EPA issues two Proposed Decisions relating to the Corranure Landfill, Cootehill Road, Co Cavan

Date released: Dec 16 2010

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today issued two Proposed Decisions relating to the Corranure Landfill, Cootehill Road, Co Cavan.  The Proposed Decisions are:

  • to retain Cavan County Council as the sole licence holder for the entire facility;
  • to refuse a licence to Oxigen Environmental Ltd to operate part of the facility.

Cavan County Council had applied to the EPA for a review of its licence for Corranure Landfill (W0077-03).  The local authority requested that its responsibility be restricted to the aftercare and management of the closed cells (cells 0, 1 and 2) at the landfill facility. 

A parallel waste licence application (W0248-01) had been lodged by Oxigen Environmental Ltd for the operation of cells 3 and 4 at the facility as well as the civic amenity site and a proposed materials recovery and biological treatment facility.

The Agency has issued a Proposed Decision to retain Cavan County Council as the sole licence holder for the entire facility. The Agency has issued a Proposed Decision to refuse the licence application by Oxigen Environmental Ltd.

As part of these Proposed Decisions, the Board of the EPA proposes to impose new and updated landfilling restrictions in the revised licence for Cavan County Council, as follows:

  • The intake of waste for landfilling is to be reduced to 45,000 tonnes per annum (from 90,000 tonnes per annum);
  • An experienced landfill manager (at least 5 years experience) is to be employed;
  • The acceptance of organic and biodegradable recyclable waste is limited;
  • The depth of the landfill (in the new cell) is to be limited to 15m (from the current authorisation for 30m).

These conditions, allied with earlier limitations on the acceptance of biodegradable (odour and landfill gas forming) waste, should significantly reduce the potential for uncontrolled odour emissions from the facility.

Following detailed discussion, the Board of the EPA decided to issue a Proposed Decision to refuse to grant a waste licence to Oxigen Environmental on the following grounds:

  • The Board of the EPA was not satisfied that the activity concerned, carried on in accordance with such conditions as may be attached to a licence, would not cause environmental pollution.
  • The Board of the EPA was not satisfied that allowing the landfill to operate under two licences would not create difficulty in enforcing licence conditions, and considered that the potential effect of the landfill extends beyond the site boundary and that any impacts detected at external locations would not easily be attributed to either licensee, operating, as proposed, at two contiguous but separate facilities.
  • The Board of the EPA considered that this would create difficulties in relation to supervision of the facilities and enforcement of conditions due to the impossibility of proving the source of emissions harmful to the environment.

There now follows a 28 day period where any person, including the applicants, can submit an objection and request an oral hearing.

ENDS

Further information: Niamh Hatchell, EPA Media Relations Office 053-9170770 (24 hours)

 Notes to the Editor:

In view of the fact that the objection period has now commenced, the Environmental Protection Agency will not be making any further comment.

The EPA received a request for a waste licence review from Cavan County Council on 22 September 2008.  

The EPA received an application for a waste licence from Oxigen Environmental Ltd on 22 September 2008.   

The proposed decisions and inspector’s reports are available on the EPA website.

How the licensing process works:

  1. Given the complexity and scale of some waste activities, the EPA provides pre-application clarification and consultation so that applications are as complete as possible.
  2. Once received, the application is rigorously assessed by a team of experts from the Office of Licensing and Guidance.
  3. Extra information may be required from the applicant during this assessment. 
  4. When the application is deemed complete, and has been fully assessed, the Office of Licensing and Guidance makes a recommendation on the application to the Board of Directors of the EPA.
  5. The Board assesses the recommendation, together with the application and all submissions, before making a decision.
  6. The Board’s decision, in the form of a Proposed Decision (PD), is notified to the applicant, all third parties who made a submission on the application and other statutory consultees.
  7. There follows a 28-day period when any person can submit an objection and request an oral hearing.  They can also make submissions on other objections.
  8. All objections and submissions on objections are considered by a Technical Committee of the Agency or through an oral hearing process.
  9. The recommendations arising from the Technical Committee or through the Oral Hearing process, together with the objections and submissions, are considered by the Board of Directors before making a final decision to either refuse a licence or to grant a licence with or without conditions.
  10. The Agency is debarred in law from granting a waste licence unless it is satisfied that the activity concerned, carried out in accordance with such conditions as may be attached to a licence, will not cause environmental pollution.