An Taisce confirms objection to ‘revised licence’ for Lough Ree Power Station

Plans by ESB to re-open the Lough Ree Power Station in Lanesboro have been curbed this week after An Taisce indicated its intention to object to the licence determination that was issued in recent days by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in respect of the plant.

Close to 150 Bord na Móna jobs came under threat after the power station in Lanesboro, Co. Longford, was closed on Friday, July 5, by ESB when the EPA initiated legal proceedings because it deemed the temperature of cooling water – being discharged from the facility into the River Shannon – to be too high.

In the meantime, Bord na Móna announced that as a direct result of the shutdown it was being forced to lay off a large number of workers, including 78 seasonal workers and 72 permanent staff.

Towards the end of July over 300 people participated in a protest over the job losses.

The event saw the workers, their families and members of the south Longford community march through the main street of Lanesboro, where Bord na Móna has been a fixture for over 60 years.

Also Read: EPA proposes guidelines that may lift suspension on Lough Ree Power Station

Last week, the EPA indicated that a licence would be revised if there were no objections lodged in respect of the matter.

In a statement to AgriLand, Ian Lumley of An Taisce said the existing permission for peat burning expires in December 2020.

The EPA Licence determination does not address the lack of environmental impact assessment for the continuing extraction of peat.

He continued: “There are serious issues also raised by the warm water discharge from the plant, particularly at a period when river flow levels are low, as occurred with the early summer 2018 drought.”

Meanwhile, ESB said it would “reflect” on the developments.

ESB notes the decision by the EPA with regard to Lough Ree Power Station.

A spokesperson for the ESB added: “We will now take time to reflect on the decision and its associated conditions; we will make no further comment on the matter at this time.”

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