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Re-Gen are ‘aware of fears’ as Harbour requests hazardous waste plan withdrawl

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Re-Gen are ‘aware of fears’ as Harbour requests hazardous waste plan withdrawl thumbnailWARRENPOINT Harbour Authority have asked Re-Gen to withdrawl their application for a hazardous waste plant.

THE Board of Warrenpoint Harbour Authority (WHA) have "respectfully requested" that Newry based company Re-Gen withdraw their application for a hazardous waste storage facility at the docks.

Re-Gen Waste Limited recently submitted an application for a Pollution Prevention and Control Permit to the Northern Ireland Environment Agency.

If granted, this licence would have permitted the company to "operate an installation involving the treatment, transfer and temporary storage of hazardous waste." As recently highlighted in the Democrat, the proposed development, which could see "carcinogenic", "infectious" and "corrosive" waste stored at the harbour, has caused considerable anger among local residents.

In the latest development, the WHA have released a statement which has made it clear that such a facility "does not feature in the Warrenpoint Harbour Plan." The Board of WHA employed consultants in December of last year to prepare a Master Plan for the Port to cover a 35 year planning cycle. This includes strategic direction, business development and port layout.

The statement from the The Board outlined: "The Authority met with the consultants on 10th July to review the draft plan, and the draft has taken into account submissions from all stakeholder groups. It is expected that it will be available for public display and consultation within the next two months.

"The plan demonstrates the highly significant economic value the port is to the local community and evaluates the best possible cargo mix for the benefit of the port, the community, the environment and the regional economy.

"As part of this process, the proposed operation of a hazardous waste plant within the harbour estate does not feature in the Warrenpoint Harbour Plan.

"In these circumstances, and although at this stage no formal proposal for such a facility has been placed before it, the Board of Warrenpoint Harbour Authority respectfully request that Regen withdraws its current licence application to the NIEA." The Democrat contacted Re-Gen Waste Limited for a response in relation to this request, and the company made it clear that it is aware of the fears of local people about its plans.

"Re-Gen Waste Ltd understands that our recent Pollution Prevention and Control (PPC) permit application to the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) for the operation of a waste management facility in Warrenpoint Harbour has caused concern amongst local stakeholders," said a spokesperson for Re-Gen.

"We have recently invited local group 'No Toxic Lough' to meet with us to discuss the proposal further, and will seriously consider their views, those of the Warrenpoint Harbour Authority and the wider community on both sides of the lough before making any further decisions regarding the progress of our application." Meanwhile, South Down MP Chris Hazzard has welcomed the move from WHA, saying that he had been"inundated with requests from the local residents to oppose any notion of a hazardous waste plant in Warrenpoint Harbour." "The prospect of a hazardous waste facility on Carlingford Lough had raised unprecedented interest in our lough and indeed the delicate ecosystem that it contains," said Mr Hazzard.

"I believe the local community are rightly concerned that any processing, storage or transport of such hazardous waste would have a hugely detrimental impact in terms of the environment, health and well being and of course the tourism value of the local area.

"Having spoken at length with various stakeholders involved in this proposal in recent weeks, I welcome the decision from Warrenpoint Harbour Authority to oppose the applicant's proposals.

"The Harbour Authority have went to great lengths in recent times to develop a masterplan for the local area which effectively balances the economic needs of both the harbour operation and the local economy.

"In opposing any notion of a hazardous waste facility in Warrenpoint I believe the Harbour Authority have very publicly demonstrated a welcome ability to operate in the best interests of the port, the community, and the local economy.

"I now echo the Harbour Authority's request that Re Gen withdraw its current licence application to the NIEA and abandon any proposal to develop a hazardous waste facility on Carlingford Lough."

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