Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Ceisteanna (317, 327)

Clare Daly

Ceist:

317. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when his attention was drawn in his role as chair of the stakeholders committee of the rehabilitation of Haulbowline Island to a report (details supplied) which detailed a serious imminent threat to human health and the environment; and the reason the report was not disseminated immediately and without delay as required by EU (Access to Information on the Environment) (Amendment) Regulations 2014. [22569/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Clare Daly

Ceist:

327. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when his attention was drawn to a report (details supplied) which detailed a serious imminent threat to human health and the environment; and the reason the report was not disseminated immediately and without delay as required by EU (Access to Information on the Environment) (Amendment) Regulations 2014. [22568/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 317 and 327 together.

The Deputy will wish to be aware that the Government has taken responsibility for the remediation of former steelworks and attendant waste disposal at Haulbowline Island. It has been no secret that parts of this island have not been suitable for access by the public owing to their industrial legacy.

The report to which the Deputy refers was commissioned by Cork County Council, acting in its operational role as agent for my Department in the Haulbowline Island Remediation Project, and relates to the 11 hectare former steel works (factory) site only and not to the 9 hectare remediated East Tip site. This 11 hectare site is fully secured, in a different location away from the remediated East Tip, and is not accessible to the public.

The report was prepared for inclusion in a planning application for the remediation of the 11 hectare former steel works (factory) site, which is a disused industrial site containing areas of contamination. The references contained within the report relate to potential risks to users of the site, including future recreational end users. It should be noted that there are currently no active users of the site which is fully secured.

The report does not specify any risk to future users of the remediated East Tip area. In addition, I am advised by Cork County Council that air quality monitoring undertake on Haulbowline Island between March 2017 and December 2018, as required under the licence conditions for the East Tip remediation works, did not identify any risk to human health from the former steelworks site.

It has always been intended that all relevant reports and assessments would be made publicly available during consent application processes and this has been the case to date with the relevant planning application and waste licence for the East Tip area. In addition, Cork County Council maintains a webpage for the remediation project and posts regular updates.