The final go-ahead was today given for the country’s second waste incinerator.
An Bord Pleanála approved plans for the Co Meath plant to deal with a third more rubbish and for the chimney stack to rise 25 metres higher than originally intended to 65 metres.
The Indaver Ireland incinerator near Carronstown will be allowed to burn 200,000 tonnes of waste a year powering 19,000 homes.
And while planners ordered the firm to deal primarily with local waste from Cavan, Monaghan, Louth and Meath it can accept rubbish from elsewhere.
Managing director John Ahern welcomed the ruling and said construction could begin early next year.
“This will make it one of the few projects which will be operational by 2010, and able to contribute to meeting this requirement,” he said.
Indaver also claimed there is an oversupply of low-cost landfill which is distorting the waste market and preventing the development of alternatives.
And Mr Ahern cautioned: “Uncertainty exists in the Irish waste market and we are continuing to assess proposed changes in landfill diversion policy before making the final decision to proceed.”
An Bord Pleanála's decision has 31 conditions including the ’proximity principle’ and removal of a restriction which forced Indaver to only deal with rubbish generated in the north-east.
The ruling effectively clears the way for Indaver to take waste from Dublin to Meath.
It may also have some bearing on the pending planning decision on the country’s third and most controversial incinerator in Environment Minister John Gormley’s constituency in Poolbeg, Dublin.
That plant is designed to deal with over 700,000 tonnes of waste.
Mr Gormley last month revealed he favours a levy on all waste sent for incineration in a similar way landfill is levied.
Indaver’s Mr Ahern has said he does not believe such a levy would be legal.
The Carronstown plant has now been approved by An Bord Pleanála, the High Court and Supreme Court and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Indaver said it has been arguably the most scrutinised planning proposal in the history of the state.