Calls On Local Authority To Repair & Replace West Clare Asbestos Pipes Urgently

A Kilkee resident is calling on Clare County Council to repair and replace asbestos pipes in the area as a matter of urgency.

The dumping of the equipment at up to nine sites across West Clare first came to light in 2013, with a subsequent report stating that it arose because policies and procedures put in place by the local authority were not fully complied with.

Clare County Council now say they are further considering removing the material and disposing of it off site in a permitted facility, in conjunction with the Environmental Protection Agency.

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Kilkee resident PJ Linnane claims the ordeal is taking its toll on his mental and physical health.

Clare County Council gave the following statement:

Please attribute to Seán Lenihan, Senior Engineer, Clare County Council:

‘The situation arises from surplus spoil disposed of at various sites throughout West Clare some years ago, some of which contained broken sections of AC piping used extensively in the past in water main networks. Once the issue became known, Clare County Council dealt satisfactorily with the matter in terms of employing experts in this area, identifying the extent of the problem, removal of any large sections of waste pipe material, ground surveys, soil samples and the installation of cover material, fencing and signage as appropriate. At all stages, we have kept the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) informed of progress. On their advice, we carried out further surveys and assessments to ensure that we were fully informed in terms of the extent of the problem and the EPA are satisfied that, following the temporary works carried out by the Council, the sites, as are, do not pose a health or environmental risk. They will continue to be routinely monitored to ensure that this remains the case.

The longer-term options have now been identified and discussed with the EPA. These include permanently capping the material in-situ and/or removing the material entirely and disposing of same off site in a permitted facility. The preferred solution is the latter, and this option is being further considered. In terms of Budget 2021, the matter is referenced in the Section 135 report. This is a legacy issue going back over a number of years. The required funding to deal with the matter has been provided to date and future requirements will also be provided for. In terms of the amount of finance required, until we have developed the final remediation plan, the quantum is unknown at this stage.’