International Dioxin Developments

February 16, 2017 | Commercial Litigation | Complex Torts & Product Liability

Decision on Cork Harbour Incinerator Expected by March 22

The authorities reviewing a proposal for a €160 million municipal and hazardous waste incinerator in Cork Harbour, Ireland, are expected to issue a decision by March 22.

Background

Indaver, which is a waste management company, submitted an application to An Bord Pleanála, the Cork County governing council, to develop a waste-to-energy facility in Cork. The facility will be a sister site to Indaver’s waste management facility in Meath. Indaver’s proposal for Cork County is to develop a 240,000 tonnes-per-annum waste-to-energy incinerator facility for the treatment of household, commercial, industrial, non-hazardous, and suitable hazardous waste.

According to Indaver, the incinerator facility would generate approximately 18.5 megawatts (“MW”) of electricity for export to the national electrical grid. The company said that this would be enough to supply the power needs of approximately 30,000 households.

Status of Proposal

The government’s decision on whether to approve the proposed incinerator now is expected to be issued by March 22.

A local opponent of the project was mentioned in a news report as complaining about an error by Indaver relating to dioxin levels that would result from operation of the incinerator. Community members have opposed the plan for the incinerator plan for more than a dozen years.

In a recent statement, Indaver said, “Waste-to-energy supports high-quality recycling by treating polluted and complex waste, thereby keeping harmful substances out of the circular economy, and it transforms residual waste into sustainable energy, residual waste which would otherwise be consigned to landfill.

“Waste-to-energy goes hand in hand with high levels of recycling . . . countries such as Sweden, Belgium, and Denmark have very low rates of landfill and very high recycling rates supported by energy recovery.”

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Some South Korean Stores Stop Selling Pampers Baby Dry Diapers After Dioxin Report

Retailers in South Korea reportedly have been removing Pampers Baby Dry Diapers from their stores following a French report that the diapers contained dioxin.

A French consumer publication claimed that it had detected 0.000533 pg TEQ/g of dioxin – approximately 1/188th the level permitted for baby products in Europe.

According to a news report, several South Korean retailers subsequently decided to pull the product from their stores.

The Korean Agency for Technology and Standards has said that it would investigate the safety of the diapers. “We will investigate if there are actually toxic chemicals, and if so, how dangerous they are,” an agency official was quoted as saying. There are no formal guidelines on dioxin in diapers, the official acknowledged. “As for the level of danger for dioxin, there are rules only on emissions,” the official said. “There has to be negotiations on detection.”

A spokesperson for Procter & Gamble, the manufacturer of the diapers, was quoted as denying the French magazine’s allegations. “We don’t know how those tests were conducted. What we can say for certain is that those compounds were never used intentionally in our products. Even the amounts that the French tests claim were detected are at an extremely minute and harmless level.”

According to a news report, diapers are tested for 19 chemicals in South Korea, not including dioxin or the compounds hexachlorobenzene and pentachloronitrobenzene that the magazine claimed were found in the diapers.

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Dioxin Abatement System Now in Operation at ABS Steelworks Plant in Italy

A dioxin abatement system developed by Danieli Environment and More now is in operation at the fume treatment plant of ABS steelworks in Italy.

The system, Danieli said in a statement, was capable of keeping dioxin (“PCDD-F”) values permanently below 0.1 ng-TEQ/Nm3.

Danieli said that the installed activated carbon injection system was made out of two storage silos (each of 65 cubic meters) with independent dosing units, two injection systems installed on board of each exhaust fume line, and automation.

The company added that it complied with ATEX directives. It explained that the use of adsorbents (e.g. activated carbon, pulverized activated lignite coke, or mixtures of these with lime) controlled the emissions of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (“PCDDs”) and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (“PCDFs”) in fumes sampled at the stack.

For further information, please contact James V. Aiosa, Paul V. Majkowski, Lawrence S. Han, or your regular Rivkin Radler attorney.

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