Public consultation continues until Friday 2nd August 2013 on issues to be considered in the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that will be prepared for the Greater Dublin Drainage Project. The EIS will consider issues relating to potential effects on the environment that may occur as a result of the project. Human beings, landscape, visual impact, traffic management and access, effects on air and water quality are examples of relevant topics that people may have specific information or views on that should be considered.
It is intended to submit the application for planning approval for the project to An Bord Pleanála in early 2014 and the EIS will form part of the planning application documentation. It is a requirement for the project that all relevant EU and Irish legislation will be complied with. In addition, the project will require an effluent discharge license from the EPA. Following receipt of planning approval, the preparation of a Design, Build, Operate contract could begin with a view to starting construction in 2017 at the earliest.
“We have engaged with hundreds of members of the public since our fourth round of public consultation commenced on 10th June. The open days held in June and July were a valuable opportunity to clarify a lot of misinformation that is circulating,” says Peter O’Reilly, Project Engineer. “The project is still at the pre planning stage. This consultation is part of the non-statutory phase and its purpose is to inform the EIS which is being prepared as part of the application for planning approval, that will be submitted to An Bord Pleanála in early 2014.”
In order to ensure stakeholder feedback is considered in advance of the project moving forward, all feedback for this consultation should be sent, to arrive by 5pm on 2nd August 2013 by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or in writing to Greater Dublin Drainage Project Manager, c/o RPS Group, West Pier Business Campus, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin, Ireland.
“We are continually updating the project website, www.greaterdublindrainage.com, so if people want to know the facts about the project that’s where they’ll find accurate information, along with all of the reports and studies undertaken to date.”
- The proposed wastewater treatment plant will be designed, built and operated to the highest technological standards and international best practice and this will include a rigorous maintenance regime; it will have built-in maintenance capacity, which can be utilized should any malfunction occur at the plant. A plant the size we are proposing would also have a back-up power generator in place in case of power failure. Furthermore, storm tanks will be located on the site and within the system in the upstream catchments during times of significant storms or should any incident occur.
- The drainage system in the Greater Dublin Area is an integrated regional system.The majority (70%) of Fingal’s wastewater currently goes to the wastewater treatment plant at Ringsend but we know from extensive studies that we will not have enough drainage and wastewater treatment capacity to cater for future growth in the Greater Dublin Area if we do not build an additional regional treatment plant. The proposed plant will treat the majority of the wastewater generated in the Fingal area, together with the wastewater from the northern parts of Dublin City, south Meath and eventually from the east Kildare area currently served by Leixlip and Osberstown treatment plants once they have reached their ultimate capacity.
- Every measure is being taken to ensure that there are no adverse impacts on any aspect of the environment in developing the Project. The conditions of the planning approval and EPA licence, if awarded, will ensure that this is the case. No untreated wastewater will be discharged from the proposed plant; wastewater will undergo the necessary treatment to meet the conditions of the EPA licence prior to being discharged 6km out to sea from Baldoyle Bay. The level to which the wastewater will be treated will ensure the water quality standards required by strict EU and national legislation can be achieved. These include the EU Water Framework Directive, Bathing Water Quality Regulations and Urban Wastewater Treatment Regulations. This will safeguard the quality of the marine environment.
- Odour and noise limits at the boundary of the site will be set in the planning conditions and these will have to be achieved. Modern wastewater treatment plants are designed to minimise the risk of odour emissions; they are covered and have extensive odour, emissions and noise controls in place and this will be the case with the Greater Dublin Drainage Project. Odours will be collected via pipes and treated to achieve European odour guideline values and to avoid impact on the surrounding area.
- The 23 hectare site will accommodate a range of structures between 3 and 15 metres (10-50 feet) high, surrounded by extensive landscaping (trees, shrubs and grass) which will minimise any visual impact. The perimeter of the site identified for the proposed wastewater treatment plant (WwTP) is at least 300 metres from the nearest existing neighbouring house or other sensitive receptor such as schools, nursing homes, etc.
- One large regional plant will have a lesser impact on the environment than a number of smaller plants discharging to ground/surface waters across the Greater Dublin Area (GDA). There would also be greater constraints and a higher number of communities impacted by building several wastewater treatment plants in a highly urbanised landscape, compared to the requirements for one regional plant. Furthermore, future jobs and new industries are dependent on a new Regional WwTP working in conjunction with Ringsend and all the other WwTPs in the Region.