EPA grants a licence to Fingal County Council

Date released: May 28 2010

  • EPA grants licence to Fingal County Council for a residual waste landfill.
  • The licence contains more than 250 individual conditions and sub-conditions relating to the environmental management, operation, control and monitoring of the facility.

The EPA has issued a licence to Fingal County Council to develop an engineered landfill facility and public recycling facility at Nevitt, Lusk, County Dublin.

The licence provides for the development and operation of an engineered landfill with a maximum annual intake of 500,000 tonnes of non-hazardous residual waste and an associated public recycling facility. Residual waste, in the context of landfill, is waste that has been subjected to pre-treatment (including source segregation, mechanical-biological treatment or energy recovery) to extract the recyclable/reusable components or energy benefit.

The licence contains more than 250 individual conditions and sub-conditions relating to the environmental management, operation, control and monitoring of the facility.

The decision by the EPA follows a detailed examination of the:

  • licence application;
  • submissions and objections from interested parties;
  • detailed report from the Chairperson of the oral hearing of objections, which sat on two occasions, for 9 days in March 2008 and  3 days in April of 2009.

The EPA is satisfied that the operation of the facility, in accordance with the conditions of the licence, will not adversely affect human health or the environment, and will meet all relevant national and EU standards.

Arising from recommendations in the Chairperson’s report, and consideration of all documentation by the Board of the Agency, the Proposed Decision (issued on the 20th September 2007) has been strengthened to take account of concerns expressed at the oral hearing. 

In particular the licence contains the following additional requirements:

  • additional odour management infrastructure shall be installed and additional odour control measures, including an odour management procedure, shall be implemented by the licensee;
  • within 24 months of grant of licence the licensee shall excavate, remediate and restore the historical landfill area; and
  • bottom ash may be accepted for disposal at the facility but shall not be accepted for temporary storage.

The licence conditions require, amongst other things, that:

  • only residual waste (i.e. waste which has been pre-treated) may be landfilled at the facility;
  • a lining system, in line with EU specified standards, is installed;
  • strict controls on all emissions shall be put in place;
  • leachate generated at the landfill shall be collected and treated;
  • landfill gases shall be collected and treated with the possibility for generation of electricity through combustion of the gas; and
  • a wide range of environmental monitoring and assessment, including groundwater monitoring, shall be completed on an ongoing basis, both throughout the life of the landfill and after closure.

In addition to imposing significant controls on the operation of the landfill, the licence sets out a series of monitoring and reporting requirements, which will provide the EPA and the public with detailed information on the environmental performance of the facility.

The EPA’s Office of Environmental Enforcement will monitor and enforce the conditions of the licence through environmental audits, unannounced site visits and systematic checks on emissions.  The EPA will carry out its own independent inspection and monitoring of emissions from the facility.
The EPA advises that it will be reviewing the licence prior to the acceptance of waste at the facility, to further reduce the amount of biodegradable waste going to this landfill in accordance with the Landfill Directive.  This review will:

  • Maximise the use and value of waste before it is disposed of to landfill;
  • Assist compliance with the EU Landfill Directive (1999/31/EC);
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the landfill;
  • Reduce the potential for odour at the landfill; and
  • Ensure the licensee is subject to conditions similar to other municipal waste landfills reviewed by the Agency in 2009/2010.

All the documentation in relation to the waste licence application  including the application, Environmental Impact Statement, third party submissions, proposed decision, inspector’s reports, documentation presented at the oral hearing and re-opened oral hearing, reports of the oral hearing and re-opened oral hearing and the waste licence are available on the EPA website.

The waste licence application number is W0231-01.

Further information: EPA Media Relations Office 053-917 0744 (24 hours)

Notes to the Editor:

How the licensing process works:

  • Given the complexity and scale of some waste activities, the EPA provides pre-application clarification and consultation so that applications are as complete as possible.
  • Once received, the application is rigorously assessed by a team of experts from the EPA’s Office of Climate, Licensing and Resource Use.
  • Extra information may be required from the applicant during this assessment.
  • When the application is deemed complete, and has been fully assessed, the EPA’s Office of Climate, Licensing and Resource Use makes a recommendation on the application to the Board of Directors of the EPA.
  • The Board assesses the recommendation, together with the application and all submissions, before making a decision.
  • The Board’s decision, in the form of a Proposed Decision (PD), is notified to the applicant, all third parties who made a submission on the application and other statutory consultees as well as being published on the EPA website.
  • There follows a 28-day period when any person can submit an objection and request an oral hearing. 
  • Objectors can make submissions on other parties objections.
  • All objections and submissions on objections are considered by a Technical Committee of the EPA, or through an oral hearing process where the Board agrees to convene an Oral Hearing.
  • Any person who lodged a valid objection, as well as the applicant, and the local authority (where relevant) have an automatic right to attend and participate fully at a hearing.  All hearings are open to the public.  Members of the public can participate in the proceedings where they have lodged a valid objection or with the express approval of the Chairperson. 
  • On completion of an oral hearing, the Chairperson will submit a report of the hearing to the EPA.  In this report, the Chairperson must make a recommendation to grant or refuse a licence.  Where the recommendation is to grant a licence, the Chairperson must outline the recommended conditions to be attached to the licence.
  • The recommendations arising, together with the objections and submissions, are considered by the Board of Directors before making a final decision to either refuse a licence or to grant a licence with or without conditions.

The EPA is debarred in law from granting a waste licence unless it is satisfied that the activity concerned, carried out in accordance with such conditions as may be attached to a licence, will not cause environmental pollution.

Chronology of Application
Applicant   Fingal County Council 
 Address of facility   Nevitt, Lusk, Co Dublin
 Application received   5th July 2006
 Submissions    A total of 108 submissions were received from third parties.
 Proposed decision issued   20th September 2007
 Closing date for objections   17th October 2007
 Objections received   9 valid objections
 Oral hearing  Commenced on the 3rd March and concluded on the 13th March 2008, having sat for 9 days at the Bracken Court Hotel, Balbriggan, Co. Dublin
 Reopening of oral hearing  Commenced on the 27th April and concluded on the 29th April 2009 having sat for 3 days at the Bracken Court Hotel, Balbriggan, Co. Dublin
 Final Decision issued  27th May 2010