EPA to hold an oral hearing to examine objections and concerns in relation to proposed licence for Irish Cement, Limerick

Date released: Mar 04 2020

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has decided to hold an Oral Hearing to examine the objections and concerns raised in relation to the proposed licence issued to Irish Cement Limited, Castlemungret, Limerick, Co. Limerick (Reg. No. P0029-06) on the 18th of September 2019.  The hearing will be held in Limerick during May 2020 and is expected to last for four days.  The Oral Hearing will be chaired by Mr Patrick Byrne, Senior Inspector, EPA.

An Oral Hearing is a forum for all parties to raise an objection or to orally express their concerns about a proposed licence. The Oral Hearing is open to members of the public. Members of the public who have not submitted an objection to date but wish to participate in the proceedings can do so with the approval of the Chairperson. Any such request can only be made to the Chairperson during the Oral Hearing. 

On completion of the Oral Hearing, the Chairperson will submit a report on the hearing to the Board of the EPA with a recommendation to grant, potentially with amended conditions, or refuse the licence. The Board of the EPA must consider the report and the recommendations before making its final decision.

Further information in relation to the location and time of the Oral Hearing will be notified to the applicant, all third parties who have made an objection on the proposed licence and the planning authority well in advance of the start of the Hearing. This notification will also be posted on the EPA website www.epa.ie.  In addition, for further information on the Oral Hearing Process please refer to the Oral Hearing FAQ’s also on the EPA website.

Notes to Editor

The EPA issued a proposed licence on a revised licence to Irish Cement Limited, Castlemungret, Limerick, Co. Limerick on the 18th of September 2019, for the continued operation of a cement manufacturing plant and an associated inert landfill at Castlemungret, Co. Limerick (Reg. No. P0029-06).

The proposed licence provides for the acceptance of non-hazardous waste materials to be used as alternative fuels and raw materials, up to a maximum of 90,000 tonnes per annum. The proposed licence contains more than 100 individual conditions relating to the environmental management, operation, control and monitoring of the installation.

The EPA has considered the application and supporting documentation, including:

  • an Environmental Impact Statement, received from the applicant
  • a Natura Impact Statement, required under the Habitats Directive, received from the applicant
  • four thousand one hundred and eighty (4,180) valid submissions received from other parties and
  • the report of its inspector.

Public participation and consultation with statutory consultees was carried out during this EPA licence assessment process.

The EPA is satisfied that the emissions from the installation when operated in accordance with the conditions of the proposed licence will meet all required environmental protection standards and will not endanger human health or harm the environment in the vicinity of the installation or over a wider area.

Conditions imposed include:

  • The total quantity of non-hazardous waste to be accepted at the facility is limited to 90,000 tonnes per annum;
  • Controls on emissions to air;
  • Controls on discharges to waters; and
  • Specific requirements for emissions monitoring and environmental management systems in accordance with relevant European Standards

The proposed licence was notified to the applicant, all third parties who made a submission on the application and other statutory consultees and is available on the EPA website. Six third party requests for an oral hearing, stating that they reflect the concerns of in excess of 4,000 people, were received and considered by the Board of the Agency. The Board considered that an Oral Hearing is merited given the scale, sensitivity of the local environment and the importance of the proposed development both nationally and regionally.

Further information on the licensing process can be found on the EPA website.

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