Ferrybank residents who have lived with a foul smell believed to be emanating from a local meat processing plant for over 20 years, have appealed to the public to make submissions to the Environmental Protection Agency in relation to the issue.
The ABP meat plant has applied to the EPA in recent months for a licence renewal which would enable them to build an extension to their existing facility in Christendom, Ferrybank. This would be used to render animal carcasses from all around the country. Residents in the area have been fighting to have something done about the smell for two decades to no avail.
If the latest licence is granted it will allow the company to increase their output, a development which residents are convinced will make the smell worse. Concerns were raised at a recent council meeting about the issue however Michael Quinn, Director of Services said that the council had no specific remit in relation to the facility.
Green Party councillor Jody Power asked Mr. Quinn at the most recent council meeting could the council not do something. “There have been eight public complaints about ABP in the last six months to the EPA. There seems to be no enforcement and no sanctions.”
Mr. Quinn replied by saying that maybe the media could make the public aware of the application through the local papers so that the public could make submissions.
Speaking to The Munster Express this week, John Hayes of the Ferrybank Community Development Residents Group said that progress was being made but it was very slow. “We are making progress but it’s tough going. A lot of people are not aware that the licence is up for renewal. If this latest application is approved there will be a 60% increase in production,” he said.
He added residents were finding the situation quite frustrating. “The EPA says the plant is compliant but we know the plant is self-regulating. They carry out their own investigations and reports. This stench happens on a regular basis and can be smelled out the Dunmore Road on the other side of the river. People in Ferrybank have to close their windows and take their washing in, the smell can be so bad. We are just sick and tired of it. This has been going on for over 20 years.”
John accepts that the problem cannot be solved overnight. “I just want to make people aware of what’s happening. People are confused. They are not sure what a submission to the EPA entails and are worried that they will have to use technical terms etc. I have put together a website so that they can get all the information they need in one place. So far there has been 38 submissions so there is a lot of activity and we are going in the right direction.”
Anyone wishing to obtain information regarding EPA submissions should log on to www.epasendsub.com
Author Justine Dwyer The Munster Express firstname.lastname@example.org First for News