19 Aug 2022

Kildare 'needs a pollution emergency plan'

Call for a response plan

Kildare 'needs a pollution emergency plan'

Aras Chill Dara, Naas

An emergency plan is needed to help Kildare County Council tackle emergency pollution incidents.

And this should take in account the need to work with multiple agencies, managing the response and communicating with the public and representatives.

A specific response plan should tie these elements together “so that those who need to be informed are informed,” Cllr Nuala Killeen told a KCC meeting on June 27.

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However KCC responded that it has arrangements in place and staff have significant experience and training in such matters. Environmental emergency pollution events involving water waste or air “can be complex and varied”, KCC official Joe Boland said in a report.

“There is no silver bullet that can capture every scenario but there is extensive guidance, procedures, processes, expertise and professionalism available locally.”

He also stated that very significant resources have been deployed over the years in terms of training, desktop exercises, plans and protocols, interagency collaboration.

He said KCC can respond immediately (including out of hours) to visit to site and, where warranted, engage with relevant agencies like the  National Parks and Wildlife Service, Inland Fisheries Ireland and the Environmental Protection Agency. 

“In the case of waste licenced activity, our role might involve providing assistance to the EPA who are responsible for such.”

Where necessary there is an inspection of all related infrastructure like  pipes, sewers, gullies and manholes to take samples where appropriate, as well as  door to door calls to premises, if warranted.

If needed, remedial action is taken “where relevant and feasible in conjunction with the relevant agencies.”

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