Date 20th February 2012: Fingal County Council confirms that the issues people raised in the more than 10,000 submissions received during the recent consultation for the Greater Dublin Drainage project, are being considered by the project’s technical and environmental specialists in advance of any further shortlisting of sites, in early summer. The Greater Dublin Drainage project will identify a suitable location for vital new wastewater treatment infrastructure in north Co Dublin; a new regional wastewater treatment works, a marine outfall and an orbital sewer.

Pictured with the 10,000 submissions received for the Greater Dublin Drainage project from members of the public and stakeholders interested in the project to provide a new regional wastewater treatment plant, a new marine outfall and a new orbital sewer in north Co Dublin are (seated) Jillian Bolton, Principal Engineer, Jacob’s Engineering and Ciarán O’Keeffe, Tobin Engineering and Project Manager, Greater Dublin Drainage with (standing) Peter O’Reilly, Project Engineer and Aoife Lawler, Senior Executive Engineer, Fingal County Council. Following consideration of the submissions and further technical studies, a shortlist of sites will be announced this summer.

According to Peter O’Reilly, Project Engineer, Greater Dublin Drainage, among the issues people raised during the non-statutory consultation last October and November, are;

–          to review the need for one regional Plant, because of the current economic climate.

–          to review recent population statistics, to ensure the new plant is correctly sized.

–          to consider possible impacts on the environment and coastal waters.

–          to consider possible impacts on the agricultural, horticultural and fishing industries locally.

–          to consider the impact and mitigation of possible odours from the new plant.

The Greater Dublin Drainage Project Team are currently assessing the nine potential alternative land parcels identified last October, the two marine outfall locations and the transfer pipeline corridors, against a range of environmental and technical criteria.  They hope to identify a smaller number of emerging preferred sites for the new regional wastewater treatment works in the coming months.

“When a shortlist of sites is announced, Fingal Co Council will hold another round of non-statutory consultation to give people another opportunity to make their views known and make further submissions to the Project Team, before any final decisions are made”, says Peter O’Reilly.  “The Project Team and the consultants will then conduct a final round of studies, to identify the most suitable locations for the new wastewater treatment works, the orbital sewer and the marine outfall, with an announcement expected possibly towards the end of the year.  A full Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) will assess in full, all potential impacts of the preferred location for each of the three elements; the wastewater treatment works, the marine outfall and the orbital sewer”.

“There are four distinct phases involved in selecting the best site for this new wastewater infrastructure and we are now in phase 2”, Peter O’Reilly, explains.  “Phase 1 involved preliminary screening to identify constraints and the nine land parcels within which we hope to find a location for the new wastewater treatment works, the new sewer and the new marine outfall.  Phase 2 now involves us assessing all nine land parcels against a range of environmental and technical criteria to identify a shortlist of sites. The nine land parcels do not stand in isolation. They are being viewed in conjunction with the marine outfall locations and their relative merits and the environmental impacts of pipeline routes, to and from these parcels. Phase 3 will involve another opportunity for the public to be consulted on the emerging preferred sites(s), marine outfall location(s) and transfer pipeline corridor(s).  Phase 4 later this year will involve the selection of the preferred site, marine outfall location and transfer pipeline corridors, based on the findings of all the studies and on consideration of the submissions received during all the public consultation.”

The new regional wastewater treatment works is needed to augment the Ringsend regional wastewater treatment works after 2020 and will be developed in phases. When it opens, it will be no bigger than a sixth of the size of the Ringsend plant.  Even when fully extended, by 2040, the new plant in north Co Dublin will not be more than one third of the size of the fully extended Ringsend plant. The regional wastewater treatment works in north Co Dublin is needed to protect the environment and secure the future economic, commercial, industrial and residential needs of the Greater Dublin Area after 2020.

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For further information: Mary Murphy : 087 233 6415