14 July 2008

Cork CoCo Meeting: Documentation on Haulbowline Island, Cork Harbour

Cork County Council Meeting 14 July 2008

Minutes of Proceedings at Meeting of Cork County Council held in the Council Chamber, County Hall, Cork on 14 July 2008.


Councillor N. Harrington, County Mayor presided.

Councillors K. Murphy, Neville, Coleman, Sheehan, P.G. Murphy, O'Shea, Crowley, Kelly, Fleming, Ryan, Gilroy, McGrath, Forde, Canty, M. O'Keeffe, T. Lombard, Desmond, J A. Collins, K. O'Keeffe, O'Flynn, Pyne, O'Doherty, P. Buckley, Marian Murphy, Marie Murphy, N. Buckley, Donegan, Creed, Moynihan, Coughlan, Mullally, Fitzgerald, O'Connor, Sheahan, Hegarty, Mulvihill, N. Collins, Ahern, Hallinan, Murray, O'Sullivan, Collins, McCarthy, Carroll, O'Donovan, Daly.

County Manager, A/County Engineer, Senior Executive Officer


Councillor J. Mulvihill proposed, seconded by Councillor M. Hallinan, the following notice of motion:-

"That Cork County Council would make available all documentation that the Council have in their possession in relation to former Irish Ispat site at Haulbowline Island in Cork Harbour."

Members noted report from the Director of Corporate, Community & Economic Development, which outlined as follows:-

In July, 2003, Cork County Council agreed to implement proposals for the management and maintenance of the Irish Ispat Site at Haulbowline for and on behalf of the DoEHLG.

In December, 2003, a Steering Group was formed comprising of DoEHLG, EPA., DCMNR and Cork County Council.

The Steering Group met on 18 occasions in the period 2004 to 2006. The final meeting of the Steering Committee was on 27th June, 2006.

In 2004, a Contract was awarded to Hyder Consulting to act as clients representatives for arranging and assessing an Invasive Site Investigation at the site.

In June, 2005, White Young Green was retained to carry out an extensive subsurface ground investigation.

The White Young Green Report of December, 2005 was approved by the Steering Group at its meeting on 27th June, 2006.
White Young Green produced two additional reports on:
(a) Groundwater and Gas Monitoring Assessment
(b) Dust Impact Assessment.

I will arrange for these reports to be made available to Members of Council through Corporate Affairs.

At the Council's A.G.M. it was agreed to request the Minister for DoEHLG to:
(a) Clarify what arrangements were put in place by the Contractor for the transportation of all waste from the former Irish Steel Site;.
(b) Carry out a health impact study of Cork Harbour
(c) Release the findings of the Site Investigation Report of the former Ispat Site and publicise its findings.

Issues (b) and (c) have been responded to by the Minister in the Dáil.

Arrangements are being made to confirm the position regarding transfrontier shipment of waste. I can confirm that hazardous waste was transferred by ship to 2 no. Ports in Germany - Bremen and Hamburg between the period April, 2006 and May, 2008.

In addition, issues have been raised regarding the recycling of slag in road materials.

Cork County Council understands that recycled slag from the former Irish Ispat site was used as chip and was used on a number of road resurfacing projects in the County during the years 2000, 2001 and 2002. The use of recycled slag for chip is a legitimate operation and is widely used throughout Europe and the UK consequently. Cork County Council had no reason to believe that there was any cause for concern. No further use of recycled slag from the former Irish Steel site has occurred since mid 2002 following the takeover of the site by the State.

Based on the available information, Contractors engaged by Cork County Council used the chip from the recycled slag for surface dressing on a number of County Roads.

The Minister for the Environment in 2008 appointed White Young Green to carry out comprehensive testing to be completed over a 5 week period.

Arrangements will be made to have the report of White Young Green made available to Members of Council, on publication.

Councillor Mulvihill said he had a number of questions to which he was seeking answers.

* Whether agreement between Department of Finance and Irish Steel to construct a wall had been complied with;
* Have there been samples taken of the mud surrounding Haulbowline Island.
* Has the size of the Island been increased since steel construction commenced.

Councillor Mulvihill said that the people of Cobh have been let down by numerous governments and the Minister for the Environment has snubbed Cork County Council for his failure to meet with them.

The Manager said there are contractural issues which he would not comment on and said he appreciated that there is fear and anxiety and it was important not to add to that. He said up to now the report on Irish Steel was a matter for the Department but it has now been released by the Minister and he was prepared to make it available to any Member who wants it.

The Manager said in order to avoid confusion it was important that Members would put in writing what they want done.


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