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Tag Archives: environment

Council directed to release Chemifloc incident reports

CLARE County Council’s refusal to grant The Clare Champion access to three incident reports about the “toxic release” of chlorine dioxide gas at Chemifloc Limited in 2012 was “not justified”, according to a ruling by the Commissioner for Environmental Information, Peter Tyndall. Mr Tyndall found a request by the newspaper under the Access to Information on the Environment (AIE) should have been granted in full. He ruled that grounds for refusal did not apply to information contained in the incident reports concerning the time, location and composition of chemicals emitted from the Smithstown facility. On August 6, 2015, The Clare Champion made a request to the council under AIE regulations for access to “all correspondence and documents relating to Clare County Council’s response to the chemical incident at the Chemifloc Plant on December 20, 2012”. It requested access to correspondence between the council and Chemifloc concerning the incident, as well as documents relating to the cost incurred by Clare Fire …

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Making strides on energy efficiency

€100 million for energy efficiency projects, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment Denis Naughten said today (Wednesday) as he announced his endorsement of the Energy Action Conference, to be held in Croke Park on March 6. Minister Naughten said he is “determined to implement policies that can help people in fuel poverty make their homes more energy efficient and switch to cleaner fuels and noted that the additional funding will support critical fuel poverty programmes like the Warmer Homes scheme and the new Warmth and Wellbeing pilot which will demonstrate that improving energy efficiency can lead to wider benefits including less reliance on medication and health services”. “Fuel poverty, energy efficiency and the air we breathe are closely related issues”, he added. This made the theme of the conference in Croke Park ‘Fuel Poverty and Climate Change’, all the more timely. “Empowering people means giving them the means to reduce their bills, to cut the fuel they consume, …

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Clare dreaming of a green Christmas

The people of Clare are being urged to play their part in reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill this Christmas by availing of one of Clare’s five recycling facilities. The Environment section of Clare County Council says people can bring a carload of recyclable waste to its recycling centres and transfer stations at Ballyduffbeg, Lisdeen, Shannon, Scarriff and Ennis for as little as €5. Councillor Bill Chambers, Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, said, “I am delighted that the council’s environment section is issuing important advice to the public on how they can minimise the impact of their Christmas on the environment. “The people of Clare have always been very responsible when it comes to disposal of plastic, paper and glass materials built up over the Christmas period, and I am confident that they will respond similarly this year.” “With the Christmas holidays comes lots of extra packaging, particularly in the home,” explained Karen Foley, Environmental Awareness Officer, Clare …

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Council crackdown on backyard burning

Clare County Council is continuing its crackdown on backyard burning after one North Clare man was recently given two four-month prison sentences, which were suspended for a two-year period. While this case, which involved the unauthorised burning of almost one tonne of waste in a builder’s skip, isn’t a typical one, the council has warned that any type of waste disposal using a fire, regardless of the scale, is illegal. It also warned that repeat offenders and anyone engaged in large-scale illegal burning faces the prospect of €4,000 in fines or a prison sentence on conviction. The penalty imposed in the latest prosecution places the spotlight on a practice that is still continuing, despite previous warnings, with 22 complaints received by the local authority so far this year. Burning waste is an offence under the Air Pollution Act 1987 and The Waste Management (Prohibition of Waste Disposal by Burning) Regulations 2009, which strengthened the law against waste disposal by uncontrolled burning [backyard burning]. …

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Minister to visit Moneypoint

THE Minister for Communications and the Environment, Denis Naughten, will visit the ESB Moneypoint powerstation on Wednesday next. Clare TD Michael Harty, who has arranged the visit, said it is an important one, as the future of Moneypoint is uncertain. “This is a very important visit as the programme for a partnership government has outlined that in anticipation of Moneypoint coming to the end of its operating life in its current configuration, the Department of Communications, Climate Change and Natural Resources will identify, as soon as possible, the most suitable replacement low carbon generation technology,” Dr Harty said. “To achieve this ambitious goal, all State bodies will need to engage positively with local communities to manage the transition to a low carbon future. The partnership government has committed to develop a low carbon transition and mitigation plan, within six months, which will examine specific measures to reduce emissions in electricity generation and will outline how new technologies can be ready …

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Crusheen man wants billboard removed

A Crusheen man has gathered approximately 300 signatures to get a billboard on the southern outskirts of the village removed. Michael Hickey believes the billboard at the railway bridge is no longer relevant and that it is having a negative impact on the look of the village. “I was moved to start the petition after passing the billboard on foot with my kids and seeing the torn pieces of posters strewn all over the briars and gathered behind the stone wall at the foot of the billboard,” he said. The poster currently on the billboard is one advertising Clare County Council’s own ‘Respect the Banner’ anti-litter campaign. “It is a joke at the moment because there is an anti-litter poster on the billboard and there are lumps of torn poster up in the briars,” Mr Hickey added. A spokesperson for Clare County Council stated that a person had contacted the local authority in February regarding the billboard. “Their concern related …

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100 Clare schools hold green flags

Four Clare primary and secondary schools have been awarded green flags for the first time bringing to 100 the number of local schools now holding the international award for environmental action. Run by An Taisce in partnership with local authorities throughout Ireland, the Green-Schools award scheme is an international environmental education programme and management system that acknowledges long-term, whole school action for the environment. St Patrick’s Comprehensive School in Shannon; Coore NS, Kilkishen NS and Scoil Mhuire in Meelick were presented with their very first green flag at a special An Taisce Green Schools Awards ceremony held in the Radisson Hotel in Galway recently. A further 32 schools successfully renewed their Green Flags following work on  new themes including energy, water, travel, biodiversity and global citizenship litter/waste. The schools include: Clondrinagh NS; Úlla Beag Preshool, Killaloe; Doolin NS.; Scoil Mhainchín, Ennistymon; Ennis Educate Together NS; St John Bosco Community College, Kildysart; St Senan’s Primary School, Kilrush; Lakyle NS, Whitegate; Moyasta …

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Council to remove asbestos from nine sites

  CLARE County Council has confirmed that it has commissioned an external independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding the depositing of asbestos-cement materials at a number of sites throughout West Clare. The council says it has informed the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) of its intention to remove the hazardous waste material from nine separate locations in the vicinity of Kilrush and Kilkee. A specialist asbestos consultant has been engaged by the council to advise the authority on the removal of the materials. West Clare county councillors have been informed about the process while the council has confirmed it will be liasing with members of the public living in the vicinity of the affected sites about the remedial works that are due to take place. “Clare County Council’s environment section received a complaint from a member of the public last June regarding a number of areas where asbestos waste materials were deposited. The council has since identified nine sites where …

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