International Dioxin Developments

May 23, 2016 | Commercial Litigation | Complex Torts & Product Liability

Smoke from Landfill Fire in St. Maarten Reportedly Contained Dioxin

Smoke from an April fire at the landfill in St. Maarten reportedly contained dioxin.

The St. Maarten News reported that “toxic smoke” from the fire contained “dioxins,” which it characterized as “carcinogenic substances that could cause cancer.”

It noted that people living downwind from the fire had been advised to close their windows and doors.

Public Health Minister Emil Lee said in a statement that the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development, and Labor was “very much aware of the potentially negative impact that chemicals released into the air by the fire at the dump can have on the health of the population.”

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Iran Holds Conference on Environmental Pollutants

Iran has held its first conference on environmental pollutants.

The three day conference, in Tehran, had 13 workshops exploring monitoring and sampling issues. It was organized by Iran’s Department of Environment (“DoE”) and University of Tehran.

As noted in an article in the Tehran Times, the DoE’s deputy director, Sa’eed Motesaddi, said that, “Regular monitoring and sampling of pollutants indicates if we are succeeding in minimizing the pollutants or not or whether they are increasing or decreasing.” He added that Iran had “succeeded in decentralizing monitoring bodies.”

Iran has 29 new online river monitoring stations and a total of 188 air monitoring stations.

Mr. Motesaddi also pointed out that the country’s dust monitoring stations were “completed with 50 stations for monitoring particles smaller than 2.5 microns in diameter.” He added that the country now is “able to monitor 200 industrial units online and we are hoping to increase the number in the future.”

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Hearing Considers Indaver Proposal for Waste-to-Energy Facility in Ireland

Local officials have held a hearing to consider the proposal by waste management company Indaver Ireland to build a 240,000 ton waste-to-energy facility in Ringaskiddy, County Cork, Ireland.

The Proposal

Indaver has proposed to develop the facility, known as the Ringaskiddy Resource Recovery Center. If it comes to fruition, the facility would be Ireland’s first large scale waste-to-energy facility.

The Indaver proposal is for a waste-to-energy facility for the treatment of up to 240,000 tons per year of residual, household, commercial, and industrial non-hazardous and hazardous waste, which currently is landfilled or exported.

Of the 240,000 tons of waste, up to 24,000 tons per year of hazardous waste will be treated at the facility, according to Indaver’s proposal.

The company said that, in line with European Union and national policy, this residual waste would be diverted away from landfills and exports, moving the management of waste up the waste hierarchy and allowing Ireland to become more self-sufficient in the treatment of waste and reducing the environmental impact of residual waste management.

The company said that the proposed development would maximize the extraction and recovery of valuable material (in the form of ferrous and non-ferrous metals) and energy (in the form of 21 megawatts of electricity) resources from residual waste.

The Hearing

At the hearing, the company’s managing director, John Ahern, said, “We look forward to continuing our participation in the planning process being overseen by An Bord Pleanála. We are confident that our proposed development is fully in line with national, regional, and local waste management policy, as outlined in the National Spatial Strategy, the Southern Region Waste Management Plan, and the Cork County Development Plan. This policy position was recently endorsed by Cork County Council in its executive report to An Bord Pleanala.

“Cork produces approximately 200,000 ton of residual waste per annum, most of which is sent to waste management facilities throughout the country or exported abroad. In our view, it’s time Cork had access to a locally based waste-to-energy facility in order to deal with its own waste.”

One speaker reportedly said at the hearing that, for “failsafe” accountability, “continuous live online measurement and control of dioxin emissions is essential.”

A decision on Indaver’s application is expected in July.

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Colombia to Use Glyphosate to Eradicate Coca

Colombia has said that it will manually apply glyphosate to destroy its coca crops, which are used to make cocaine.

According to published reports, the country’s defense minister has said that manual application of the chemical could be done “in a way that doesn’t contaminate, which is the same way that it’s applied in any normal agricultural project.”

Colombia prohibited the use of glyphosate after the World Health Organization stated that it is a potential carcinogen.

The U.S. government has found that coca production increased in Colombia in 2014 and 2015, after six consecutive years of declining or steady production.

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