Waste incineration (episode N)

Stephen Collins writes about further delays with the Poolbeg incinerator in today’s Irish Times.

The promised review of waste projections is now overdue.

9 thoughts on “Waste incineration (episode N)”

  1. Am I correct in thinking that Stephen Collins thinks that democracy creates a conflict of interest because a TD might have to take account of the people he is democratically elected to represent. 🙂

    That is the most twisted piece of logic yet deployed by Dublin City Council et al.

    As a matter of interest, what is the insolvency procedure for a local authority?

  2. @ zhou

    To be fair, it’s not unreasonable to suggest that ministers will have assymetric incentives (i.e. favouritism) for their own constituencies. It’s like cognitive dissonance – the minister must do what’s best for the country. but also what’s best for a small subsection of the country. In his/her ministerial duties, a minister probably shouldn’t favour the latter over the former…

  3. Is that Alan Cooke, head of the IAVI? What are his qualifications? Is there an Agent involved in this transaction?

    Dublin City Council are the body who signed up this neat little money spinner despite being told by the Minister that the deal wasn’t in line with Government policy.

    The deal is now falling down around their ears because it is outside their power to deliver their side of the contract. It is Dublin City Council’s fault if it contracted to perform obligations outside its control without any way out if third parties did not grant consents or if policy changed.

    It is further Dublin City Council’s fault if it signed up an imprudent deal which requires it to pay too much money to Covanta to subsidise the running of the incinerator.

    The problem is not that the Minister is not doing his job. The problem appears to be that Dublin City Council intentionally contracted themselves into a corner so they could subjugate the powers and responsibilities of the Department of the Environment to Dublin City Council’s will.

  4. edit:

    Subsititute “It seems that the deal is being prejudiced because it is outside Dublin City Council’s power to deliver consents from the Department of the Environment” for “The deal is now falling down around their ears because it is outside their power to deliver their side of the contract.”

    [I am not privy to the terms of the contract – dublin city council may well be able to honour their side of the agreement and may have protections built in]

  5. @Zhou
    Note that incineration of waste is national government policy. It’s the minister who is at odds with official policy.

    A foreshore license should be routine, as the potential problems of incineration lie in what could come out of the smoke stack.

  6. @Richard Tol

    There is often legislative risk and risk of policy change in transactions. Luckily, Dublin City Council were advised by Minister Gormlay that the risk was going to become a reality for their proposed arrangement before they signed the deal. They signed it anyway. There was also a competition law risk that they could not guarantee the waste supply. They signed it anyway.

    They should Judicially Review the Department if they think it is acting unlawfully. Instead, they are deploying the media and associated “experts” to try and win by means of a PR battle. I wonder why that is…

  7. @Zhou
    You are putting things on its head. DCC and DEHLG agree with one another, and both are acting within the framework of the official national waste policy.

    It’s the minister who is acting against the agreed policy. As a minister, he has the right and the power to change that policy, but he did not do that. Official waste policy is unchanged.

  8. This debate is leaving reality behind. The biocides and raised temperature water to be discharged from the proposed incinerator, added to that already discharged into the same channel by Synergen, have the potential to make the Liffe impassable to fish, particularly salmonids for wich it is very important. othing to do with what might leave the chimneys, that is chiefly hazardous to humans. Te air polluton i the area is already breachng EU limits on a regualr basis, and seems to have little hope of meeting the new stricter limits.

    Inineration is a highly complx subject, and DCC have made the problem worse by fudging figures and not doing the necessary studies, e.g. no baseline health study! It istime for an informed, unbiased and uncensored edebate to be held.

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