Irish Cement urged to facilitate public meeting in Limerick

Irsih-Cement-Limk_1-300x200-1-300x200LABOUR Party councillor for Limerick City West, Joe Leddin has called on the management of Irish Cement to arrange a public meeting on their plans to switch from burning fossil fuels to tyres and other combustible materials at their plant near the city centre.

The switch from fossil to alternative fuel is part of a €10 million redevelopment of the Irish Cement production plant at Castlemungret on the Dock Road.

However, Cllr Leddin told the Limerick Post this week that local residents are concerned about the potential implications if planning permission is granted.

“I have met with senior management in Irish Cement and, while I acknowledge the commitment and contribution that this company has shown over many years, I believe there is an onus on the company to facilitate a public information meeting,” he said.

Limerick Against Pollution, a group of residents from Mungret, Raheen and Dooradoyle, also has concerns about the effects of this planning application on air quality. They fear Irish Cement’s proposal will also damage the farming industry and may create nasty odours.

“We are against this proposal in its current form. If Limerick must have an incinerator then let’s at least have a modern one with state-of-the-art safety systems,” said group spokesman Ken Moran.

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“This so-called alternative fuels proposal is a not about reducing carbon dioxide emissions. It’s about making money,” he added.

A statement from Irish Cement pointed out that their Limerick factory is licenced by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which limits and controls the emissions from the factory.

An application has also been made to the EPA to review the current licence.

“Fossil fuel replacement is an important part of the industry’s climate change commitments. The cement industry, like many other industries, is moving away for using fossil fuels to help reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

“We are at all times sensitive to the concerns of the local community and setting out clearly and simply how cement is manufactured is critical in helping to place the current proposal in proper context.

By far the best way to promote a better understanding of the operations of our industry is by facilitating visits to the factory. In this regard, we are willing to facilitate additional site tours to our Mungret factory when senior engineers will be available to answer questions,” the statement concluded.

by Alan Jacques