Ce­ment firm fined €4k af­ter ‘glue-like’ dust fell on homes

Irish Daily Mail - - News - By David Raleigh

IR­ISH Ce­ment has been fined €4,000 for al­low­ing a thick ‘glue-like’ dust to spill from its Co. Lim­er­ick pro­duc­tion plant, caus­ing dam­age to nearby homes, cars and gar­dens.

The com­pany pleaded guilty at Lim­er­ick Dis­trict Court to one count of breach­ing terms of its in­dus­trial emis­sions li­cense, at its plant in Castle­mu­ngret on De­cem­ber 3 of last year.

The in­ci­dent in­volved more than two-and-a-half tonnes of dust, spark­ing health con­cerns among lo­cals, the court heard.

Solic­i­tor Maeve Larkin, pros­e­cut­ing on be­half of the En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency, told the court that the dust in­volved was ‘gritty... not ev­ery­day dust’. Af­ter the com­pany had un­suc­cess­fully at­tempted to clear a build-up of dust in the kiln, a sig­nif­i­cant amount of it leaked out and into the air, fall­ing on lo­cal res­i­den­tial neigh­bour­hoods.

The EPA re­ceived a to­tal of 21 com­plaints after­wards from lo­cal res­i­dents af­ter the dust fell on their homes and gar­dens.

Dust sam­ples were taken by the EPA, and Ir­ish Ce­ment ac­cepted the dust had come from its plant.

The court heard that res­i­dents gave state­ments to the EPA re­fer­ring to a ‘glue-like’ dust.

Six of the com­plaints re­ferred to res­i­dents’ health con­cerns, two of which re­lated to peo­ple with asthma.

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