New water plan stinks for Fingal

by Sylvia Pownall
Local TD Darragh O'Brien said people "continue to have major concerns" about the Greater Dublin Drainage Project

Irish Water’s proposal for the Greater Dublin Drainage Project, providing capacity to treat wastewater for 500,000 people, was lodged with An Bord Pleanala last week.

One of the most controversial aspects of the plan is the location of the outflow pipe into the Irish Sea, which will be just off the Portmarnock coast near the Baldoyle Estuary.

Malahide resident Deputy Darragh O’Brien told Dublin Gazette: “The first phase of public consultation nearly four years ago saw over 14,000 objections made.

“People continue to have major concerns.”

The Fianna Fail TD added: “Fingal will effectively be processing all the waste for the Greater Dublin area. There have been some changes to the original plan, but we’re still looking at one massive plant to process all that waste.

“I still believe smaller localised plants are the way to go, as we are already doing here in Fingal to process our own waste.”

The scheme also includes a giant sewage plant – second only in size to Ringsend – and sludge treatment centre on a 43-acre site in Clonshaugh, 2km from Dublin Airport between the Malahide Road and the M1.

This will be linked to a 26km underground orbital sewer from Blanchardstown to intercept existing flows from Ringsend carrying waste from across Dublin as well as parts of Meath and Kildare.

A pumping station is proposed to be built on land at Abbotstown, adjacent to the National Sports Campus and the National Aquatic Centre which is also expected to face stiff opposition.

The population of the Greater Dublin Area is expected to grow by 450,000 by 2040 and Irish Water says this key infrastructure, in tandem with upgrade works at Ringsend, is needed to meet projected demand.

Project manager Jane Chambers said: “The GDD project will form a key part of the wastewater network that is necessary to safeguard public health, protect the environment and support sustainable growth.”

Opposition groups have repeatedly called for a series of local plants, warning that the potential for environmental disaster with a plant on this scale is enormous.

An Bord Pleanala commences a seven-week statutory public consultation from this Thursday June 28 and observations and submissions can be lodged with An
Bord Pleanala up until August 17.

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