Further to your recent article in reference to the Irish High Court's decision to quash the An Bord Plenala (government appeals board) decision to uphold the previous planning permission granted to RTP Co., I wish to make a couple of points that might bring some further clarity to your readers.
Firstly, the Court did not delay anything. It decided that the Appeals Board was in breach of European Union law. This being in its duty of assessment of the original granting for planning permission. Whilst there is an appeal procedure should RTP choose to take it, this in itself will take up to three to four years to run its course.
Your article makes mention of RTP's operations in Europe with its various plants. What it does not point out is RTP's miserable environmental track record, in its home base of America. At its Minnesota HQ alone, it has been fined by the Enivironmental Protection Agency for serious environmental breaches on many occasions over the past decade. The air quality within the region of its plant is often at the lowest level anywhere in the United States. Their plant in France recently suffered a catastrophic fire requiring over 50 [fire engines] to bring it under control, with material burning for 24 hours.
Your publication and your industry would do better to assist communities in rural areas who feel under considerable pressure to resist multimillion-dollar corporations like RTP that try to impose themselves in areas where there is no heavy industry and with no infrastructure or emergency services to deal with potential plastic polymer compounding fires. Note the RTP fire in France. Skibbereen has only one fire [engine] and with no specifically trained personnel and with other fire services some 50 kilometers distant.
You mention the 40 people job creation factor. This is wildly inaccurate. The RTP plant in Poland is approximately twice the size of the proposed RTP facility in Skibbereen, making the same products. RTP stated that the Polish factory will employ up to 25 people when it is fully operational. I will leave you to do the math. RTP has never qualified the status or technical educational standards required for operational staff.
Is it any wonder that 6,000 local people signed a petition against this RTP proposed project? With no EPA production monitoring required. With no Environmental Impact Assesment carried out. With 4-by-17.5-meter emission chimney stacks within meters of 100 homes, what care for the local community did the Cork County Council planning authority or RTP have? None is the simple answer.
Please tell the full story, the truthful story to your readers. Why not send a message of congratulations to the community of Skibbereen for stopping what would surely have been a public relations disaster for the European plastics industry.
Green Edge Sustainable Markets