Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine Press Release

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD today welcomed the notification from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of their proposed decision to grant a waste licence for the remediation of East Tip site at Haulbowline Island, in accordance with section 42(2) of the Waste Management Act 1996, (as amended) and subject to the detailed conditions attached and provisions for objections as specified.

Commenting at the proposed decision, the Minister said “I welcome the notification by the EPA of their proposal to grant this licence (subject to the twelve specific conditions attached and the provisions for objections outlined). We look forward to the EPAs final approved decision being issued in due course, while respecting the provisions for objections provided for, which should pave the way for Cork County Council to commence the detailed design and execution phase of the core remediation work at Haulbowline Island in the near future. I have been determined that this project will proceed with minimal delays and the hard work which has gone on behind the scenes by both Cork County Council and my own Department has enabled substantial progress to be made this year. The whole of Island approach adopted is now bringing rapid results. In the past few months alone, we have already  seen An Bord Pleanála  give its approval for the remediation project and the commencement of crucial work to repair the Haulbowline Island access Bridges. The significant construction activity on the island will bring substantial benefits to the local economy transforming the Island into a genuine national infrastructural asset and an integral part of the Government’s plans for the Cork Harbour region within a relatively short time span”.

Note for Editors

The Government conveyed approval to the Minister for Agriculture. Food and the Marine for the clean-up of the former ISPAT site on Haulbowline Island in 2011. Cork County Council is acting as agent of the Minister in the remediation of the site. Key elements of the remediation plans were the planning application for works on the East Tip, lodged with An Bord Pleanála in October 2013 and the waste licence application, submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency in November 2013. The approval of both planning and waste licence applications (the latter currently a proposed decision to be issued by EPA subject to provision for objections being received) has involved complex and detailed preparatory work by Cork County Council and the Department and will (when finalised) clear the way for the completion of the project over the next two to three years. Haulbowline Island is located within Cork Harbour, between Cobh to the north and Ringaskiddy to the south. The site (known as the East Tip) contains approximately 650,000m3 of steelworks waste that was deposited on sand spit over a 40 year period. Access to the Island by road is from Ringaskiddy via bridges which transverse Rocky Island.