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Spreading of human waste in Wexford must cease immediately says Dwyer

27 March, 2007

Sinn Féin Dáil Election Candidate for Wexford, John Dwyer, has called on Wexford County Council to immediately revoke its Nutrient Management Plan, which is allowing for the spreading of almost 3000 tonnes of human waste across Wexford. The Wexford Councillor made his call after visiting an area around Wellingtonbridge in the south of the county.

Cllr. Dwyer said, "Having visited this 600 acre site at Rosegarland, Wellingtonbridge I can attest to the very serious concerns that the local community have. The pungent odour is overpowering and is clearly not right.

"I have learned that Wexford County council have approved a Nutrient Management Plan for this and fifteen other sites around County Wexford for the disposal of human sewage/sludge from waste disposal plants.

"This represents a legal loophole in environmental legislation when compared against the rigorous rules surrounding the issuing of planning permissions to local residents.

"That Wexford County Council have given permission under the Nutrient Management Plan for private operators to dispose of 2871 tonnes of human sewage/sludge is unacceptable. Running through this site is a tributary of the Corock River, which in turn flows a further one kilometre out in to Bannow Estuary, which is a designated shellfish area.

"Unbelievably Wexford County Council have confirmed to me that there is no intention to pro-actively monitor the potential for environmental contamination that may result from this industrial scale operation.

"Local people are outraged and intend campaigning strongly on the issue. They have raised serious concerns about the potential contamination of private wells supplying hundreds of homes in the area. Many residents that have spoken to me have drawn parallels with what is happening in Galway and what can potentially happen here in Wexford.

"Sinn Féin is demanding that Wexford County Council revoke the Nutrient Management Plans that they have issued. We would also demand that prior to considering any further applications that they would put in place the necessary checking procedures, including soil and water testing every two weeks, and the staff needed the under take them.

"One of the main conditions of the nutrient plan was that the 2871 tonnes of waste would be treated with odour suppressant. Totally disregarding local people and local concerns the operators of this facility have for four weeks been spreading the waste in a manner which would suggest it hasn't been treated ­ judging by the odour it is producing." ENDS

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