Toxic waste dump - incompetence or cover up?

sarahj

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I don't know if there's a thread on this already (EDIT: Yes there was - http://www.politics.ie/current-affairs/31565-will-john-gormley-survive-haulbowline-scandal.html - thanks soubresauts) but the whole issue has my blood boiling. Apparently I (along with many other people) am living in a toxic waste dump. 500000 tonnes of toxic waste were found on Haulbowline island in Cork harbour and Cobh, a small town outside Cork, has cancer rates 37% higher than the country's average (presumably related to Chromium 6 being found in samples of waste from Haulbowline).

However, the working group set up by the Dail has as its remit to
to look at possible uses for the site [Haulbowline] but it is precluded from looking at the contamination issue. This is like putting the cart before the horse. It's either incompetence or a cover-up.
- Deputy David Stanton ( http://www.corkindependent.com/local-news/local-news/incompetence-or-coverup/ )

This issue has received national coverage

RTÉ News: Concerns grow over Cork toxic waste

and the government has come in for international criticism for threatening an whistleblower who claimed they are playing down the risk posed by the waste

Irish government threatens Haulbowline whistleblower - Times Online

The same article states that
another report produced in 1995, which was commissioned by Irish Steel, a semi-state company which operated the industrial works, recorded the presence of high concentrations of lead, zinc and other toxic materials
- thats 15 bloody years ago!!!

Additions:

http://machinenation.forumakers.com/the-natural-world-the-environment-f55/ireland-s-biggest-environmental-scandal-cork-harbour-haulbowline-chromium-6-t878.htm - machine nation also has a thread on this topic (thanks again to soubresauts)

Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment (CHASE) - http://www.chaseireland.org/ http://www.chaseireland.org/inthemedia/HaulbowlineToxicWaste.htm
 
Last edited:


DCon

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With FF and their Green lackeys running the show, it is probably a combination of incompetence and a cover up.
 

DCon

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A spokesman for John Gormley, the environment minister, said: “John Gormley is a Green party minister who would not get involved in a cover-up.” The spokesman added that a recent study of Haulbowline had found the toxic waste did not pose an immediate threat.
Irish government threatens Haulbowline whistleblower - Times Online

Immediate threat. Please define immediate Johnny G. That was 2 years ago. Is there a threat now?
 

Ganyer

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Incredible. Absolutely incredible. I knew nothing about this.
Thanks to the OP.
 

sarahj

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Incredible. Absolutely incredible. I knew nothing about this.
Thanks to the OP.
No problem. See the RTE article also where it states that strong winds and high tides caused waste to seep into the sea in July 2008 (that's two years ago)! This, presumably, means that most of Cork harbour is now contaminated with waste from Haulbowline.

Now, we know that Chromium 6 is toxic to humans ( ETC - Technological and Environment Issues - Chemicals of Concern - Chromium-6 ) - see that both lead and zinc (other contaminants in the Cork harbour area) are also listed as "chemicals of concern"!

But what about plant and animal life in the area? Will they be adversely affected by chromium 6 contamination?

Even if they are not, it is clear that contamination of food supplies with Chromium 6 is a threat to public health in the Cork harbour area, as is the presence of chromium 6 in our water and air.
 

Podolski1.5

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Cobh isn't exactly a small town. Almost 15,000 live there. The dump also affects other towns and villages in the area - Carrigaline (about 12,000), Passage West/Monkstown (4,000), Croshaven (1,500), etc.
 

locke

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Playing devil's advocate here as I do think the mess needs sorting out...

Cobh's socio-economic profile makes it look more like a poor suburb of a city than a provincial town. Those kind of suburbs have higher cancer rates than wealthier suburbs.

How does the cancer rate look in Monkstown? How does it look in the surrounding rural areas?

Passage probably has a profile similar to Cobh's.
 

sarahj

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Cobh isn't exactly a small town. Almost 15,000 live there. The dump also affects other towns and villages in the area - Carrigaline (about 12,000), Passage West/Monkstown (4,000), Croshaven (1,500), etc.
My posts make it clear that the waste potentially affects the whole of Cork harbour. Cobh was highlighted in an article linked to both for its proximity to the dump and its high cancer rates.

Cobh's socio-economic profile makes it look more like a poor suburb of a city than a provincial town. Those kind of suburbs have higher cancer rates than wealthier suburbs.
Yes, those areas that are disadvantaged usually have higher rates of disease than other more advantaged areas. However, some of the reason for these higher rates is often to do with the fact that dumps and other sites of environmental pollution like this one are more often situated in deprived areas than in wealthy ones.
 

Baztard

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Not forgetting all the pharmaceutical and chemical companies, the oil refinery, the large docks at Ringaskiddy, the car ferries, the huge cruise liners that come to Cobh every year, the navy with its big ships and radars and the discharge of sewage wastewaster with minimal or no treatment into the harbour from Cobh, passage West etc. I think there was also a big fertiliser plant nearby as well. Don't know about Radon, is Cobh a high risk area? Not sure which is the worst culprit but can't imagine they are all entirely innocent.
 

soubresauts

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We had a previous thread on this, bringing us up to a few months ago.

There was also a useful discussion on the now-defunct Machine Nation site; can be viewed here.

There's a lot of info on the FIE site. Search for "Haulbowline" (though the chronological order seems to go awry).

Nothing about this reassures me. It's an almighty scandal.
 

soubresauts

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The Government seems to be taking action on Haulbowline

At long last the Government seems to be taking action: 2014 deadline for Haulbowline dump clean-up - RT News. Of course it's going to be expensive. As ever, the taxpayer will pay.

Why couldn't John Gormley have done this in his ministerial years? See:
http://www.politics.ie/forum/current-affairs/31565-will-john-gormley-survive-haulbowline-scandal.html
And:
http://www.politics.ie/forum/environment/132518-green-party-refused-fund-richard-tol-esri-ipcc-ireland-without-rep-7.html#post2806757
 


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