Council could cancel Poolbeg incinerator deal

Dublin City Council have a mounting amount of questions to answer after Prime Time last night relieved that there is a get out clause on the Poolbeg incinerator contract.

The clause is due to kick in this Sunday. After Prime Time, RTE’s environment correspondent Paul Cunningham said on Twitter that:

“[Prime Time] had contract between Council and Covanta. It has a break-clause which which comes operational this Sunday. [Dublin City Council] no comment”

And he added:

“Contract states if certain conditions not met 36 months from signing on 4th Sept 2007, parties have a right to ‘terminate'”

Last night’s Prime Time should soon be available on RTE Player (for only 21 days).

This is in the backdrop of a widely reported clause which would see the council pay if waste targets were not provided to the waste-to-energy plant even if it was highly profitable.

And it was not like there wasn’t already questions to answer. Including those posed by Sandymount residents Joe McCarthy and Valerie Jennings in an Irish Times comment article:

“There has been no public scrutiny of the costs for planning, building and running this incinerator. In 2007, without reopening the public procurement process, Dublin City Council brought Covanta into this public/private partnership (PPP) when the original consortium of DONG/Elsam withdrew.”

As with the also controversial Dublin Bikes contract, the council is using “commercial sensitivity” as an excuse not to answering questions or release the contract.

Did John Gormley, or as the Irish Independent called him, the “Minister for time-wasting” know more than what he was letting on when he called for a review of the contract while his department officials were getting around to a foreshore licence for the project?

Meanwhile, Covanta is also in trouble in the US where reported that:

“Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal announced on Wednesday that he has filed a lawsuit against a power plant for allegedly releasing dangerous air emissions repeatedly.

Covanta Energy has allegedly been emitting excessive levels of the chemical dioxin at its trash-to-energy plant. Covanta was alerted to the emissions and charged over them three years ago. That matter was settled in November, when Covanta agreed to pay $355,000 for similar allegedly unpermitted dioxin emissions.”

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