Dump clean-up delayed to mid-2012

THE clean-up of one of the country’s largest toxic dumps, for which the Government has allocated €40 million, is unlikely to begin until the middle of 2012.

The Government yesterday agreed to set aside €20m next year and a further €20m the following year to address concerns about the Haulbowline dump in Cork.

Agriculture and Marine Minister Simon Coveney secured the funds after years of reports into the waste at the contaminated former Irish Steel/Irish Ispat plant in Cork Harbour.

Three approaches are being considered to clean up toxic waste and by-products of steel making: containing it; removing the material; or “remediating” the site, Mr Coveney’s spokeswoman said last night.

A statement from Mr Coveney yesterday added: “It is in all our interest that a solution is found for the former Ispat site and I am determined to ensure that there are no further delays in finding a solution.”

The existence of the toxic dump was revealed by the Irish Examiner in June 2008. The dump, next to the former Irish Steel/Irish Ispat plant, contains a number of heavy metals and the highly carcinogenic Chromium 6.

The European Commission had already warned that Ireland may face fines that could possibly run into several thousand euro per day.

The funds being set aside for the clean up will also come from across departments, not just from the Department of Agriculture’s budget.

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