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Editorial: Scrapping of incinerator will be costly

Most people in Dublin do not want an incinerator in the heart of their city, but the issue is no longer that simple. John Gormley's attempts as a Green Minister to scupper the Poolbeg incinerator plans have much wider implications for both the taxpayer and for multi-national companies willing to invest here.

It is one thing to refuse permission for an incinerator from the beginning. It is quite another to change the rules halfway through the process.

Covanta, the huge US waste company behind the construction, is now accusing the minister of having a conflict of interest by adjudicating on a project to which he is clearly opposed. What kind of message is being sent out to other prospective international investors if we change rules once a project is underway?

Taxpayers could also face a compensation bill of hundreds of millions of euro if the plan is now scrapped.