13 May 2001

Ispat says that surface dust is non-hazardous

By Niall Murray
Irish Examiner 13/5/01

IRISH Ispat has responded to strong objections made by the Naval Service against conditions for a licence to allow the steel company continue its operations. While the Naval Service submission made at the end of March wished Ispat well, their safety adviser Lieutenant Colonel Randal Counihan expressed concern about the health of Naval personnel on the Haulbowline base alongside the 400-job steel plant.

Lt Col Counihan said the continued use of Rocky Island for storing hazardous and other waste would pose an unacceptable health and environmental hazard. He requested the steel company's landfill be closed because of danger from surface dust.

In response to these objections, Irish Ispat wrote to the Environmental Protection Agency saying the main component of the dust is slag, which is non-hazardous. Ispat's quality and environment manager, Keith Bywater wrote the dumping of slag and mill-scale on the landfill and their subsequent sale are bona fide industrial/recycling operations.

The company also said it is working to solve the problem of occasional emissions of black smoke through the plant's chimney stack.

A group of EPA inspectors must decide whether to grant a full Integrated Pollution Licence to Irish Ispat, laying down conditions on noise pollution and emissions. The EPA will consider objections to the draft licence issued in March.