Residents at Ballyogan protest at Dump excavation
Residents of the Ballyogan estate off the M50 in Dublin South have protested at the excavation of a ten year old dump which they claim has led to noxious odours in their area. The excavation is designed to level off the area and make it more suitable for use by the ESB.
The residents, however, argue that the dump is being disturbed before there are independent studies on its impact on human health.
In a statement, the Ballyogan Environment Group claims that
“We are already victims of a form of ‘environmental injustice' because we have had to put up with a landfill dump on our doorstep for years.
“As in many US cities, such dumps tend be situated in working class areas where council officials expect less resistance.
“To add insult to injury, an excavation of the dump is now taking place involving the removal of over 90,000 tons of rubbish. The immediate effect has been to release a noxious odour in the area and to raise concerns about human health.
“Many studies have show that chemicals released from landfill sites are potentially hazardous.
“We fear that removing 90,000 (cubic metres) tons of decomposed rubbish and reburying it other areas of the landfill will
1 Disturb the landfill gas under the ground. Methane is a highly flammable and potentially fatal gas.
2 Release potentially harmful chemicals into the atmosphere that could affect our families' health.
3 Release worse odours than we are already having to contend with from a nearby baling station
“The Ballyogan Environment Group has been campaigning for 10 years to have residents' health concerns addressed by way of a full risk assessment.
“This would clarify how toxic the 30 year old landfill's decomposing waste is and whether it could affect our families health.
“The government, the local authority and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have all refused to accept responsibility for conducting a risk assessment, claiming excessive costs.
“We are now calling on the new Environment Minister, John Gormley, who has in the past expressed concern about landfill sites, to intervene.
We are also calling a meeting for all residents to support our demands for.
* an immediate stoppage of excavation work at the Ballyogan landfill.
* that a full independently evaluated risk assessment is carried out to identify the toxins that are likely to be released to atmosphere, their concentration levels and potential health problems they might cause before residents are exposed to them.