Serious threat to the Clare River, Tuam Galway

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AndrewR
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Serious threat to the Clare River, Tuam Galway

Post by AndrewR » Mon Jan 23, 2012 6:55 pm

At the GalwayFest event the farmer came up us to let us know he was on a objection committee who are against the construction of a sewage and slurry pipeline which will dump a huge amount of raw sewage and dead animal parts directly into the Clare river just upstream of the hugely popular freestyle feature. If this come to fruition it will make the water too toxic to use. Planning permission was put in on the 20th of December. This means legally we only have 5-6 more days to object to this proposal.

Losing Tuam would be a huge blow to the kayaking community, what do people reckon is the best course of action to get people to prevent this happening, petitions, negative media coverage.

Adrian, chairperson of IFS is going to bring this to CI's attention, and they will hopefully submit an objection.

Any other advice people can give would be appreciated.

dermo99
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Re: Serious threat to the Clare River, Tuam Galway

Post by dermo99 » Mon Jan 23, 2012 7:03 pm

Andrew,

Someone from Sligo club dropped us an email last night on this also, first I had heard. I went digging this morning and found some info on County Council web site to pass around to few others to see if they had any knowledge / feedback.

I did think it seemed to be downriver of the hole, but then I normally depend on GPS rather than map reading skills ...

++++++++++++++++

Dug around and found this earlier this morning.
http://www.galway.ie/ViewPlanningDocume ... fNo=111729

Looking at the map the proposed site seems to be downriver of the hole, behind / beside the co-op area where we generally park and change?
http://www.galway.ie/ViewPlanningDocume ... ef=1765530

Several local residents have objections in already.

AndrewR
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Re: Serious threat to the Clare River, Tuam Galway

Post by AndrewR » Mon Jan 23, 2012 9:05 pm

I was just going on second-hand information which was passed to me. Upstream or downstream, I still think that we should help the local residents protect the river.

MikeS
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Re: Serious threat to the Clare River, Tuam Galway

Post by MikeS » Mon Jan 23, 2012 9:44 pm

Hi Guys,
The planning permission is for the construction of a Biogas Plant downstream from the hole. I don't think that they will be dumping any raw sewage or animal parts into the river. I know that the OPW and EPA monitor the river quality here regularly and the data can be seen on their websites, i think this is due to the local industrial area, though they do this for nearly every waterway in the country.

I know very little about Biogas but i do know that it uses sugar beet as one of its main sources and this will be built on the same site as where the old sugar beet factory was for years, which as far as i know did not have any affect on the river quality.

I know there is some local objection to the facility but this often happens in rural areas when something new arrives, i'm sure there are alot of more qualified enviromental people who kayak who would have more info on this type of industry. May be someone has already done a study on these plants to see the actual impact they have on the enviroment. This plant will produce 85% of Tuam power and we need to get our power from someplace. Hydro is clean but would we be happy if they dammed the river.

I guess all i'm saying is have alittle more info on the subject and type of plant before objecting rather than going on locals opinions.

My two cents

EoinH
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Re: Serious threat to the Clare River, Tuam Galway

Post by EoinH » Fri Feb 03, 2012 12:48 pm

I want to second what Mike has said in terms of finding out the facts and considering alternatives before jumping into the NIMBY camp. There is very tight regulation in place now concerning what can be discharged into our rivers. The EC have driven the EPA to enforce tighter controls on river water quality in the country in the past decade.

If you want to know some more about what can and cannot be discharged to waterways it would be worthwhile reading the EPA website or even calling them with your queries. Alternatively you can call the local authority's environment department also as they will know more about the project.

AndrewR
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Re: Serious threat to the Clare River, Tuam Galway

Post by AndrewR » Mon Feb 06, 2012 7:38 pm

Received this, and have typed it our word for word.

Tuam Biogas Concern Group:

A recent planning application has been lodged with Galway County Council to build a bio waste digester within a half a kilometre of tuam on the BallyGaddy road. This digester uses waste products such as sewage treatment sludge, meat factory slaughterhouse waste and farm slurry mixed with brown bin waste and other rotting organic food to create Methane gas which in turn can be burned off to turn turbines to generate electricity.

There are serious consequences for the town and surrounding areas within miles if this project goes ahead. Sadly it is in the interest of the Galway County Council to pass this planning because:
1) Galway County Council and other county councils have a serious problem trying to get rid of sewage sludge and other brown bin waste.
2) Meat factories have a serious problem trying to get rid of slaughterhouse waste such as cow bellies and blood.
3) Farmers need to legally dispose of surplus slurry.
4) Food processing factories need to dump their waste.

Residents strongly object for the following reasons:
1) There will be foul smells and toxic gases from the plant which will travel for miles in all directions across the town.
2) Odour and spillage from trucks carrying sewage and animal waste through the streets of Tuam to the plant would be horrendous.
3) As it is located by the Clare River the potential water egress from this plant and its storage facilities could contaminate the river and the Corrib into which it feeds. The trout and salmon stocks would be wiped out and drinking water could be affected.
4)Fall in value of property within miles of the plant, due to foul smelling odours and toxins in the air.
5)Likelihood of expansionof the plant would bring greater volumes of waste from other sources in the future.
6) There will be an extra 2000 20ton trucks a year delivering to the plant which will impact the traffic and the roads.

tiernan
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Re: Serious threat to the Clare River, Tuam Galway

Post by tiernan » Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:59 pm

Thats a whole lot of opinion there, any citations/ references to go with it?

EoinH
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Re: Serious threat to the Clare River, Tuam Galway

Post by EoinH » Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:50 pm

That letter really shows that the local group really could do with some expert advice on the project. It is always difficult to allay these kinds of fears but I have spent the past few months studying anaerobic digestors and biogas generation and a modern facility is I think, a safe, reliable source of renewable energy. With current design practices and stringent regulation there is a negligble impact on the environment. The increased traffic volume is probably the largest impact the project will have.

If anything such a project will improve environmental quality as farm, food and wastewater sludge will no longer be spread on land or dumped elsewhere. There is still a small volume of residue which must go to landfill from the digestor. I will look into this project a bit more over the coming weeks. Thanks for the info Andrew.

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