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Minister Coveney welcomes €40M package to clean up Haulbowline Site

The Cabinet has today signed off on a €40 million package to begin the clean-up of the former Ispat site on Haulbowline Island. Minister for Agriculture, Marine and Food Simon Coveney TD sought approval for the package at this morning's Cabinet meeting.

"Despite the difficult economic conditions, we have set aside €40m over the next two years to clean up this site. This is a strong signal of intent - a strong statement that we are serious about tacking this issue". Minister Coveney said the Government had a legal obligation to put a proper framework around how the site is managed. "It is in all our interest that a solution is found for the former Ispat site and I am determined to ensure that there are no further delays in finding a solution". Mr Coveney volunteered earlier this year to chair a working group involving government departments and Cork County Council, who have already met to examine the Haulbowline site. "I have already had consultations with many of the stakeholders holders involved and will continue to engage actively as the project progresses".

The Cabinet has approved the setting aside of €20m in the 2012 budget and €20m in the 2013 budget to tackle the site on Haulbowline island.

Note to Editors

  • The European Commission have directed that the licensing status of the Ispat site needs to be regularised. The Commission took a case to the European Court of Justice and therefore there is a need for urgent demonstrable progress on this issue to avoid Ireland's referral to the European Court of Justice for the imposition of fines.
  • Cork County Council has agreed to facilitate an application for a land fill licence for the East Tip, on Haulbowline Island.
  • Over the coming months the working group will be liaising with the EPA in agreeing on the optimum solution for the clean of the Ispat site.

Date Released: 04 October 2011