I made this submission to the public consultation on the draft Dublin Airport Local Area Plan and on the associated draft Variation to the County Development Plan. It refers back to my previous submission on the draft Local Area Plan and deals in particular with issues of climate change, noise, cycling access and water quality.
At today’s Oral Hearing into the proposed sewage treatment plant, I am making this presentation focusing on the water quality aspects of the proposal. I have recently become aware of the important biodiversity along the sewer route at Ballymun and I am glad to have the opportunity to include the Ballymun Wildlife Group’s Report on Biodiversity at Northpoint in my submission.
An Bord Pleanála has written to say that Irish Water omitted documents from its application. There will be a further public consultation until 17th October. Information on this is at http://www.greaterdublindrainage.com/2018/09/07/additional-statutory-consultation-for-gdd/ . My previous submission is here.
My submission to An Bord Pleanála focuses in particular on the inadequate assessment of the proposed effluent outfall near Ireland’s Eye and the lack of evaluation of tertiary treatment of the effluent and a longer sea outfall. Continue reading
Fingal County Council is reducing pesticide use, implementing policy changes sought by Grern Councillors. This includes both letting wild plants grow in some areas and trialling safer alternatives to conventional pesticides.
As reported to this month’s Council meeting, alternatives including steam and foam are being used to deal with weeds coming up in locations like paving cracks. Visitors to Malahide Demesne may notice the smell of vinegar which is being used as a substitute for the controversial weedkiller Glyphosate.
Commenting on the implementation of the new policy, Cllr. David Healy said: “Phasing out pesticides is vital to protect our insects, particularly the pollinating insects which have such an important role in ecosystems. Our parks and open spaces must be places where nature can thrive. Green thinking says ‘think globally, act locally’ and we are very glad that Fingal is putting this into practice.”
Cllr Roderic O’Gorman commented: “It is good to see Fingal responding to the public concerns at the use of toxic chemicals in public places. As Councillors we hear these concerns first-hand. When people visit their local parks and open spaces, they want to be confident that these are safe and healthy places, in which they can let their children play freely.”
The update given to Fingal County Council’s monthly meeting regarding the plan can be found at p47 of these minutes.
My submission which led to the change in policy (including some photos of non-use of herbicides elsewhere) is available here.
The All-Ireland Pollinator Plan is here.
Fingal County Council is looking for input on identifying bathing waters in Fingal. Many heavily used bathing waters in the County are not recognised and therefore the water quality is not tested in accordance with the Bathing Water Directive. Untested waters include Balscadden Beach (below)
and Broadmeadow Estuary, intensively used for dinghy sailing and kayaking.
Please respond to the consultation if you swim in any of these areas or in any other area.
I have made the following submission in support of improved catchment management in the Mayne and Santry Rivers, and suggested the addition of the Howth streams to the catchment areas:
There’s a public consultation in relation to the Water Framework Directive actions for the above rivers, in Swords from 4pm to 7pm on 11th October. (I don’t know why the public notice of this is so short.)
Six submissions were received from the public in relation to identifying bathing waters in Fingal. The Council evaluated all of them and decided none of the waters qualified. I had proposed Balscadden Beach and the Broadmeadow Estuary.
In relation to Broadmeadow Estuary, there is apparently a legal flaw in the Directive. The evaluation advises:
“The Bathing Water Directive does not recognise inland or coastal waters used for recreational purposes other than contact bathing. Water sports such as surfing, kayaking, or other recreational uses do not in themselves provide reason for identification as ‘bathing water’ unless supported by evidence of bathing within its normal context such as paddling, swimming, or similar water contact.”
I checked with the European Commission who agree with this interpretation. Even if not technically a bathing water it is essential that water quality here is monitored to protect public health and I will follow up.