Epidemiologist and public health specialist Anthony Staines, Professor of Health Systems, DCU, speaking this morning (27 April) on Day 7 of the Ringaskiddy Incinerator Oral Hearing attacked the application lodged by Indaver saying “There is NO Risk assessment”, that a document was submitted that was “labelled Health Impact Assessment (HIA) but does not contain a Health Impact Assessment” does not meet the requirements of a HIA and shows a lack of understanding of what is required of a HIA. Read Presentation
Citing multiple sources, Prof Staines outlined what is required of a Health Impact Assessment and is “routinely and commonly done in many European Countires”, drew attention to the extensive disclaimers included by Indaver in their Hazid report and criticised Indavers presentation of Occupational Medicine Specialists as expert saying it is the wrong professional skill for this setting. He added that Indaver’s Dr Hogan shows “no evidence of training or competency in environmental health, public health, risk assessment or impact assessment”
Prof Staines contrasted the in depth evaluation that had been done on the Natura protected areas, where a detailed, systematic view of the effects related to compounds on animal species such as otters compared most unfairly to the evaluation of the effects on human health. He said that he would expect the same depth of evaluation be given to human health, and repeated that in relation to human health “there is no risk assessment”.
Prof Staines, who has worked on many environmental health projects in Ireland including the health assessment at Askeaton, a baseline health assessment of the proposed incinerator at Ringsend and several publicly funded projects, said that he can see “no documentation that shows quantification of risk, only lots of documentation that says it cannot be done” but that there is no reason whatsoever why a proper Health Impact Assessment cannot be done for this application, that “data sources, though lacking, are certainly adequate to support such an assessment being done.”
Mr Bob McLaughlan of Cork Harbour Environmental Protection Association) CHEPA, presented to the Inspector a series of aerial photographs detailing the locations of Indavers other incinerators in Belgium, Germany and even Meath. Mr McLaughlan demonstrated their location surrounded by wasteland, cement kilns and often by extremely large industry that would “dwarf any of the pharmachem in Ringaskiddy.” He said that even though the Meath plant was 5km from Drogheda and 2km from Dundalk, each of the Indaver plants were “not in a village, not beside a college, not beside a Naval HQ” and were all in areas serviced by excellent rail and highways or even superhighways.
Cllr Marcia D’Alton is currently speaking, and further submissions will continue tomorrow and into next week.