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Dublin Port wants to dump 10 million tonnes of dredge waste off Howth. Some people aren't too happy...

Scuba divers say it could have a major impact on the environment – and there’s concern the move hasn’t been publicised properly.

SCUBA-DIVERS ARE objecting to Dublin Port’s plans to dump 10 million tonnes of dredging waste off Howth Head.

The process is being carried out as part of the port’s massive revamp plan.

An Bord Pleanála gave the green light to the €230 million redevelopment plan – aimed at increasing the flow of cargo and cruise ships into the city – back in July.

The ambitious project, which would take five years to complete, would require 3km of quay walls to be rebuilt.

Existing pier space would also be demolished, and the dredging would take place to allow an extra 2.2 metres of depth in the approach to the Liffey.

The Dublin Port Company has applied for a Dumping at Sea application with the Environmental Protection Agency.

Newspaper ads to notify the public were placed over the August Bank Holiday weekend…

ad1 Source: The newspaper ad flagging the plan. via Irish Independent/Screengrab

However, there has been criticism that not enough is being done to notify north Dublin Bay residents – and local Fine Gael candidate Stephanie Regan has been distributing thousands of leaflets in the area to flag the move.

The Irish Underwater Council – which represents divers – is warning it could reduce underwater visibility in the area and cause environmental damage.

The group is also taking issue with the application process – saying newspaper ads are insufficient notice.

email Source: EPA

“From the date of placing the notice in the newspaper there is a month period for the receipt of submissions from third parties regarding the permit application,” Tim Butter of the IUC told the EPA.

I suggest that the use of newspaper notices is a somewhat archaic practice and is inadequate as a method of reliably disseminating information to all interested parties.

The group has put together a working group to make a more detailed submission to the EPA.

steph Source: Stephanie Regan/Fine Gael

What’s the plan? 

The dredging would take place in stages – meaning the 10 million tonnes would be dumped at sites in Dublin Bay over a five year period.

The port company already carries out regular maintenance dredges of the approach to the Liffey, removing smaller amounts of waste.

The plan to overhaul Dublin Port would mean massive cruise ships like the 360 metre Allure of the Seas (below) would be able to sail up as far as the East Link, beside the 3Arena, once the project is completed.

car2-8-630x413 The Allure of the Seas. Source: Royal Carribbean

The port project is expected to take five years to complete, and Dublin Port CEO Eamonn O’Reilly has said they hope to be in a position to begin construction later this year.

A planning hearing last October heard that environmental impact studies had been submitted by the port company, alongside the planning application.

Following the permission from An Bord Pleanála last month, sign-offs from the Department of the Environment and the EPA are still needed.

Source: Video TheJournal.ie/YouTube

Read: This MONSTER cruise liner will be parked up in Dublin next week

Read: This is what Dublin Bay used to look like

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Daragh Brophy

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