Ms Grace McCormack, Quality & Environmental Manager MSW, Indaver Ireland told the hearing that Indaver have “no practical method for measuring nanoparticles” and under their licence conditions there is “no requirement to measure for them” but that they measure for PM10 and PM2.5 particles four times a year.
Ms McCormack was responding to a question posed by Dr Gordon Reid, Cork Greens, enquiring about the capability of Indaver’s incinerator to measure nanoparticles at the question and answer session (Thur 12 May, Day 15) on the effects of emissions.
Nanoparticles are the very tiny particles (PM0.1) which cannot be trapped by stack filters, and have come under increasing scrutiny in recent years. Nanoparticles cause low grade chronic inflammation resulting in chronic respiratory disease and over time attack on lining of the arteries causing cardiovascular issues.
Dr Vyvyan Howard, Toxicopathologist and nanoparticle expert in his submission on behalf of CHASE earlier in the hearing stated that “Chronic low dose exposure to ultra fine particles reduces life expectancy” and outlined several published studies which show that “filters are not capable of arresting these particles which pass through any filtration system undetected.” (Read more about Dr Howard’s presentation)
Discussing the effect of emissions on the Cork Harbour Special Protected area (SPA), Mary O’Leary asked Dr Jervis Good, National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS) if they were aware of the absence of monitoring in Cork Harbour, regarding the NPWS recommendation for monitoring for critical issues in the food chain.
Dr Good replied that they were “not aware off the fact referred to, and it is not really an area of concern for a public authority, but a matter for the EPA”.
Mary O’Leary replied that it is “difficult to understand how NWPS can have such faith in monitoring when there is no monitoring in Cork Harbour.”
The last public monitoring by the EPA was for a 6 month period from August 2007 to March 2008. No further monitoring has been done since, even though those tests returned PM10 levels above the upper assessment threshold and edging towards limit values. Levels above the upper assessment threshold require ongoing monitoring, however no monitoring has been carried out since. (Report here: Read EPA report)
CHASE Chairperson Mary O’Leary said “It’s important to question who would carry out the monitoring required by NWPS because it is not an acceptable situation that it would be done by the applicant, Indaver, and it is important to highlight that Cork Harbour is permanently in the incredible situation where no monitoring is being carried out at all, even though the 2007/2008 monitoring results required ongoing monitoring be carried out.”
The hearing will resume on Monday at 3pm and is expected to conclude later in the week.