Urgent call for safe removal of asbestos

by Sylvia Pownall

AIRPORT chiefs have described asbestos found on DAA land at St Margaret’s as “low risk” but locals are calling for its safe removal as a matter of urgency.
A contractor has been appointed to remove the hazardous material which was discovered on land at Portmellick House last month.
Residents notified DAA of the find on farm buildings at the Dunbro Lane site and expressed concerns that the potentially deadly fibres might be mobile.
Cllr Philip Lynam (SF)said: “This is a massive health and safety risk for the residents of the area.
“St Margaret’s National School is only a few fields away as well as St Margaret’s Church both of which cater for a large number of residents. We are unsure what we are dealing with here.”
A DAA spokesperson moved to calm fears and assured that the cement tiles containing the hazardous material did not pose an immediate threat.
He said: “We asked our safety consultants to carry out a survey of the area. They found the asbestos to present a low risk as no work activities are taking place and there is no public access to the building.”
The spokesman said it “would not be unexpected” to find asbestos at Portmellick given its previous use as a farm, since the material was used in both domestic and industrial buildings up until 2000.
He added: “In accordance with regulations, DAA informed the HSA of its intention to remove the asbestos containing material. A contractor has been appointed and these works, which will be independently managed and monitored by our safety consultants, are expected to begin shortly.”
Meanwhile the DAA has received around 50 submissions so far on foot of a series of public information sessions ahead of the construction of a second runway.
The extended deadline is Friday, August 5.
DAA has also agreed to facilitate a further public information session in St Margaret’s tonight (Thursday) on foot of a request from residents.

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