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Court Update, Waste Management Plans, Novartis Ringaskiddy Incinerator Application
national | environment | news report Wednesday October 14, 2020 23:09 by chase - Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment
This news update from Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment contains update on: The High Court Case EPA Licence Novartis Commercial Incinerator Application Waste Action Plan for a Circular Economy
High Court Case
A judgement on the CHASE High Court appeal has not yet been delivered. Our case has been listed for routine mention on a number of occasions but a decision is still pending. The case was listed for mention on the High Court list on 24 April 2020, however this did not take place due to COVID impact. Read more about court case at http://chasecorkharbour.com/high-court-outcome-current-status/
The Industrial Emissions licence application and Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIAR) submitted by Indaver to the EPA on 18 July 2019 has not yet been assessed and has been extended by the EPA most recently to January 2021. Application documentation can be found here.
Novartis Commercial Incinerator Application
Novartis Ringaskiddy Ltd have applied for planning to amend their existing incinerator permission to allow it to burn waste that is not generated on site.
This is in effect a commercial incinerator and so there is reason for concern over this application, given that Novartis announced plans last year to withdraw from one of its production buildings by 2022 at a cost of 320 jobs, at which stage SIPTU was aware that Novartis was seeking to sell the Ringaskiddy plant. (Irish Times 23/10/2019)
Should the facility be sold with the expanded licence, this could open the door to a buyer looking for an opportunity to acquire a site with a merchant/commercial incinerator licence and apply to further change or expand that licence.
The application states that Novartis seeks “An amendment to existing practices to use solvents and solid materials generated by manufacturing processes at other EPA licenced industrial facilities in Ireland as a supplementary fuel and feedstock in the existing waste treatment and recovery infrastructure at the site.”
The application reference number is 20/6070, dated 23 September 2020. Submissions must be received by Cork County Council by 27 October 2020.
Waste Action Plan for a Circular Economy
The Waste Action Plan for a Circular Economy was published by the Government on 4 September 2020 and “this new national waste policy will inform and give direction to waste planning and management in Ireland over the coming years”. Environment Minister, Eamon Ryan says that a key objective of the Action Plan is to shift the focus away back up the product life cycle, to remove or design out harmful waste, to extend the life of the products and goods we use and prevent waste arising in the first place – consistent with the concept of a zero-waste future.
The move towards preventing waste arising in the first place is to be welcomed along with the focus on producer responsibility and the waste management levy (p16), though this incentivises not producing waste in the first place rather than disencentivising burning waste.
Unfortunately incineration is definitely not clearly taken off the menu in terms of not building more incinerators as the document states that “282,866 tonnes of packaging waste were sent for recovery at either waste recovery facilities or cement kilns that incinerate packaging material to generate energy. Energy recovery avoids the emissions associated with disposal of packaging waste at landfill. In the case of cement kilns, energy recovery avoids burning of fossil fuels by substituting packaging waste materials as a fuel source.”
The document can be downloaded in full here. https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/4221c-waste-action-plan-for-a-circular-economy/
And finally, a big thank you to Paul Connett, Jeremy Irons and Vyvyan Howard for participating in this video ( https://youtu.be/3mTOT2_nw0g ), reminding us urgently why burning our waste is a bad idea for communities and for the planet, is damaging to our health and is going in the exact opposite direction to a circular economy.
Caption: Dr Paul Connett, Jeremy Irons, Prof Vyvyan Howard - Burning our waste must be abandoned