Wednesday, 31 May 1995
Dáil Éireann Debate
108. Mr. Sargent asked the Minister for the Marine if he will make representations to the British Government over its plans to dump 100 tonnes of toxic and radioactive sludge off the Donegal coast as it is unacceptable to use the north-west Atlantic as a toxic sewer. [10053/95]
Minister for the Marine (Mr. Barrett): We have been notified by the Secretariat to the Oslo Convention for the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping from Ships and Aircraft that the UK authorities propose to permit the dumping at sea in the north west Atlantic of a redundant offshore oil installation. Under that convention, such installations may be dumped at sea in accordance with its provisions. Basically these provisions allow for such dumping provided they do not have a negative impact on the marine environment.
 We have concerns in relation to the proposed dumping. These relate to possible presence within the installation of PCBs, toxic substance, oily sludge and radioactive sludge. We are in communication with the UK authorities seeking clarification on these matters. We would obviously be very concerned if such substances were dumped at sea.
We are also anxious that the general rules governing the dumping of offshore installations be reviewed and intend raising this matter in consultation with other contracting parties at the next Oslo Commission meeting in June. Accordingly we have suggested to the UK authorities that they consider postponing the proposed dumping operation pending the outcome of the commission meeting.
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