Construction waste transfer station in Baldoyle must close

The construction and demolition waste transfer station in Baldoyle Industrial estate has been operating since 2004. It has no planning permission, but the Council Planning Department has not taken action against it because the operators claim they have been operating since 1997.

I have just seen the monitoring results which prove that it is in breach of its waste permit as I detail in the letter below, which I sent today.

Email to Gilbert Power, Director of Services, Environment Section, Fingal County Council

Dear Gilbert,

I refer to the above site.  Due to ongoing complaints from residents, Fingal County Council required Barnmore to carry out noise and dust monitoring on site.  A monitoring report dated 8th September 2005 reports on monitoring undertaken in July 2005.  

1. Respirable dust
The results here are compared to occupational exposure limits of 4 mg/m2. However, the measurements are being made out of doors at a site in the immediate vicinity of houses and workers in other businesses, for whom an occupational exposure limit is not appropriate.  The respirable dust levels are measured between 0.5 and 3.8 mg/m3.  

There is no current standard for exposure of the public to respirable dust. However there are standards for PM10  – an average of 20 μg/m3 or 0.02 mg/m3 daily limit of 50 μg/m3 or 0.05 m3  (SI 271 of 2002) . PM10 stands for Particulate Matter sampled with a 50% upper cut-off for particles of aerodynamic diameter of 10 μg/m3 .   There is also a PM2.5 standard to be introduced by EU in the next few years

Respirable dust by ISO standard is PM4.  Therefore a gravimetric measurement of respirable dust would always be lower than a measurement of PM10 from the same ambient air. In a case such as this, with very high levels of dust deposition, it would be expected to be much lower.  

The high levels of respirable dust measured completely validate the concerns and complaints of local residents about dust from the site and additionally give cause for concern that local residents are probably being exposed to particulate matter levels substantially in excess of the standard set in SI 271 of 2002.

2 Dust deposition
The report shows very high levels of dust deposition – over 3 times the level of 350mg/m2/day often used by the EPA.  This is consistent with repeated complaints from residents of Carndonagh road of dust and grit deposition on their houses, windows, garden furniture and cars.  There is clearly a breach of the licence condition.

3. Noise

Please note there is no time-weighting, averages, deciles or other statistical formulae in the condition in the licence.  (The above crossed-out sentence was in the original letter but is mistaken.  The limits in the licence are (Leq 1 hour limits).  Unfortunately the monitoring in the report isn’t expressed as hourly values.) The limits in the licence are 65 dB(A) between 0830 and 1700 Monday to Friday and 0830 to 1300 on Saturday, and 45 dB(A) at other times.

The noise levels described in the report will lead to noise levels at the houses in excess of the 65 dB(A) limit.  This is experienced from the operation of the trommel and from the movement of waste by diggers.  

Additionally, work is carried on on Saturday afternoons leading to a breach of the 45 dB(A) limit.

There is no indication on the copy of the monitoring report I have as to when this was received by the Council.  However, I take it it was some time ago.  I am shocked that there appears to have been no action, and that a report was made to the area committee in March with no reference to this monitoring report. (copy attached)

The purpose of requiring this monitoring was to investigate the complaints of the residents. The report has clearly validated those complaints. I would request that the Council immediately require cessation of operations on site in the light of the nuisances experienced and as provided for in the terms of the waste permit.

4. Quantities of waste accepted.

The waste permit restricts the operations on site to 5000 tonnes per year.  Indeed, any more than 5000 tonnes would require a waste permit.  It is the view of local residents that the operation on site must be exceeding this.  This should be clear from the AER which was required to be submitted in February. I would be grateful for a copy of the AER and if you would also examine this.

5. Health and Safety

I would be grateful if you could send a copy of the report to the Health and Safety Authority to bring their attention to the dust and noise issues on site.

Is mise, le meas,


Cllr David Healy