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// Toxic liquid removed from illegal dump
THE CLEAN–UP by the Environmental Protection Agency of an illegal dump at Kerdiffstown, Co Kildare, which will take many years to complete is to move a step closer with the removal of 8.5 million litres of polluted liquid from the contaminated site.
The agency spent some ¤3 million in January and February last year fighting a fire at the dump which resulted in the release of toxic smoke over the Naas area for more than four weeks.
Nephin Trading and associated companies Dean Waste and Jenzsoph Ltd operated at the landfill and recycling facility for 14 years until the agency secured court orders in 2010 shutting it down.
Work l ast year focused on securing and containing the site to prevent further pollution. The agency is moving to the next phase of removing waste from the site.
The agency has siphoned off more than 8.5 million litres of “leachate” – contaminated liquid from the dump which would otherwise have percolated into the ground.
It is seeking haulage companies to transport the liquid to Dublin’s municipal sewage plant at Ringsend for processing in contracts worth up to ¤1.5 million for the next four years.
A spokesman for the agency said work was progressing well.
There was a “minor spill” during the collection of leachate last month when a holding tank was overfilled, and approximately 500 litres reached a drain which flows to the Grand Canal.
Corrective action was taken immediately and the impact was “very localised and short–lived”, the agency said.
Further contracts will be put out to tender shortly in relation to site management and investigation to determine the best way to remediate the dump. Some preliminary investigation work was undertaken earlier this year, with the drilling of 24 boreholes to determine the waste buried.
Once the best method for disposing of the solid waste has been determined, the agency hopes to begin excavation of the dump and demolition and removal of the infrastructure on site.
This work is expected to be largely complete by 2017 and will be followed by covering the landfill with soil and plants, and the installation of permanent gas and leachate controls. However, the agency estimates the site will require management until 2047.
While the cost of the clean–up has been estimated at more than ¤30 million, accurate costs will not be known until the precise nature of the waste has been determined. The agency is continuing several legal actions in an attempt to recoup the costs.
The High Court l ast year rejected an application by the agency to make the directors of Nephin Trading personally liable for the clean–up costs, because relevant EU regulations had not been transposed into Irish law.
7 Mar 2012
The Irish Times