Cockburn Cement: residents can have say on licence renawal for Munster company

PEOPLE wanting to have their say on Cockburn Cement’s licence renewal application have until next Monday to do so.

The Munster company’s licence was due to expire at the end of March but was extended to June 30 to enable the Department of Environment Regulation (DER) to finish looking over the findings of an ambient air quality study.

In her submission to the DER, Munster resident and Stop Cockburn Cement spokeswoman Sarah Jane said she wanted the company to be monitored more tightly.

“Cockburn Cement has had sufficient time to work out how to control dust so that it doesn’t encroach on neighbouring residents,” she said.

“Offsite odour and dust emissions are constant.”

She also called for more transparency with reports and for an overhaul of the complaints register.

The battle between Cockburn Cement and the surrounding community has been ongoing for years, with the company spending significant money to address concerns.

That included a $46 million spend on dust filters for two lime kilns.

Community complaints to the DER relating to dust, odour, noise and other issues believed to be linked to the facility had been on the decline over the last few years.

In 2011, 334 complaints were made. That dropped to 68 in 2014.

However, things have picked up, with 49 complaints made so far in 2016.

The DER was sought for comment, with a spokesman saying it was inappropriate for DER to pre-empt the outcome of the licence process while it was being considered.

A spokeswoman for Cockburn Cement returned the same.