Kilkenny People (Kilkenny, Ireland), March 14, 2007
COUNCIL PROBES DEPOSITS AT BALLYCOMEY
Kilkenny Co Council officials are investigating unauthorised deposits on land at Ballycomey, Castlecomer.
Staff from the environment section of the local authority visited a site in January and discovered deposits of what, from a visual inspection, appeared to be construction waste.
Officials issued a statutory notice under the waste management laws, requiring that dumping of material stop immediately and called for a report to be submitted to the council detailing the type, quantity and origin of the waste materials already deposited. The unauthorised dumping has since stopped.
"We are still pursuing the details of the type, origin and quantity of waste and will continue to pursue this matter until any activities associated with the site are consistent with statutory requirements," a council spokesman added.
Cllr Mary White of the Green Party welcomed the initiative and asked that the matter be pursued to ensure a report be submitted by the people involved.
"Tests should be carried out to determine categorically what kind of material is buried there," she told the Kilkenny People. "We would also like to know where this material came from." Cllr Malcolm Noonan, a Green Party member of Kilkenny Co Council, pointed out that Section 55 of the Waste Management Act 1996-05 gives Kilkenny County Council wide-ranging powers in relation to the holding, recovery and disposal of waste.
"The main thrust of this section of the act gives the local authority power to act in order to prevent or limit environmental pollution caused, or likely to be caused, by the holding, recovery or disposal of waste," he said.
"If the person, upon whom the notice has been served, fails to comply within the specified time period, the local authority may take steps as it considers reasonable and necessary to secure compliance with the notice, and may recover any expense incurred from the person." He added that the law can instruct the person to remove the waste, dispose it in a specified manner or at a specified facility and to treat the affected lands. Failure to comply with a notice under this section is an offence.
Cllr Noonan noted that Kilkenny County Council has clear powers to oblige the contractors to dispose of the materials in a safe and environmentally sound manner, regardless of cost.
"I would urge the contractors to immediately submit plans to Kilkenny County Council to remediate the site and ensure that they are in full compliance with regard to the transportation and disposal of such waste in relation to the waste management act," he said.
"Much of what is often considered inert construction and demolition waste is often likely to contain hazardous materials and should based on the precautionary principle be subject to the same regulations as other waste streams.
"The council has a due responsibility as the lead authority for the issuing of waste permits to ensure that all waste streams are accounted for within its jurisdiction." he pointed out.
Copyright 2007 Johnston Press Digital Publishing.