Hopkins calls for Review of Planning Laws as a result of the proposed Waste Facility for Ballinasloe
Fine Gael Senator Maura Hopkins has stated her strong opposition to the proposed waste transfer station at Poolboy, Ballinasloe and called for a review of planning laws as a result of the proposed development.
Senator Hopkins stated “I have several concerns about the proposed development. In particular, the environmental impact of a waste transfer station on the health and wellbeing of the community as well as the ability of infrastructure to cope with heavy traffic volumes.”
Raising the matter in the Seanad on Tuesday 30th January, Senator Hopkins said “an Environmental Impact Assessment is essential (EIA) to ensure that projects which are likely to have a significant impact on the environment are assessed in advance. At present, waste facilities such as the one proposed for Ballinasloe, are not required to provide an EIA in their planning or waste permit applications, if they propose to process less than 25,000 tonnes of waste per year. I understand that this system is easily overcome, as operators can submit applications which are just below the 25,000 tonne threshold.”
“To me, it seems wrong that the environmental impact of a project of this scale is not fully assessed at present. All projects of this nature should be subjected to these assessments to ensure that all relevant factors including the impact on the local community and infrastructure are fully considered. This would result in greater scrutiny of projects to ensure they are located on the most suitable site.”
Senator Hopkins continued, “I have called on the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Eoghan Murphy TD and the Minister for Communications, Environment and Climate Action, Denis Naughten TD to amend this 25,000 tonne threshold both in planning and waste licensing applications. This would ensure that all projects of this nature would be subjected to Environmental Impact Assessments.”
Senator Hopkins concluded, “the local community have been very proactive in opposing this development and I fully support their efforts. I will continue to raise the need for a review of planning laws in this area directly with both Ministers in order to ensure all applications of this nature are fully scrutinised”.
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