The hospitalisation of 11 workers at the new incinerator at Poolbeg after an uncontrolled release raises serious questions about its safe operating, Social Democrats Councillor Cian O’Callaghan said today.

Dublin Bay North Cllr. O’Callaghan said:

“This incident is deeply concerning, particularly given that the plant has been up and running for barely a week. It raises serious questions about the safe operating of the facility and once again highlights the need for real time monitoring.

“The plant should not reopen until the Health and Safety Authority’s investigation is completed and full assurances are provided as to the safety of workers and local residents.”

Councillor O’Callaghan, whose constituency includes the neighbourhood of Clontarf across the bay from the incinerator, added:

“The operators of the incinerator Covanta have accumulated a record of fines for breaches of environmental protections and standards in North America. This serious discharge within days of operations commencing raises questions about the appointment of Covanta as operator. The safety of employees and the wider residential community should be paramount.

“The undemocratic practice of unelected and unaccountable officials making key decisions that will affect Dublin City for years to come such as imposing this incinerator against the wishes of elected representatives has consequences. It is time that these decisions are brought into the democratic domain.”

Cllr O’Callaghan is available for comment on 086-2866631

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