EPA to reopen Oral Hearing on 27th April 2009

Date released: Apr 24 2009

The Environmental Protection Agency will re-open the oral hearing in relation to the application by Fingal County Council for a waste licence (Register No. W0231-01) for a proposed landfill at Nevitt, Lusk, Co. Dublin.  The hearing will re-open on Monday 27th April at 10.30am in the Bracken Court Hotel in Balbriggan, Co. Dublin.  
The hearing is being re-opened for the sole purpose of considering further information (Hydrogeological Risk Assessment) provided by the applicant, Fingal County Council, following a request by the Environmental Protection Agency. 


Note to Editors:

1. Proposed Decision for Fingal landfill: The EPA convened the original oral hearing in Balbriggan, Co. Dublin on 3rd March 2008 to listen to objections and concerns about its Proposed Decision to licence Fingal County Council to develop an engineered landfill facility and public recycling facility at Nevitt, Lusk, County Dublin.

If approved, the proposed decision provides for a maximum annual intake of 500,000 tonnes of non-hazardous residual waste and an associated public recycling facility. Only residual waste (pre-treated waste) may be accepted for landfilling at this facility.

Nine valid objections were made to the proposed decision, including one from the applicant. The hearing is open to the public. Anyone who lodged a valid objection has an automatic right to attend and to participate fully at the hearing. 

Following the Oral Hearing, a report and recommendation will be submitted to the EPA Board and a final decision on whether or not to grant a licence will be made.

As the statutory licensing process is a quasi-judicial function, the EPA is therefore not in a position to comment on the specifics of the licence application or its consideration by the EPA.

The Proposed Decision for the Fingal landfill can be accessed on the EPA web site.

2. How the licensing process works:

  • 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.
  • Once received, the application is rigorously assessed by a team of experts from the EPA’s Office of Climate, Licensing and Resource Use.
  • Extra information may be required from the applicant during this assessment.
  • When the application is deemed complete, and has been fully assessed, the EPA’s Office of Climate, Licensing and Resource Use makes a recommendation on the application to the Board of Directors of the EPA.
  • The Board assesses the recommendation, together with the application and all submissions, before making a decision.
  • 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 as well as being published on the EPA website.
  • There follows a 28-day period when any person can submit an objection and request an oral hearing.  The objectors can also make submissions on other objections.
  • All objections and submissions on objections are considered by a Technical Committee of the EPA, or through an oral hearing process.
  • Any person who lodged a valid objection, as well as the applicant, and the local authority (where relevant) have an automatic right to attend and participate fully at a hearing.  All hearings are open to the public.  Members of the public can participate in the proceedings where they have lodged a valid objection or with the express approval of the Chairperson. 
  • On completion of an oral hearing, the Chairperson will submit a report of the hearing to the EPA.  In this report, the Chairperson must make a recommendation to grant or refuse a licence.  Where the recommendation is to grant a licence, the Chairperson must outline the recommended conditions to be attached to the licence.
  • The recommendations arising, 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.
  • The EPA 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.

3. Chronology of application

Applicant                                  Fingal County Council
Address of facility                     Nevitt, Lusk, Co Dublin
Application received                 5th July 2006
Submissions                              A total of 105 submissions were received from third parties.
Proposed decision issued          20th September 2007
Closing date for objections        17th October 2007
Objections received                   9 valid objections
Oral hearing Start date 3rd March 2008, Bracken Court Hotel, Balbriggan, Co Dublin.  Reopening 27th April 2009.