THE Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has decided to postpone the oral hearing to examine the objections and concerns raised in relation to the proposed licence issued to Irish Cement Limited, Castlemungret, Limerick.
The oral hearing was scheduled to be held in May after the EPA issued a proposed licence on a revised licence last September for the continued operation of a cement manufacturing plant and an associated inert landfill at Castlemungret.
Information in relation to the location and time of the rescheduled oral hearing will be notified to the applicant, all third parties who have made an objection on the proposed licence and the planning authority well in advance of the rescheduled hearing.
The proposed licence provides for the acceptance of non-hazardous waste materials to be used as alternative fuels and raw materials, up to a maximum of 90,000 tonnes per annum.
It contains more than 100 individual conditions relating to the environmental management, operation, control and monitoring of the installation.
In a statement issued to the Clare Champion, the EPA stated it had considered the application and supporting documentation including an Environmental Impact Statement, received from the applicant, a Natura Impact Statement, required under the Habitats Directive, received from the applicant and four thousand one hundred and eighty (4,180) valid submissions received from other
parties and the report of its inspector.
Public participation and consultation with statutory consultees was carried out during this EPA licence assessment process.
The EPA is satisfied that the emissions from the installation when operated in accordance with the conditions of the proposed licence will meet all required environmental protection standards and will not endanger human health or harm the environment in the vicinity of the installation or over a wider area.
Conditions imposed include the total quantity of non-hazardous waste to be accepted at the facility is limited to 90,000 tonnes per annum; controls on emissions to air; controls on discharges to waters and specific requirements for emissions monitoring and environmental management systems in accordance with relevant European Standards
Six third party requests for an oral hearing, stating that they reflect the concerns of in excess of 4,000 people, which were received and considered by the EPA board.
The board considered that an oral hearing is merited given the scale, sensitivity of the local environment and the importance of the proposed development both nationally and regionally.
Further information on the oral hearing process is available on the EPA website.