State Foots The Bill For Cleaning Up Illegal Dumping Sites

The cost of cleaning up more than 13 illegal dumps across the country will be almost €250m, the Irish Independent has reported.

Over €135m has already been spent with a further €100m expected to be paid to remove rubbish and decontaminate land at sites in Cork, Wicklow, Waterford, Limerick and Carlow before the end of next year.

The total cost of fixing the problem of illegal dumps will amount to €241m, and almost half the bill, some €92m, will arise from cleaning up the former Irish Steel site at Haulbowline in Co Cork.

The massive spend comes after the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled in 2005 that Ireland had broken environmental laws by not insisting that landfills were licensed, warning in 2010 that unless works to make the sites safe were carried out, daily fines would be imposed.

The Department of the Environment has admitted, that in some cases the State will be forced to foot the bill because the landowners who operated, or allowed the dumps to be operated, have no money.

"Ireland has incurred considerable costs to date in dealing with the case," a report prepared for the Government said.

"Considerable additional costs will be incurred in bringing the case to a conclusion. Ireland guarantees that all sites will be remediated in the period 2011 and 2013 subject to statutory procedures.

"Criminal and civil proceedings have, or are, proceeding or are in place against almost all of the waste holders concerned and where it is not possible for holders of waste to remediate sites the State will step in and ensure that the court judgment is fully delivered."


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