Wednesday, 8 February 2012
Question 8: To ask the Minister for Defence the input he has had on the proposed clean-up of Haulbowline Island, Cork; if he specified the areas of the island that should be dealt with; his plans for the future of the island; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6729/12]
In June 2011 the Government decided that the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine would chair a working group to oversee the clean-up of the former Ispat site on Haulbowline Island. My Department is represented on the working group. Cork County Council is acting as an agent of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine on the technical aspects of an application to the Environmental Protection Agency for a landfill licence. The preparation of the application to the EPA and its consideration by that body are likely to take up to 18 months to complete. The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine has also convened a steering group to advise him on the project as it gets under way. The Naval Service is represented on the steering group. As the clean-up of the site is some way off at this stage, no specific plans have yet been considered for its future use.
I understand the technical group decided to include both the eastern and southern tips of the island in the application for a landfill licence, but I understand the work is now focusing completely on the eastern tip. Will all of the island be included? Has the Department of Defence provided an estimate of the cost of the work, or is this within the remit of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine?
The lead Department, as mentioned, is the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. I do not have the information the Deputy is seeking on the licence. There is a need for a landfill licence, as stipulated by the European Commission. Perhaps the Deputy might consider putting a question to the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine in order to obtain a more detailed response.