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Council responds to plastic pollution incident at Sandycove & Forty Foot coastline

Date 
Saturday, November 3, 2018
Location 
dlr County

STATEMENT Saturday 3 November 1400

Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council received complaints on Friday 2 November with regards to a reported plastic pollution incident at the Forty Foot coastline & Sandycove beach area as a result of works by SIAC/Mantovani Group at the Council’s Dun Laoghaire Baths project. 

SIAC commenced an immediate clean up operation on Friday afternoon continuing into Saturday with 40 of their operatives on site. These operatives have been assisted by Council crews in their work in order to expedite the operation and the Council will recover these costs from SIAC. It is expected that this clean-up will continue throughout the day and weekend.  The primary objective at the current time is to minimise the impact of the plastic on the local area.  The Council also wants to thank the public who notified us and those who have voluntarily assisted in the clean up efforts. 

SIAC has informed the Council that they have immediately co-opted a specialist third party environmental firm to help them assess and mitigate the affects of the pollution. They have further advised that the plastic strips used in the concrete setting works are chemically inactive and do not pose a damage to water quality. A temporary halt has been placed on the concrete pouring works. However, as a precautionary measure the Council are having bathing water samples analysed, results of which will be publicly available. Notices are in place advising bathers and beach users of the situation.  

All relevant authorities, including the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Parks & Wildlife Service, were advised of this incident by the Council yesterday afternoon and, aside from the clean up operation, the Council and it's agency colleagues continue to closely monitor the developing situation.   

The Council takes its statutory and moral responsibilities as guardians of the local & wider environment very seriously. We are keenly aware of the potential impact that this plastic pollution event could have on local marine and foreshore ecosystems.   While an initial investigation is already underway we have demanded a full report and investigation from SIAC on the exact cause of this plastic pollution event.

We will be in ongoing contact with SIAC over the weekend and will both assist and monitor the SIAC cleanup. We will be cooperating fully with all relevant agencies including the EPA in any further investigation into this damaging environment incident. 

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