The Green Party has expressed serious concern after the EPA announced that it will grant Irish Cement a licence to incinerate tyres and other toxic waste in the Mungret cement factory.
Speaking after the decision was announced, Green Party spokesperson for Limerick City West Breandán Anraoi MacGabhann, an environmental scientist who lectures in Geography at Mary Immaculate College and the University of Limerick, said:
“This is a very concerning decision. The cement factory in Mungret is in a residential area slated for significant growth in the coming years, and is close to several schools and the Mungret St. Paul’s GAA club, amongst others. It’s simply not a suitable site for waste incineration.
“Irish Cement has been fined several times for breach of their pollution emissions licence, and there is valid public concern in the area that if and when something goes wrong, emissions from waste incineration will be much more damaging to health than the repeated dust releases from the plant.”
“Public health has to come first, and it’s very disappointing that the EPA is granting a licence which could come with such risks to public health. It is estimated that particulate pollution alone reduces the average life expectancy in the EU by eight months, and Ireland already has one of the highest asthma rates in the world – one in five Irish children has asthma. Here, we’re now talking about potential emissions from waste incineration, which can be much more dangerous.
“We’ll be examining the conditions carefully, and we hope that at the very least, there are stringent requirements for independent monitoring built-in, with severe punitive penalties for noncompliance.”
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