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Anger at plan to run fuel line near houses

AN underground pipeline carrying more than 300 million litres of potentially dangerous aviation fuel from Dublin Port to the airport is planned to run through residential areas.

The aviation pipeline, stretching 10km, is designed to run just 1.2 metres (four feet) underground from Alexander Rd, by East Wall Rd, Fairview Park, through Marino, Griffith Avenue, the Swords Rd and on to Dublin Airport.

The company behind the venture said yesterday it is less hazardous than road tanker transport but a residents' leader claimed an accident on the pipeline ``could obliterate half of Dublin's northside''.

The company, consulting engineers Fingleton White, is applying to Dublin Corporation and Fingal County County for planning permission.

The plan is to build the utility and then go into partnership with any oil companies who want to come on board. The companies are currently using road tankers on thousands of round trips from the port to the airport.

An environmental study carried out by Independent Pipeline Company Ltd, the company formed for the project, and a risk assessment report by an English company Entec, state that the oil pipeline system is a safer means of transporting fuel to the airport as tankers are always at risk of collisions.

``The report demonstrates that the construction of the proposed pipeline is unlikely to have any long term adverse environmental impacts and is the safest most economical and most environmentally friendly method of transporting aviation fuel between Dublin Port and Dublin Airport,'' it states.

John Fingleton, managing director of Fingleton White, said the pipleline would significantly reduce the probability of an accident ``to a factor of five of six '' when compared with road transport.

But Fintan Cassidy, secretary of the Marino Resident Association, hit out at ``the unprecedented running of such a highly hazardous pipeline through a residential area.''

``If a JCB struck this pipeline there could be an accident. This stuff is highly volatile and it could potentially obliterate half of the northside,'' he said.

The six inch pipe would be laid four feet under the ground at the rate of 100 metres a day. The project was expected to last three months,said Mr Fingleton.

It had the potential to carry 300m litres of aviation fuel a year. While it would be four feet deep the Port Tunnel was expected to be 30 metres underground.

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