Wednesday 24 January 2018

Fingal site for biosolid store

Biosolids facility for Newtown site says IW

John Manning

A site on the fringes of Fingal, has been chosen as the preferred site for a biosolids storage facility for the Greater Dublin Area.

A site in the Newtown and Kilshane area, close to St Margaret's has been earmarked for the facility by Irish Water who want to use it to store biosolids produced at the upgraded Ringsend Wastewater Treatment Plant and at the proposed new giant regional wastewater treatment plant at Clonshaugh.

Irish Water explained that biosolids are produced during the wastewater treatment process. They contain high levels of nutrients and are sustainably reused as a soil conditioner and fertiliser in agriculture and forestry. Under EU and national regulations, biosolids can only be applied to lands during the planting seasons in Spring and Autumn and are stored for the intervening periods.

A spokesperson for the utility said: 'Due to population and economic growth, the quantity of biosolids produced in the greater Dublin region is expected to exceed the available storage capacity. Irish Water is working to upgrade existing wastewater treatment plants and provide new facilities where necessary to meet the needs of our growing population.'

Earlier this year, Irish Water sought views on a short-list of five potential sites for the Regional Biosolids Storage Facility located in Dublin, Fingal and Meath.

Following public consultation, the short-listed sites proceeded to a technical assessment of a range of environmental, economic/engineering, planning, and social/community criteria in order to identify a preferred site. A qualitative assessment using 21 classifications compared the specific site characteristics of each site.

According to Irish Water: 'The Newtown/Kilshane site was found to be more favourable for a majority of the criteria assessed including zoning (heavy industry), planning policy, landscape and visual impact, noise, ecology, hydrology, distance from biosolids source, and capital and operating costs.'

The five shortlisted sites which underwent an expert comparative assessment to identify a preferred site for the Regional Biosolids Storage Facility were Bracetown/Gunnocks, Co. Meath, Gunnocks, Co. Meath, Greenogue, Co. Dublin, Newtown/Kilshane, Dublin 11, Kilshane, Dublin 11.

The site at Newtown/Kilshane is zoned for heavy industry ('HI') in Fingal County Development Plan 2017-2023 and the plan refers to Waste Disposal and Recovery Facilities as being permitted in principle under this zoning.

Newtown/Kilshane was preferred as it provides an existing industrial and infrastructural setting for both the immediate locality of the site and also as a backdrop when viewed from an elevated section of the N2 to the east. Newtown/Kilshane also presents a good opportunity for incorporation of landscape measures for mitigation, according to Irish Water.

Fingal Independent

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