A toxic dump in Cork harbour could be made safe by late-2015 or early-2016, according to the head of a team working on the project.
The toxic dump was discovered on the East Tip site on Haulbowline Island in 2007.
It contained heavy metals and traces of the highly carcinogenic Chromium 6.
Following delays by the last government, Fine Gael’s Simon Coveney, on being appointed to the Cabinet, volunteered to take charge of the clean-up and appointed Cork Co Council to manage it.
Project manager Dr Cormac Ó Súilleabháin said the council hoped to start work on making the site safe by mid-2014.
In the meantime, he said, the local authority was obliged to lodge an application for a waste permit licence with the EPA.
Extensive investigations were undertaken on the site in 2005 and 2008 and again last June, thereby allowing the completion of a risk assessment of the site.
Dr Ó Súilleabháin said analysis of the results had led the project team to determine the design solution will entail the majority of the waste being left in-situ.
A lot of the toxic waste has already been removed and was disposed of in Germany. Dr Ó Súilleabháin said that as yet, nothing had since been found that would have to be removed.
Its envisaged the perimeter will be sealed off and the site will also be topped.
“We would be looking to turn it into a recreational or amenity site,” he said. “We hope to be able to start construction by the middle of 2014 and it take a year and a half to complete.”
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