LUSK residents are sceptical that Fingal County Council’s consultation process in relation to the Greater Dublin Drainage Project will work in their favour.
The Lusk Waste Watchers lobby group was speaking as council engineers and officials began the arduous task of poring over more than 10,000 submissions received in relation to a suitable site for the treatment plant.
The controversial multi-million euro project for the new infrastructure in north county Dublin will include a regional treatment plant, a marine outfall and an orbital sewer.
Nine sites have been provisionally identified as being suitable for the controversial project. Four of these sites are in the greater Lusk area.
Lorcan O’Toole of Lusk Waste Watchers claimed the council was simply “paying lip service” through the consultation phase.
“We feel quite pessimistic and cynical that the council will come back with anything other than a Lusk site for the proposed plant,” Mr O’Toole told Northside People.
“We don’t believe the council will take heed of our opposition and the suggestions made in our submissions.”
Locals have questioned the need for one regional plant due to the current economic climate and have called for a review of recent population statistics to ensure the new plant is correctly sized.
Other concerns include potential impacts on the environment and the possibility of odours from the new plant.
Mr O’Toole said there doesn’t seem to be any logical need for the plant, not to mention why it should be located in an area that hasn’t even caused the waste.
“We feel strongly that this waste should be treated near or where it has been created which is the city, Meath, Wicklow and Kildare,” he declared.
“There seems to be a track record for picking Lusk as an area to locate dumps.
“Of the nine sites identified, half of those are in Lusk which makes is probable that our area will be ‘blessed’ with the treatment plant.”
Concerns and objections raised are now being considered by technical and environmental specialists before the number of shortlisted sites is reduced. A new list is expected to be announced in the coming weeks.
According to project engineer, Peter O’Reilly, Fingal County Council will hold another round of non-statutory consultation to give people an opportunity to make their views known after the site list is narrowed down.
Mr O’Reilly said the project team and consultants will then conduct a final round of studies to identify the most suitable locations for the new plant. An announcement is expected possibly towards the end of the year.
“A full Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) will assess in full all potential impacts of the preferred location for each of the three elements - the wastewater treatment works, the marine outfall and the orbital sewer,” stated Mr O’Reilly.
The new plant is needed to augment the Ringsend regional wastewater treatment works after 2020 and will be developed in phases.
Engineers say that when it opens, the new plant will be no bigger than a sixth of the size of the Ringsend plant.
Even when fully extended by 2040, the facility will not be any more than one third of the size of the fully extended Ringsend plant.
The council says the plant is needed to protect the
environment and secure the future economic, commercial, industrial and
residential needs of the Greater Dublin Area after 2020. A video presentation of the project can be viewed by clicking this link.