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27th March 2014 | Uncategorised

Cooney raises concerns over Dublin Port Company

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Thursday 27 March 2014, Dublin.

Following the publication of the Dublin Port Company’sAlexandra Basin redevelopment project plan, Green Party local electioncandidate for Clontarf, Donna Cooney, has today commented, “Are the DublinPort Company now in danger of killing the goose that lays the golden egg? Oursuccess in attracting cruise liners into Dublin Bay is that tourists want tosee our beautiful, unspoilt natural heritage; and the fauna that visit ourshores are a key part of that attraction.

“Although we welcome that there is no plan for infill of thebay, and are pleased with the acceptance of proposals for better use ofexisting port lands by the resident’s association, the late Sean Dublin BayLoftus, Dublin Bay Watch and North Bay Greens, I have been studying  theproposed development carefully and have identified a number of potentiallyserious concerns. The suggested dredging of 470,000 m3 of material, much of itcontaminated with heavy toxic metals such as arsenic, copper, chromium,cadmium, nickel, lead, mercury and zinc, should ring alarm bells for anyoneliving in this area.”

Most of the dredged materials will be dumped at sea if theDublin Port Company get a licence to do so from the EPA, and they are confidentthat they will as they applied successfully for one in July 2011.

Ms. Cooney continued, “Our Blue Flag beaches may be atrisk and the water quality in Dublin Bay could be critically compromised bythese plans.”

Quotes from the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS):

“The deterioration in water quality within the cSACis evaluated as being potentially significant as direct damage to the physicalquality of the environment in terms of water quality may directly andindirectly affect the qualifying interests of the cSAC. “

“Accidental spillages of polluting substances whichcould affect benthic fauna [a community of organisms that live on, or near thesea bed] & water quality or features of interest both habitats and specieswould be potentially significant should an incident occur.”

The plan is to dump the material, some of which ismoderately contaminated, at Burford Bank. This is an area that harboursporpoise, an animal protected under EC habitats directive (92/43/EEC).

Extract from EIS detailing possible risks to porpoise in thebay: