Saturday, September 27, 2014
How's That Environmental Protection Agency working out for you?
Here's the complaint I had to send in citing section 63 and specifically my copy to Ann Phelan TD (Minister of State at the Departments of Agriculture, Food and Marine and Transport, Tourism and Sport) who maybe does not even realize herself how much information is being overlooked!
Dear Ann, I saw baby salmon in the river yesterday and was worried that maybe you didn't know how the EPA is working, in regard to the CAS. They are not doing any monitoring, they are passing on concerns to the council's own Environmental Department. Essentially saying the council can monitor itself. The EPA promised they would get involved if a formal complaint was made, citing section 63. So this is a copy of mine so you see the whole process.
"I rang the EPA and I was told that Kilkenny County Council should have 'the chance to do their own investigations'. The independent EPA will only get involved if there is a formal complaint. I think that a person taking Kilkenny Council to the High Court on a matter of Environmental concern is enough to be considered a formal complaint. Furthermore, it is not appropriate to ask the Council to investigate their own project. That much of a vested interest, in the outcome, makes a mockery of their assessments. I asked, yesterday, Friday 26th September, that the EPA collect at least a sample from the river when the contractors were digging out their stone. I said they need not pursue an investigation or analyze it even, unless it was asked for by the Court later this month. Dermot Burke refused and again said that the council should have 'a chance' to do their own investigation. This is a serious decision to overlook an environmental disaster and take no responsibility for monitoring it, even in the face of more than 200 people spending shifts on Greens Bridge, night and day, to highlight their concern.
(The person in the photo when the guards eventually escorted the dreaded pile driver in was the head cardiologist of St Luke's and another working man from towards Urlingford. Many teachers and respected people from all walks of life and even ministers are concerned, let alone the senior ecologist who has stated the desperate damage associated with the CAS work.)
It begs the question, how much are you (the EPA) being paid to stay out of it and let the whole thing go unaddressed or maybe there is no direct benefit just pressure? I would also like to say that I appreciated the EPA's Mr Burke's time on the phone clarifying this closed shop of procedure. We collected samples yesterday anyway & saw breathless baby salmon. If you (the EPA) want to be seen as independent when the case is heard, perhaps you would be kind enough to analyze the samples. If not, it will be duly noted by the court and added to the list of unashamed coercion."I am sure you yourself are concerned, in your position in charge of Marine life etc. I know its a big topic but you must agree that a project only benefiting a few should not override care of the Environment or democracy. Please note that the Save Kilkenny page has now received 1000 likes and the petition was signed by over 9,000 people. Thanks a lot in advance for your support in sorting out this democratic process, I remember you are actively against the pylons and energy plan and I hope that means you have the same clarity about the plan for the Kilkenny Centre and its effect on the River Nore, which also provides the city's drinking water. Thanks again, Frances