. Renewable energy is the future but not for the old school chums of yesteryear.

Dublin City Council cleared or rather unable to prove and restored, its doomed project in purpose and design has re-appeared like a cloud of toxic waste. The particles in the matter are hoping to land and settle with €600 million of taxpayer’s money.

Despite being cleared of breaching EU rules on state aid
http://www.rte.ie/news/player/2014/0507/20574509-poolbe...-aid/

Dublin City Council had earlier voted against the project
http://www.herald.ie/opinion/incinerator-plans-up-in-sm....html

The EU is still however investigating the matter from afar, as aside from the farcical costs already incurred, there would be increased carbon costs to the whole country. There would also be increased pollution and cancer problems and many Doctors have voiced there concerns in this area in relation to Poolbeg (read whole article) http://dublinwastetotoxins.wordpress.com/category/poolb...ge/8/

As the lunacy continues the Commission for Energy Regulation publishes its view in response to the Governments white paper on Energy policy .

CER response (in link below)
http://www.cer.ie/docs/000988/CER14556%20CER%20Response...L.pdf

Government white paper outline
http://www.dcenr.gov.ie/Press+Releases/2014/Minister+Ra...y.htm

CER states (page 6 of 14)

"To maintain competitiveness in this area, it is important that Ireland considers the dynamic and static costs of integrating renewable generators into the electricity system, including the cost of new transmission infrastructure and system services needed to
Deliver the renewable resources. We favour an approach that looks at a diversity of renewable sources, including say solar energy, with a view to minimising the total cost of implementation to the consumer. The objective, in our view, should be to achieve our
renewable energy targets at least total cost to the consumer. We think that new innovative approaches and new technology may help to minimise cost "

This is part of the first steps in also enabling domestic suppliers (homes and business) to generate electricity back into the grid and receive payment for that generation. This would involve major changes in planning and the system resulting in thousands of new jobs.

Co-generation, auto-production, micro-generation with national Combined District heating plants (combined heat and power) is by far the best option and Poolbeg should be converted to this system as soon as possible. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cogeneration as these systems provide energy security, and value for money.

War around the world will also mean Ireland's energy security must turn to a renewable energy policy to reduce expensive imported oil and gas

Box 1: Special Deal with Covanta - 'Put or Pay' clause replaced with 'Authority Contigent Obligation'.

Source: Briefing note to council by Owen Keegan to Council pushing the incinerator The extracts below are from the report they have intentionally tried to make it difficult to figure out what the conditions of the ACO exactly are, but it looks like the limit is 320,000. So under the ACO, if not reached the council pays 58% due over it.

The facility is licensed and designed to process up to 600,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) of nonhazardous municipal and industrial waste. However, the contracted capacity for the facility is 550,000 (tpa).... and to replace the ‘put or pay’ clause with an ‘Authority Contingent Obligation’ (ACO) clause under which the [4] Dublin Local Authorities (DLAs) will provide partial revenue support for the facility during the PPP period.

The contract is for 45 years! and is broken into 3 phases: The duration of the Project Agreement is 45 years (excluding the 3 year construction period). The contract is split into three distinct phases as follows:

  • Phase 1: is a 3 year construction phase,
  • Phase 2: covers the first 15 years of operation (i.e. the PPP period) and
  • Phase 3: covers the remaining 30 years of operation (i.e. the merchant period).
.....In Phase 2, the DLAs are bound by an ACO mechanism to underpin the waste market revenue of the facility. Under the ACO the DLAs will provide partial (i.e. 58%) revenue support in respect of any revenue shortfall below a threshold waste revenue. The ACO only becomes effective if the operator fails to achieve the threshold waste revenue in any year during the PPP period. There is a cap on the maximum DLA exposure under the ACO

Included in the report is a breakdown of the costs so far.

Cost Element Amount €m
Client Representative Contract €30.579
Consultancy (include. reports on site selection, EIS, Planning) €1.351
Site Acquisition €52.278
Legal fees (not associated with site acquisition) €1.857
Public Relations etc. (includes local office and staffing) €4.338
Statutory fees €0.186
Site Management, security and monitoring Costs €4.217
Other (Inc DCC Project Engineer & other Staff costs) €2.630
Total €97.436

PDF Document Final Briefing Note on Proposed Dublin Waste to Energy (DWtE) Project & Notification under Section 138 Local Government Act 2001 0.98 Mb PDF Document rpsreportfinal.pdf 4.61 Mb PDF Document pwcreportfinal.pdf 1.12 Mb

author by Tpublication date Mon Sep 08, 2014 13:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Poolbeg incinerator that is being pushed on the Irish people in the most undemocratic manner will become a voracious consumer of recyclable material along with municipal waste which private waste companies will have no incentive to separate out and Ireland's recycling rate will decrease. The project so far has used up €100 million of state money paid out by the taxpayer but strongly opposed by the tax payer. The contracts are largely secret and were signed in secret by the unelected and unaccountable chairman of Dublin City council at the time. Some details that have come out is that the contract is for 45 years which will essentially freeze waste policy in Ireland for that massive length of time and burden us with dangerous and cancer causing pollution over the entire city while providing a subsidy to the operators because one of the key conditions are if there is not enough waste supplied to the incinerator then the government is obliged to pay the difference to make up any shortfall.

The projections used to come up with the figures remain hidden behind confidentially clauses because if exposed it will be cleared they are based on false assumptions and are bogus.

And today Eamon Ryan of the Green Party said

“The Poolbeg National Incinerator has been in planning for years, but there is one major difference in the contract that City Manager Owen Keegan is now considering signing. This is now going to be a national, rather than a Dublin, incinerator. All the planning up to this stage was on the understanding that waste would be treated on a regional basis. The public policy position seems to have changed without any comment or input from the relevant Minister. The Labour Party have consistently said that they oppose the incinerator, and want the country to move towards a “Zero Waste” policy. Despite this, they are now tying us into a forty-five year contract which will define national waste policy all the way up to 2060. Everyone is going to have to pay for this folly, all without having any real knowledge as to what is involved.


While local Green Party councillor Ciarán Cuffe said the reports prepared for Dublin City Council on the incinerator were "deeply flawed and lacking in transparency" and "the numbers, the planning permission, and the strategy are all wrong".

Far from being required to deal with Dublin’s own waste, the project "can only hope to be marginally viable if it burns the majority of the residual waste generated in the whole country", he said.

He said consultants Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) based their findings on confidential data "supplied by parties with a vested interest in the incinerator progressing".

"PwC acknowledge that they haven’t been able to independently verify any of the data supplied to them.

This project is yet another example of how the complete lack of democracy in major decisions and planning in this country are hijacked by a tiny elite and in practically every case result in a large flow of tax payers money to unwanted projects for the benefit of private companies.

The latest propaganda we are getting is that because we have spent €100 million we can't stop now. This is ridiculous and is the same logic used by gamblers.

author by fredpublication date Mon Sep 08, 2014 15:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Europe needs a convenient dumping ground for it's waste and if this monstrosity goes ahead, waste will start appearing on our doorstep
daily from far and wide as other countries "externalise" their toxic waste problem to the stupid paddies who evidently are happy to accept any old shit they get from Europe, now literally.

They currently send their toxic shite to third world countries. Looks like we are becoming one of those.
We are certainly being treated as one by our so called "friends" in Europe.

"leveraged buyout" of Irish sovereignty with cheap credit, then higher interest loans to pay back banksters, coming with conditions - check
forced privatisation of water etc - check
family homes taxed - check
free movement of elite capital - check
huge tax breaks for large corporations - check
corrupt overpaid traitorous politicians schmoozing with bilderbergers - check
captive presstitute media mostly parroting the government line - check
high unemployment - check
"work for nothing" schemes like jobsbridge / gateway - check
unfettered migration from EU pushing down wages and pushing up housing costs / rents - check
welfare programs, underfunded public health and schools being run into the ground as a prelude to further privatisation of services - check
high housing costs - check
ordinary people suffering severe austerity - check
large scale emigration of best and brightest - check
GM crops forced on us - pending
Externalised waste sent here for disposal - pending

Yes, we are well on the road to third world status it seems! With our self serving "friends" in the EU and US
Laughing at us all the way and our traitorous politicians in league with foreign interests against the ordinary
naive people of Ireland.

We need to dump our neoliberal collaborator politicians and start looking to some of the countries of south America who have been through all this for inspiration. And we need to do it fast!!

author by co2publication date Tue Sep 09, 2014 09:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The co2/ch4 levels in the atmosphere has risen to a record level,even higher than 1984,we are ruining our planet,and big business doesn't care.

The depleation of real wealth on our earth, ie minerals etc so we can have the stock market float is foolish.

This is not real wealth if anything the planet is poorer,the more the stock market raised the more UNHEALTHY the planet becomes.

More trees are being logged worldwide,to deal with the ''housing crisis'' which is driven by OVERPOPULATION - by logging trees we are making important plant life and animal life - homeless and destitute and unable to survive without the cover of a lush forest.

In order for our planet to survive,capitalism needs to be overthrown. Capitalist pigs have even infiltrated the ranks of many enviornmentalists. They have been politically neutered,and have no real say or impact as long as they are on the capitalist payroll..

Academic environmentalists are paid by the capitalist pigs to derevolutionize the struggle to liberate the planet.

This is a warning to everybody who thinks the greens are on our side - they may be the closest to the real struggle but they are not actively participating in a real struggle against these capitalists,as they have been monetarily corrupted.

author by Ruapublication date Wed Sep 10, 2014 10:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Our enviornment depends on our voice,we must not be complacent. The measure of the destruction of the enviornment can be observed by how well the stock market does. The better the stock market does,the more destruction to our enviornment.

We might not ever have the luxury of finding another planet like ours,so we have to work with what we have got and learn to respect our enviornment.

As long as we glamorize consumer worship,ie buying duplicate items or throwing out your furniture every six months because you are bored of the decor,all these mindless lemmings are doing is creating more rubbish which is bad for the enviornment.

If every third world person had the same appetitie (i was reading in an enviornmentalist website) as a first world person,we would need three planets full of food to sustain their appetites..That should give some people some food for thought!

author by wageslave - moderatorpublication date Wed Sep 10, 2014 12:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

topic is poolbeg. Please try to stay on topic
thanks!

-moderator

author by Rational Ecologistpublication date Wed Sep 10, 2014 15:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I would argue that the other posts are 'on-topic'; if we didn't consume so much stuff we wouldn't need to burn it later in the cycle.

author by anonpublication date Fri Sep 12, 2014 22:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

From broadsheet.ie Jan 2014

This morning, Environment Editor of the Irish Times Frank McDonald reports on a local government audit into the money spent by Dublin City Council to relocate a firm in Dublin Port, to allow for the building of the Poolbeg incinerator.

Mr McDonald reports that Dublin City Council paid almost €22 million to relocate cargo handlers firm, Westway Terminals Hibernian Ltd.The council was obliged to help Westway and pay for their new premises.

However, Mr McDonald reports that Dublin City Council paid nearly twice the original contract of €11.9million.

In total, the relocation of Westway cost €31 million.

Meanwhile, he also reports that the audit looked at the contract between Dublin City Council and RPS, a contract which the European Commission subsequently found was in breach EU rules late last year and will be terminated on January 31.

Mr McDonald reported the local government auditor found financial management was weak while there were concerns raised about the lack of minutes recorded.

He reported:

“The auditor concluded: ‘it is evident that the financial management . . . has been weak’ and said ‘no proper classification of expenditure on an invoice basis was available to account for monies spent’ on Poolbeg by council management.

“’There is no evidence of monitoring of detailed budgets or financial forecasts . . . or that detailed monthly/quarterly reports were examined to control expenditure, apart from client representative summary reports presented to DCC management.’

“He said the project executive board – headed by former assistant city manager Matt Twomey – “did not meet on a formal basis and therefore no minutes of meetings were retained”.


Meanwhile, on Prime Time last night, Fintan O’Toole also spoke about the RPS contract with Dublin City Council and the same audit referred to above, in light of the fact that the CEO of Irish Water John Tierney was hired just weeks after the audit was issued.

“John Tierney was the accounting officer, he was the person for whom the buck stopped in relation to that. So it would be very interesting to know was John Tierney asked, at his interview, about his record? Was he asked what he had learned about the hiring of consultants, was he asked what he had learned about major infrastructural projects and how they should be manager in the public interest? I suspect he probably wasn’t.“


Watch the full episode here http://www.rte.ie/player/ie/show/10242535/

Related Link: http://www.broadsheet.ie/2014/01/15/spending-money-like-water/
author by cwpublication date Sun Oct 05, 2014 22:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

From CovantaWatch.org

Covanta filed suit against Harrisburg’s City (Pennsylvania, USA) government seeking more than $1.9 million in missed loan repayments after the city failed to make three straight quarterly payments of $637,000. This debt started in 2007 when Covanta lent the city $25 million in plant upgrades necessary for the incinerator to run efficiently and turn a profit, as well as purchasing the facility. Covanta now owns the incinerator as well as millions of dollars in a debt that the city can’t pay. Covanta is calling for payment from Harrisburg “out of the next tax dollars or other revenues that the city receives”. History on these conflict here. http://blog.pennlive.com/patriotnews/2007/04/deal_to_co....html

Related Link: http://www.covantawatch.org/
author by Crazy Catpublication date Fri Oct 24, 2014 13:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Just come back from an oh too short stay in Ireland.

I was talking to my nephew who is a dustbin man in the greater Dublin area.

The house rubbish he picks up goes into a warehouse where it is put on threadmills,broken down and put into plastic bales ( looks exactly like hay bales ) and shipped to.... China!

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