Cobh Mayor welcomes Application to clean up toxic site in weeks

17th October 2013, Thursday
By TheCork.ie Reporter
news@TheCork.ie

The Mayor of Cobh – Labour Cllr John Mulvihill Jnr – has welcomed confirmation that a planning application to
transform the State’s largest toxic waste dump into vast public
parkland as part of a €40m clean-up is due to be lodged within weeks.

The Haulbowline site has cast a dark shadow over the town of Cobh for
many years.

52.3 m has been spent on soil investigation, disposal of waste
material and ecological surveys over the past number of years.

I welcomed the commitment given by Minister Coveney when he met us last
year to get a plan put in place to clean up the site and he has been
true to his word.

The planning application is expected within a month, followed closely
by the application to the EPA. Environmental experts have cleared the
council to seek planning permission to:
The plan to deal with the site is

* Remove tonnes of hazardous material which is exposed to the tide;

* Seal and encase the site with a membrane to prevent the leaching of
materials into the harbour;

* Demolish the derelict steel-works buildings;

* Cap the entire site, including the hazardous East Tip and the
cleared steelworks area, with tonnes of topsoil, before landscaping
the remaining slag heaps for redevelopment as public parkland; * And
carry out improvements to the site’s access bridge and roads.

The people of Cobh have had serious question and concerns over the
possible health effects from the site. In my opinion there are two
steps for Cobh to turn a page on this chapter one is the clean up of
the site which the government has and will complete within two years,
the other is a survey of the former employees of Irish steel to
clarify if there are historical heath related issues for those
employees from working on the site while it was in operation as a
steel mill.

Many families have suffered from cancer in our town. There has been
much speculation regarding the reason for that. While one cannot with
certainty draw a link to Haulbowline and the rates of cancer in the
town. A health survey of former employees could answer if there is a
link.

As mayor of Cobh I very much welcome the progress and commitment of
Minister Coveney to the clean up project. He has taken total
responsibility for it and as illustrated above is delivering. Many
people will criticize the government but this is a very important
issue for the people of Cobh and I welcome the announcement this
morning.

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