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Poolbeg firm at centre of stinking US homes row

THE company behind the proposed Poolbeg incinerator has become embroiled in further controversy with residents of a US town who say they cannot leave their homes because of odours from one of its incinerators.

The Herald has learned that families living close to Convanta's incinerator plant in Haverhill, Massachusetts, say they cannot open their windows due to the terrible stench.

Covanta, which has plans for a multi-million euro plant for Dublin 4, has faced strong calls from Haverhill councillors to explain the source of the stench.

Local councillor Mary Ellen Daly O'Brien told the Herald today that the incinerator is causing "many problems" for local people.

"Covanta can't seem to establish where the odour is coming from but it really is causing concern," she said.


And local resident Nicole Deveau, who has lived in the area for years, said: "We can't open our windows or go outside.

"They (Covanta) are policing themselves. But we don't smell pine or bubble gum. We smell garbage."

The controversy comes just weeks after the energy firm was fined $400,000 (€290,000) after releasing cancerous dioxins at one of its other US facilities.

And the news today that residents feel they cannot leave their homes due to odours from a nearby plant has renewed the debate surrounding the Poolbeg facility in Dublin 4.

Labour TD Kevin Humphreys told the Herald that he has "major concerns" about Poolbeg and called on Environment Minister Phil Hogan to "kick it into touch for good".

"It's very simply -- this is the wrong technology for Dublin."

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the company told the Herald today: "Covanta takes the concerns of neighbours very seriously.

"After hearing recent concerns from a small amount of neighbours, we have installed a monitor for odours in an effort to control any that may escape the facility.

"We have also established a hotline for residents to call."