The appointment (9 Nov 2011) by Environment Minister Phil Hogan of Laura Burke, former Project Manager with Indaver Ireland, as Director General of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) blasts the credibility of the EPA into oblivion, and exposes continuing government allegiance to developers and industry over and above environmental protection.
CHASE Chairperson Mary O’Leary said “Ireland has been crippled under the grip of developers. Despite promises of change from the new government, Minister Hogan has failed to break this link, and we are disgusted to be getting more of the same.
The EPA cannot claim independence while such seeding from vested interests into positions of influence continues.
Government, Developer, the EPA, IBEC and Bord Pleanala make up a cosy cartel which pays lip service to communities. It’s become clearer than ever today that the only protector of the community is the community itself.”
Ms O’Leary continued, “Laura Burkes original appointment to the Bord of the EPA in 2004 was inappropriate in the first place, given her direct and immediate link to Indaver, who’s license application was at that stage subject to EPA approval.
Laura Burke, a former incinerator promoter, today succeeds Mary Kelly as Director General of the EPA. Mary Kelly (previously of IBEC) is now at the helm of Irelands planning process as Chairperson of An Bord Pleanala. The potential for bias in any decision involving these bodies individually or jointly cannot be ignored.”
Indaver Ireland are currently appealing the rejection of their Ringaskiddy incinerator planning application by An Bord Pleanala in June 2011. It is due to be heard next month at the High Court. The community hopes that An Bord Pleanala will vigorously defend their decision.