THREE sites have been short-listed for a massive sewage treatment plant designed to serve Dublin and neighbouring counties.
Fingal County Council yesterday named three possible sites to build a regional wastewater plant in north Dublin, which will be assessed in detail before a final location is chosen early next year.
All three of the sites are in Health Minister James Reilly's constituency of Dublin North -- two near Lusk, and the third near Dublin Airport.
A treatment plant will be built on one of the three 20-hectare sites, with an outfall pipe also constructed to transport the treated waste out to sea. It will serve Dublin and parts of Meath and Kildare.
The three sites are:
• Annsbrook, some 10km north of Dublin Airport and 2.7km west of Lusk. An outfall pipe is proposed near Loughshinny.
• Newtowncorduff is 10km north of Dublin Airport and 1km west of Lusk, and the outfall pipe will be near Loughshinny.
• The third site is at Clonshaugh, 2kms east of Dublin Airport. The outfall pipe would be north east of Ireland's Eye.
The treatment plant, which will cost €2.3bn, is part of the Greater Dublin Drainage project and was first proposed in 2005.
The cost includes an upgrade of the Ringsend treatment, construction of the new facility and a series of sewers across the city.
The regional plant will initially be one sixth the size of the Ringsend plant, and will treat waste from 350,000 people when it opens.
It will be designed to treat waste from a total of 700,000 people at full capacity from 2040, including waste from industry, hospitals, schools, businesses and homes.
Fingal County Council, which is leading the project on behalf of the four Dublin local authorities, will begin a public consultation phase and a final site will be chosen at the end of the year.
Information is available at a series of open days later this year, by phone on 1890 445567 or at greaterdublindrainage.ie.
"We're looking for the option that is best for the project, the one that will have the least impact on people and the environment," Peter O'Reilly from Fingal County Council said.
But opponents said the plant was not needed. Brian Hosford from Reclaim Fingal said the "monster" plant should not be located in the county, and that alternative solutions were not considered.
He added that more than 10,000 residents opposed the plans.