Tag Archives: Covanta


This afternoon

Poolbeg Power Station, Pigeon House Rd, Dublin 4

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton visits the controversial Covanta Dublin ‘Waste-to-Energy’ facility, also known as the Poolbeg Incinerator.

Above from left: Buisness Manager Dublin Waste to Energy Kieran Mullans, Mr Bruton and Dublin City Council Chief Executive Owen Keegan

A ‘glitch’ in the plant’s first week of operation last year led to 11 people being hospitalised and a fine to Covanta for breaking its environmental protection licence.

Save Poolbeg.

Sam Boal/RollingNews

The Covanta Waste Plant at Poolbeg, Dublin last Friday

Tomorrow evening.

At the Pebble Beach Pub on Conquer Hill Road in Clontarf, Dublin 3.

At 8pm.

The Dublin Bay North Branch of People Before Profit will be holding a public meeting about the Covanta incinerator in Poolbeg.

The branch writes:

A large global corporation will be responsible for air quality over Dublin Bay North. Yes, they have their agreed EPA checks but what ways might a corporation beholden to shareholders look to cut corners?

We have identified some and want to tell you! Join us [tomorrow] as we hear from the Poolbeg Incinerator group and People Before Profit Dublin NW Cllr Andrew Keegan who sits on the [Dublin] City Council Environment Policy Committee.

(Save Poolbeg)

We Need Independent Air Monitoring (Facebook)

Covanta incinerator at Poolbeg

Ciaran D’Arcy, in The Irish Times, reports:

The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) is carrying out a criminal investigation into a lime leak at the Poolbeg incinerator, in June, which resulted in 11 workers being hospitalised.”

“In correspondence provided to Dublin City Council’s Environment Strategic Policy Committee, HSA assistant chief executive Brian Higgison advised that a criminal investigation under the Health, Safety and Welfare at Work Act is under way regarding the incident.”

“The HSA refused an invitation to provide an interim report on its investigation to the committee, saying it cannot pre-empt the outcome prior to its conclusion.”

“The committee heard Covanta has reported 12 non-compliances at the incinerator to the EPA as well as 16 incidents of note.”

“Committee member Joe McCarthy of An Taisce suggested that six non-compliances are now arising from the Waste-to-Energy plant every month given it was not operational for one of the three months in question.

There you go now.

Criminal investigation under way into incinerator lime leak (The Irish Times)

Save Poolbeg.



Poolbeg from Sandymount Strand, Dublin 4

Existential strolling man gazes at Coventa’s controversial incinerator, designed in the brutalist manner, which had its first delivery of waste yesterday and is expected to start BURNING at the weekend.

A trial run last month brought unwelcome gusts of a warm, plastic fragrance across the strand.

Good times.

Previously: Smells Like Warm Plastic

Save Poolbeg (the bit on the right)



This afternoon.

Poolbeg, Dublin 4

Corlos The Complainer writes:

Looks like the new incinerator [developed by US waste firm Covanta] is operational. Plumes of smoke rising from it all day.

Also there’s been a sickly smell of warm plastic wafting in off the sea since the morning. Coincidence?


Previously: Covanta And Dublin City Council: what’s that funny smell?

The Contract Did Not Conform To EU Law

Incinerating Poolbeg

You may have missed Joe McCarthy (who blew the whistle on the e-voting machines scandal) of Fiasco.ie on yesterday’s RTE R1 News at One with Sean O’Rourke concerning Covanta’s proposal to build a waste incinerator at Poolbeg.


Sean O’Rourke: “You’ve been getting some information through FOIs, Freedom of Information requests. What conclusions have you come to? And what’s your case about breaches of procurement procedures?”

Joe McCarthy: “Good afternoon, Sean. The breaches are very straightforward. There are three salient breaches. Firstly, the contract was awarded to a a company that didn’t bid. And you’re not allowed to do that under the procurement directives. It’s very straightforward indeed. 51% of the company and, in due course, 75% and finally 100% of the local project will be transferred to Covanta, a US company, who did not bid in 2002 or 2003. They couldn’t have, they were bankrupt at that time. So that’s the first breach. The second breach is that the size of the contact has been increased dramatically. The original requirement, as revealed in the Freedom of Information material that we got, is a plan for 400,000 tonnes and for a duration of 20 years. The actual contract that was signed with Covanta was much larger, it was for 600,000 tonnes and it was for 25 years. Combined, those are an increase of 87%.

O’Rourke: “So, should that have been retendered if there’s going to be that increase in the size.”

McCarthy: “Yes. You’re allowed to increase additional..a contract can have an addendum to it and there’s a limit of 50% under the EU procurement rules. This is 87%.”

O’Rourke: “So, at the same time, you say, you know, a company got the contract that didn’t bid but was there any company that did bid, which was excluded? I don’t think that’s the case? Cause they all fell away for one reason or another, didn’t they?”

McCarthy: “They did and they fell away for unusual reasons. Onyx was the second last bidder. There were four invited to tender. One didn’t because it went up for sale. One was found non-compliant, we don’t quite know why. Two were left standing – Onyx, a French company and Elsam, a Danish company. Onyx sought that their costs of application, the planning application, would be covered and Dublin City Council refused. Now since then Dublin City in fact have pursued the planning application. It wasn’t pursued by Elsam particularly. And the fundamental in the original contract was that the supplier should provide not just the design, the building of the plan, but also the finance. John Tierney, the Dublin City Manager, in the last four weeks, has stated that Covanta no longer wish to supply the cash for this, from their balance sheets. They’re going to go to the market, look for debt to actually build this. That’s in train at the moment. But the original reason for excluding Onyx was they wouldn’t provide such balance sheet cash.”

O’Rourke: “So what do you want the EU to do? I mean this thing has been rumbling along now for more than a decade.”

McCarthy: “In simple terms the EU should stop the project. We should reevaluate where we’re at. The original strategy study which justified incineration was flawed. I would use the words that Justice McKechnie [Mr Justice Liam McKechnie] used, it was massaged. Salient costs were omitted. It’s a characteristic of Dublin City Council’s single-minded approach to this.”

O’Rourke: “But is this not, if you like, dressing up Nimbyism as a kind of objection that you’re trying to stall the thing. Residents of Sandymount, you know, right across a bit of the sea from you, and you’ll find any means you can to stop a public project in which is it €80 million has already been spent?”
McCarthy: “Yes, €80 million and perhaps another €20 million on the land, they’re going to buy a large plot of land, which was originally public land and certainly it’s within a kilometre of where we live. And we would be concerned about the health effects. But this is not a health issue, now at the moment. This is a breach of the law. The European Union has procurement directives which are law that we must abide by. So we have formally lodged within the last hour a complaint to the EU office in Dawson Street that Dublin City Council has breached the law in three respects. There’s a large folio of material which will be available shortly to the public. It will be on fiasco.ie if they want to look at it. It’s long, it’s complicated and it’s detailed”

O’Rourke: “Fiasco.ie..well that’s easily remembered. I see. Well I suppose you have form in the sense that you did have quite a triumph on the e-voting machines. But again, does the EU have the power to stop this? I mean should they say ‘OK, you’ve changed what’s being proposed and you have to retender from the start’.”

McCarthy: “Yes. They have to retender it from the start. I mean the EU can review the tendering process which is what we’re asking them to do. What tendering process and what decision making process was followed by Dublin City Council in transferring the contract from Elsam, who won it on its merits, to a company, Covanta, from the United States, who weren’t even involved? How could they be given the contract just willy nilly?”

Listen here