Green Party Calls for improved Waste Licensing after St. Margaret’s fire

The Green Party has called for a review of waste licensing in Ireland after yesterday’s large fire at the yesterday’s fire at the St Margarets / Sandyhill vehicle recycling facility in North Dublin. It called on the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment to tighten up licensing and procedures for such facilities.

The party’s Dublin Spokesperson Councillor Ciarán Cuffe stated:

“This large fire comes just three years after a large fire at the Oxigen Environmental Recycling Plant in Ballymount on 24th January 2014. It seems that history is repeating itself, and an investigation into our licensing procedures is needed. In both cases large clouds of toxic smoke passed over residential areas. We need greater oversight and management of these large recycling facilities. Some years ago in 2002 a large fire at the Hammond Metal Recycling Company in Ringsend also released toxic gases. How is it that these fires are not contained and estinguished quickly?

“As recycling depots expand we need to ensure that the public are adequately protected. After two major fires at recycling plants in three years it seems clear that we need to improve both planning, fire safety certification and licensing procedures for such facilities. Vast amounts of toxic substances are being released into the air each time a fire like this breaks out.

“It is difficult to locate information about these facilities on the Environmental Protection Agency’s website, and this major fire didn’t appear to merit a mention on the EPA’s news or Twitter feeds (@EPAAirQuality and @EPAIreland). Licensing information is hard to find, as even recent licenses are uploaded as scanned photocopies. This makes it virtually impossible for the public to locate clear information in a timely manner.

“The EPA needs to up their game in terms of how they manage these facilities and present information, and Minister Naughten needs to ensure this occurs.” ENDS

Press Release issued and this page published 12th January 2018

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