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Companies allegedly transferred hazardous waste to north Dublin landfill after describing it as safe

An action for damages against the three companies has been launched by Murphy Environmental Hollywood and Integrated Materials Solutions Partnership.

Image: Niall Carson/PA Wire

THE SPENCER DOCK Development Company, PJ Hegarty and Sons and Barnmore Demolition and Civil Engineering transferred hazardous waste to a North Dublin landfill after describing it as safe, it has been alleged in High Court proceedings.

Ms Justice Caroline Costello was told that the only reason Hollywood Landfill, at The Naul, Co Dublin, accepted the waste was because the defendants allegedly produced documents and information mis-describing it as non-hazardous.

An action for damages against the three companies has been launched by Murphy Environmental Hollywood and Integrated Materials Solutions Partnership and today they asked Judge Costello to direct the three defendants to disclose to them analyses of waste samples taken in April last at the Hollywood landfill.

Judge Costello refused to make orders directing the disclosure by the defendants of the test results but strongly urged them to make the analyses available to Murphy Environmental and Integrated Materials Solutions in advance of mediation meetings scheduled for next month.

She said there was a significant lack of trust between the parties and suggested that a new inspection, previously scheduled for tomorrow in which fresh waste samples for further analysis will be taken, should go ahead.

The application for the test results had been presented by barrister Joe Jeffers on behalf of the plaintiffs and strongly opposed by Louis McEntagart SC for Barnmore; barrister Stephen Dodd for PJ Hegarty and Jarleth Fitzsimons SC for Spencer Dock Development Company.

Test sample results 

Jeffers told the court that each of the defendants had undertaken to produce results of analysis of the April test samples but this had not happened. Murphy environmental and Integrated Materials Solutions wanted them made available before tomorrow’s new tests.

He said it was their case that unsuitable waste had been transferred from a number of Spencer Dock sites to the landfill when, had it been known to contain contaminated and hazardous waste, it would have had to be exported.

Cian O’Hora, a director of Material Solutions Partnership, stated in a sworn statement that information provided by the defendants included laboratory analysis data on samples of waste from Spencer Dock which was purported to show it was acceptable for disposal at the Hollywood Landfill.

“On testing… it was confirmed that the waste was not in accordance with the laboratory testing provided by the defendants and in fact contained contaminated material that was not suitable for disposal at Hollywood Landfill,” Mr O’Hora said.

He stated that the overall proceedings had issued on 6 April last and had been entered into the Commercial List with the parties agreeing to seek to mediate the dispute next month.

Waste quarantined

O’Hora said that in accordance with the instructions of the Environmental Protection Agency the Spencer Dock waste had now been quarantined and was currently isolated in the location where it had been deposited within the Hollywood Landfill known as “Cell 4”.

He said a remediation plan had been agreed with the Agency following an extensive site investigation and sampling and analysis exercise approved by the Agency. The defendants had attended the investigation and had been given split samples for the purpose of their own testing.

It was the handover of the results of these tests that the plaintiffs were asking the court to direct today. He said the parties had been unable to agree a protocol for tomorrow’s planned new tests.

“In summary,” he said, “the defendants contended that the inspection should occur across the entirety of the Landfill site whereas the plaintiffs contended it should be limited to the isolated area known as Cell 4 within which the impugned waste was deposited”.

He said there had been a last minute disagreement from Barnmore Demolition and Civil Engineering on the terms of the new sampling plan. It was regrettable that the defendants had not yet provided their April Results.

Mr Justice Brian McGovern in May had made an order for the further inspection and while it was accepted that provision of the April results was not a precondition of his order, the defendants had agreed in July to provide the results without any condition and were to do so promptly.

He said the plaintiffs did not expect that the defendants would renege on this commitment.

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