Dublin City Council’s Shannon Water Abstraction Project – The Facts

On 31 May 2006, Dublin City Council produced a Strategic Environmental Assessment of the Greater Dublin Water Supply (Major Source Development).

The City Council’s consultants (RPS) recommended water abstraction on a huge, unsustainable scale (600 million litres per day) from the River Shannon as the chosen option, despite identifying almost 60 adverse effects on the Shannon and its lakes. It is curious, that in the exact same time frame, the consultancy working most closely with RPS (Veolia Water) recommended to Thames Water, the privatised agency which supplies water to the Greater London Area, as well as to the British Government and to the Australian Government that desalination for both London and Melbourne was the answer to maintaining water supplies for these cities into the future.

For reasons never explained, the consultants identified and designated all of the Greater Dublin Area local Authorities (Dublin City Council, South Dublin County Council, Fingal County Council and Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council) as primary, major stakeholders on the Shannon. In addition, Wicklow, Kildare and Meath County Councils were added to the stakeholder list. This was an act of incredible arrogance, and it would make as much sense for Cavan, Clare, Leitrim, Longford and Tipperary to decree themselves to be major stakeholders on the Liffey. The Dublin City Authorities have no traditional, legal, moral or riparian right to claim any jurisdiction over the River Shannon.

In April 2007 the River Shannon Protection Alliance (RSPA) was established to oppose this ludicrous proposal. We recruited two of Ireland’s foremost experts on hydrology and ecosystems to research the proposed project on our behalf (the CVs of both experts are appended). Financing of our reports was provided by public donations,  sponsorship and fundraising; while the multiple millions spent by Dublin City Council and its consultants fell as a burden on the Irish Taxpayer, without his or her knowledge or consent. We find it strange, that despite requesting the CV’s of the experts who worked on behalf of Dublin City Council, they have refused, neglected or failed to provide this information over a four year period!

During the past three years, our experts (Jack O’Sullivan, Environmental Scientist, and Dr Paul Johnson, Hydrologist at the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, Trinity College, Dublin) have produced three detailed reports which confirm that the entire project proposed by Dublin City Council and its consultants is totally unsustainable and should not be entertained at any level.

A summary of their very exhaustive and comprehensive reports is provided in the following pages, and it is an  absolute fact that not one of their findings or conclusions has been challenged by either Dublin City Council or its consultants.

The reasons why Dublin’s proposed plundering of the Shannon should be strongly opposed are as follows:

The entire plan is in absolute contravention of the EU Water Framework Directive because of a total lack of public consultation and because of the project promoter’s failure to address the many adverse effects of the proposed abstraction. This is despite the fact that the consultants to the project identified some 62 adverse effects.

In five years, neither Dublin City Council nor RPS consultants have called a meeting to which the general public has been invited to make submissions. This level of consultation is an absolute requirement of the EU Water Framework Directive.

In the publication “Water Matters”, published by the Department of the Environment in 2007, all of the stakeholder counties on the River Shannon are designated and identified. None of the four Dublin Local Authorities are included, and neither is Wicklow or Kildare. Furthermore, in all publications on the Shannon River Basin District, the stakeholder counties are clearly identified and these do not include the Dublin Local Authorities.

The Shannon River Basin District includes a portion of County Fermanagh in the North of Ireland which drains  underground to the Shannon Pot; and the Rivers Shannon and Erne are also linked by the Shannon-Erne Canal. Any major diversion of the River Shannon’s waters will inevitably have consequences for water systems in County Fermanagh and in the Erne River Basin. Despite this obvious link, Dublin City Council has continuously and arrogantly denied any requirement to discuss its plans with the appropriate authorities in the North – an attitude which conflicts with the policy and practice of developing and maintaining cross-border relationships.

Large scale water abstraction increases the incidence of blue-green algal blooms, a known carcinogen, which has been conveniently ignored by Dublin City Council and its consultants. In the summer of 2009, an algal bloom killed 10,000 birds in Washington and Oregon. Do we need to increase the risk of cancer incidence in the Midlands, South and Southwest to accommodate Dublin City Council’s greed?

Our environmental scientist, Jack O’Sullivan, and our hydrologist, Dr Paul Johnson, have both concluded in a major study, which has been updated three times, that the project is totally unsustainable.

Any significant fall in water levels throughout the Shannon catchment area will bring about the swift, total, and irreversible decline of tourism, leisure activities, angling, agriculture, hotel and accommodation interests, and the Shannon’s fragile ecology will be damaged to such an extent that it will never recover, even if the water abstraction were to be discontinued!

All feeder streams, which are the spawning grounds for nearly all fish life, will be dry in a matter of months.

There is no fall-back strategy in existence, should our worst fears be realized, as they inevitably will. Dublin City Council, as the lead authority promoting the water abstraction scheme, has refused to concede a shutdown of the pipeline if the damage to the River Shannon becomes apparent. (How can you cut off the water supply to one million people?).

Dublin City Council has failed to address the daily loss of more than 300 million litres of water from its own water supply and distribution network, an amount which is almost equivalent to what it intends to plunder from the Shannon for Dublin’s use.

If this ludicrous plan were to proceed, it would signal the end of all development in the towns and villages located on the Shannon; e.g., Carrick-on-Shannon, Roosky, Lanesboro, Dromod, Athlone, Limerick, etc.; and would further compromise water supplies into the future for all of these villages, towns and cities.

Dublin City Council has decided on the Lough Derg option on the grounds of costs, but has not factored in the cost of the destruction that will be suffered by the one million people resident in the Shannon Catchment Area.

In Lough Derg, there is the added risk of destroying the value and interest of its Special Area of Conservation, its Natural Heritage Areas and its Special Protection Areas, designated at national and European levels.

On-going climate change, which is predicted to greatly affect the security of water supplies into the future, will not be confined to the east coast; and the agencies which control water supplies will become all-powerful, a reality of which Dublin City Council is very well aware!

Our consultants are quite correct in stating that Dublin City Council gratuitously ignored the exploration of all other options for providing water into the future and went for the soft option jugular of commandeering the Shannon for its own private use.

Domestic water-metering will soon become a reality; and, if we are not careful, we will find ourselves paying Dublin City Council or their agents for water which doesn’t belong to them.

Cork gets 90% of its water supply from groundwater, and in Dublin North and Fingal there is a high yielding aquifer stretching over four counties; but Dublin City Council has completely ignored this source in its Strategic  Environmental Assessment.

Based on British and European water pricing statistics, the commercial value of the amount of water that Dublin City Council intends to abstract from the Shannon is calculated at €255 million every year. If we discovered gold, platinum, diamonds or oil in the Shannon Basin, would we permit the Dublin City bureaucrats to come and take it off our hands? What we have in the River Shannon is far more precious than these: the precious commodity of pure water is the scarcest and now the most valuable commodity on earth.

General Issues Associated with the Project

The Bord na Móna Dimension

After being routed at Lough Ree, Dublin City Council’s consultants decided that they needed a fall guy to make the sell of this insane project a little easier. Enter Bord na Móna! A dying dinosaur in need of another finite resource to destroy — as this agency has done to our peatlands nationwide. Ironically, the biggest polluter on the River Shannon for fifty years now has a plan to provide the nation with water. The Chief Executive, Mr Gabriel Darcy, pointed to the success of his company last year with over 2,000 employees and a net profit of €12m. Not quite so! Consider the PSO levy;

“The Public Service Obligation (PSO) levy is imposed through a levy originally introduced by the then Minister for Public Enterprise. This levy is imposed by the Government on all final electricity customers regardless of their supplier and is shown as a separate item on electricity bills. It is designed to recover the additional costs associated with electricity from specified sources of generation, including sustainable, renewable and indigenous sources”.

In 2010, the PSO levy cost the taxpayer €195 million, €90 million of which went to subsidise the hugely loss-making enterprise of generating electricity from peat-fired stations. In every case the ESB and other providers had to be compensated for the fanciful extravagances of Bord na Móna. In reality, or the real world, Bord na Móna made a nominal profit of €12m and a real loss of €90m, which amounts to a net loss of €78m.

If Bord na Mona tried to operate without the taxpayer support of the PSO levy, it would wind up operations in under three months, as recommended in the An Bord Snip Nua report, prepared under the chairmanship of UCD economist Colm McCarthy in July 2009. An Bord Snip Nua reported that Bord na Móna is a semi- state gone mad. In the same year Mr Darcy told his own staff that “the deficit was so big that once existing pensioners were paid there would be sufficient funds to pay the pensions of only one third of the 300 staff when they retire, even if Bord na Mona puts in €25m.” Bord na Móna is costing the taxpayer a fortune because of its subsidised inefficiency, and yet it presumes itself capable of running a national water utility.

Mr. Gabriel Darcy goes on to tell us about 1,000 temporary jobs in Offaly and maybe 100 permanent jobs afterwards maintaining his wonderful peatland eco-park. If the suggested €540 million were to be invested in Dublin in fixing leaks in the system and retro-fitting households to conserve all the potable water that is wasted in washing machines, sinks and toilets, showers and garden hoses, at €35k per head it would create 500 jobs for at least twenty years. To make matters even more extraordinary, the planned eco-park must also serve as a seasonal reservoir for the water to be temporarily stored while on its way from the River Shannon to Dublin.

A storage reservoir must necessarily experience very significant fluctuations in water level, with the result that the impoundments will sometimes be full, and at other times could be nearly empty. These highly variable water levels will not provide the type of habitat to attract wildlife or human visitors. And even if tourists were to visit the proposed artificial lakes, what would they see, and where is the transport network to facilitate them? The State, i.e., the taxpayer, would be drawn into funding the infrastructure of roads, rail services and car parks which presently do not exist.

As a native of Leitrim, Mr. Darcy knows that in Ireland we already have the three finest Eco-Parks in Europe with the necessary infrastructure and services in position, including a road and rail network, and the attendant hospitality and service industries. These three Eco-Parks are called Lough Allen, Lough Ree and Lough Derg, and the businesses which provided services to tourists around these lakes are struggling hugely to survive. The importance of these lakes, as examples of varied and unique habitats and as tourist attractions has long been recognised; and as recently as July 2011 the National Parks and Wildlife Service announced its intention of designating Lough Ree as a Special Protection Area (SPA), in accordance with the EU Birds Directive (2009/147/EC), because of its high importance for wintering and breeding birds.

In other countries, wildlife designations can become the basis for significant eco-tourism, the fastest growing tourist activity in Europe. Ireland needs this type of sustainable tourism, not least because anyone who journeys from Sligo to Carrick- on-Shannon, Dromod to Roosky, Lanesboro to Glasson and Athlone, to Ballinasloe and Birr, or from Nenagh to Limerick, will see the devastation that has been caused to the hotel and hospitality sector generally. What person in his or her right senses would risk any more destruction to the tourism sector by risking the future of the majestic River Shannon?

The role of the ESB

We are told that Dublin City Council and the ESB have already agreed compensation terms for loss of power generation at Ardnacrusha. The implications of this secret arrangement are sinister and ominous!

It is a fact that at the mouth of the Murray Darling River in Australia a permanent multi-million dollar dredging operation is necessary because large-scale water abstraction has rendered this great river incapable of scouring the estuary, with the result that the port is in danger of becoming silted up unless continuously dredged.

In the case of the proposed abstraction from the River Shannon, there has been no evaluation of the risk of increasing build up of silt deposits in the river at Limerick Docks. This area, particularly around the entrance to the Ted Russell Dock, is prone to siltation, and depends on the scouring action of the river flow to keep it relatively silt free. Any decrease in the river flow could lead to increased siltation, an additional need for dredging the navigable channel, and could even threaten the future of the port of Limerick. It is a matter of considerable concern that Dublin City Council and its consultants have undertaken no research to determine the effects of the proposed abstraction on silt accumulation and silt movement at the head of the Shannon Estuary around Limerick City and further downstream.

RPS, on its own website, makes the claim that the ESB has agreed to reduce the existing water-head for power  generation at Ardnacrusha to facilitate the massive abstraction of water for the capital. This will not in any way serve to counteract the risk of siltation around Limerick Docks, and may even increase that risk, with the consequent danger of Limerick becoming a less viable port, and the attendant loss of associated revenue and jobs.

Conclusions

Dublin City Council, in its arrogance, has presumed itself to be more important than the rest of the country, and that its interests should take precedence over all other considerations. We in the River Shannon Protection Alliance do not agree, nor do we stand in awe of Dublin City Council or any other entity.

The Shannon and its tributaries have been the source of life to countless billions of life forms since the last ice-age. The onus is on us to preserve, protect and enhance our majestic river for ourselves and future generations. In this  endeavour we need the leadership and commitment of our democratically elected politicians, such as we have in the Shannonside Counties at present.

If any TD, Senator or member of a Local Authority believes that what is being proposed is unjust, then he or she should oppose this injustice or become, by inaction, a covert party to that injustice, and a facilitator of it.

Dublin City Council and RPS

From the Sunday Business Post, 10 January 2010; By John Burke, Public Affairs Correspondent

The High Court has severely criticised the four Dublin councils (Fingal, South Dublin, Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown and Dublin City), for ‘‘massaging’’ key reports into Dublin’s waste policy for controlling the supply of waste to the Poolbeg incinerator which was designed to influence the outcome of a review. The Court said that one of the country’s leading engineering firms changed a number of draft reports to suit the stance of the Councils.

The report formed the basis for the Councils’ subsequent justification to vary the capital’s waste policy. However, this variation was quashed by Mr. Justice Liam McKechnie in a recent ruling. In his full judgment, which has been obtained by The Sunday Business Post, McKechnie said the reports contained comments written by the Councils, indicating which parts of earlier drafts were acceptable to them.

The Councils then instructed their consultants to either delete or re-word those parts ‘‘that would not have supported the Councils’ position’’. Mr Justice McKechnie singled out Matt Twomey, the Dublin assistant city manager, who is in charge of waste policy, for criticism, saying he was fully aware of the massaging of the reports.

“Such massaging of reports, which were later, in their edited versions, released publicly, is a strong indicator to me of unacceptable influence in a process supposedly carried out in the public interest,” McKechnie said in his judgment. The consultancy company which to date has been paid more than €20million of taxpayers money for this project alone, and who altered, deleted and materially changed the reports to suit the Council’s position, was RPS.

JUDGMENT of Mr. Justice William M. McKechnie delivered on the 21st day of December, 2009

Neurendale Ltd t/a Panda Waste Services -v- Dublin City Council & Others; High Court Record

Number: 2008 420 JR

“26.

During, and as part of the above process, there was some direct engagement between Mr. Twomey and representatives of Panda. One such meeting occurred on 13th March 2007. It is alleged, and in fact not now denied, that Mr. Twomey informed the applicant that: (i) it was his intention to stop private operators collecting domestic waste in the Dublin region; (ii) that he would do everything in his power to ensure that this took place; (iii) that he had never intended private operators should be able to collect such waste; (iv) that its existing permit did not allow Panda to collect that type of waste; and (v) that the permit review process would be used to ensure that Panda and/or other private operators did not collect such waste from the Dublin region. Arising out of this, Dublin City Council, on 26th March 2007, was asked in writing if its intention all along was to ensure that no private collector would collect domestic waste in the Dublin region. The reply asserted that this was an incorrect description of the above discussions and that no indication of the review outcome, then taking place, had been given. The Council was pressed to say what aspects of the above allegations were erroneous. In particular it was noted again that Mr. John Dunne of Panda Waste and Mr. Jim O’Callaghan of O’Callaghan Moran Environmental Consultants recollected that Mr. Twomey had informed them of the above matters at the aforesaid meeting which at his insistence was formally on record. The fact of this meeting and the representations thereat, as stated, were set out on affidavit by the said Messrs. Dunne and O’Callaghan in these proceedings. It is not now disputed that these statements were made by Mr. Twomey.”

“141. As is evident from what I have previously stated, I cannot agree with any of the arguments advanced to support objective justification or efficiencies which may otherwise have provided a defence to the respondents’ actions. Further, I would add that the intentions of the respondents are irrelevant for the purpose of my findings in relation to s. 5, the abuse being judged objectively. The respondents, therefore, in my opinion have abused their dominant position:  i) By virtue of the finding that the Variation is an agreement or concerted practice contrary to s. 4 CA 2002; and/or,  ii) Because the Variation would substantially influence the structure of the market to the detriment of competition and a fortiori the consumer; and /or,   iii) Because the Variation would significantly strengthen the position of the respondents on the market.”

“175. I would further note that in the course of the hearing a number of draft reports, prepared by Dr. Francis O’Toole and RPS, were handed up to the Court. The drafts of the former contained comments written by the respondents indicating which parts of earlier drafts were acceptable to them and either deleting or re-wording those parts which would not have supported their position. There were also e-mail references to meetings with the authors of these reports as well as notes of some meetings (including 31/01/07) which would indicate that the findings of the reports were a foregone conclusion. Whether or not the City Managers were aware of this fact is, in my opinion, immaterial: Mr. Twomey certainly was. Such massaging of reports, which were later, in their edited versions, released publicly, is a strong indicator, to me, of unacceptable influence in a process, supposedly carried out in the public interest, and further elucidates a high level of prejudgment in the decision to vary the WMP.”

The issue of the future of the River Shannon and its future must be one of trust; and Dublin City Council and its consultants have damaged that trust.

Dublin City Council, through its agents RPS, tried by falsifying written reports, to commandeer the collection and disposal of refuse in the Greater Dublin Area to feed its twin facilities of the incinerator at Ringshead and its superdump at Lusk- Nevitt. Their attempts however were discovered by Justice William M. McKechnie and since neither Dublin City Council nor RPS appealed his decision it must be construed that these entities accepted the ruling and veracity of the Justice. The attempted massive deception was motivated purely by financial considerations. It is also true to say that Dublin City Council is at present a net exporter of water to neighbouring counties generating in the region of €25million in 2009. It must be concluded therefore that the prime motivation for the attempted diversion of the River Shannon is to hugely expand the Council’s water sales business.

Having considered this attempted massive fraud, should we trust these same two entities with the future of the greatest asset in this country today? Make your own mind up!

During the recent establishment of a branch of the River Shannon Protection Alliance in London, Mr. P.J. Walsh, PRO, discussed the judgement of Mr Justice McKechnie with a Queen’s Counsel of some standing. In his (Counsel’s) opinion, were the same events to occur in one of the London Boroughs, the city official in question would be suspended indefinitely, without salary, pending a full sworn enquiry, to be carried out by the Borough itself, the Department of the Environment and Scotland Yard. Were the case against the city official proven, he would inevitably face both civil and criminal charges. The same procedure would apply to the consultancy firm, and if the company were found to be  acting unethically or in breach of proper procedures, the company in question would be prohibited from tendering for any publicly-funded project in the future !

Dublin City Council has conveniently ignored the massive and irreversible damage that has been caused worldwide by water abstraction on an unsustainable level. These decisions have always been politically motivated to satisfy powerful interests groups such as DCC. Never have the powerful interests been able to rectify the damage, once done. The Rio Grande, the Jordan, the Yellow River, the Murray Darling and the Yangtze Kiang are among the rivers which are so damaged by water abstraction that they can never be restored.

Tragic examples of the effects of water abstraction

Worldwide

The Rio Grande

For the first time, in February 2001, the water of the Rio Grande failed to reach the Gulf of Mexico. You could drive a car across the beach between Mexico and the United States. The sand bar that was the river lasted for five months and the same has happened every year since. The original proposal to abstract water from the Rio Grande had no cap on the amount, as the river was deemed inexhaustable.

Both the USA and Mexican Governments now agree that 500 miles of the lower Rio Grande is now doomed forever.

A World without Water

The world is running out of its most precious resource. True Vision’s timely film tells of the personal tragedies behind the mounting privatisation of water supplies. More than a billion people across the globe don’t have access to safe water. Every day 3900 children die as a result of insufficient or unclean water supplies. The situation can only get worse as water becomes evermore scarce.

For much of the world, atlases no longer tell the truth. Today, dozens of the planet’s greatest rivers run dry long before they reach the sea. They include the Nile in Egypt; the Yellow River in China; the Indus in Pakistan; the Rio Grande and Colorado in the US; the ancient Oxus that once poured into the Aral Sea in Central Asia; the Murray in Australia and the Jordan in the Middle East, which is emptied before it can even reach the country that bears its name. The Dead Sea and the Aral Sea are lost forever. The dire state of such rivers is the most visible sign of a profound crisis in how the world uses its water – a crisis that reflects water’s new place as one of the most important and threatened commodities. It’s a situation that could herald a world in which wars are fought over water (Channel 4 — recent television documentary).

Appendix – Curricula Vitae of RSPA’s Consultants

1.

Dr Paul Johnston

Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, Trinity College,  College Green, Dublin 2, Ireland. Tel +353 1 608 1372 Fax +353 1 677 3072

Email: pjhnston@tcd.ie

Academic Qualifications:

Postgraduate: MSc/DIC Engineering Hydrology, Dept of Civil Engineering, Imperial

College, University of London.

MAI, Trinity College Dublin

MEng Petroleum Reservoir Engineering, Dept of Mechanical Engineering,

University of Toronto

Undergraduate: BASc Geological Engineering, University of Toronto, Canada.

Professional Memberships:

Institution of Civil Engineers, UK

American Society of Civil Engineers

Fellow of the Geological Society of London

International Association of Hydrogeologists

Association of Groundwater Scientists and Engineers (USA)

American Geophysical Union, IAHS

Employment Record:

1992 – present:

Head, Environmental Engineering Group within Dept Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering at Trinity College since 1993. Lecturer in environmental engineering, hydrology, hydro-ecology, waste and contaminant hydrogeology.

Undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and research responsibilities in the physics and chemistry of groundwater flow, hydrology and in environmental engineering.

1979 – 87:

Lecturer in Department of Engineering Hydrology, University College, Galway.

Research and teaching in sustainable development of water in Ireland and in Africa (seconded to Irish Dept of Foreign Affairs in Tanzania, Kenya and Zambia).

1987 – 1992:

Lecturer in Engineering Hydrology at Dept of Civil Engineering at Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, University of London. Hydrometry, groundwater contamination and modelling, urban hydrology.

Consultant:

— to Duchas (National Parks & Wildlife Service) on conservation hydrology particularly the hydrology of wetlands,

— to the OPW on flood hydrology in karst,

— to the Geological Survey on risk analysis in aquifer protection.

Current contracts with the EU (Environment and Climate, INCO and Brite Euram) on the environmental impact of mining and waste solidification.

Consultant to the Geological Survey of Ireland on the implementation of the Water Framework Directive, and current

contracts with the EPA in Ireland on management of septic tank effluent, on the impact of nitrate loading in agriculture on groundwater, hydroecology of turloughs and on evaluation of environmental impacts of highway runoff.

Dr Paul Johnston has also worked with UNDP, the World Bank and the World Meteorological Organization on the sustainable development of water resources in Africa and the Middle East.

Technical advisor to An Bord Pleanála and the EPA on landfill hydrogeology and has acted as expert witness for groundwater pollution cases in the High Court.

External examiner to University of West Indies, member of Standards committees in Ireland (biomass energy) and UK

(hydrometry).

Research and Related Employment Experience

Current research interests and activities include the analysis of floods and their management in karst areas in relation to ecological requirements (turlough hydrology); hydroecology of fens and raised bogs, the establishment of risk-based strategies for aquifer protection; the environmental impact of dewatering in mining operations; contaminated flow in fractured rocks related to mine drainage control; the flow and dissipation of heat in aquifers arising from the use of groundwater for cooling; the investigation of groundwater resources in arid areas; the impact of nutrients on groundwater arising from agricultural practice; and the hydrology of wetland conservation.

Recent research has concentrated on the hydrology and ecology of wetlands, including raised bogs, blanket bogs, turloughs and fens. In conjunction with the National Parks and Wildlife service, strategies for bog restoration and management have been developed including the construction of peat embankments for the promotion of sphagnum regrowth and associated wetland dynamics. The geotechnical aspects of such construction formed a major part of the work.

2.

Jack O’Sullivan

Mr. Jack O’Sullivan graduated in 1964 from University College Cork in Zoology and Biochemistry, and he was initially employed a Sea Fishery Officer, Biologist and Pollution Control Officer in North West England and Wales where he was responsible for coastal water pollution control and fisheries management on 720 km of highly varied coastline. He returned to Ireland in 1975 to fulfill a contract as a Science Policy Analyst with the National Science Council where (as an Irish delegate to the EU) he participated in negotiations between Government departments, the European Commission, environmental NGOs and other organisations.

In 1977 Jack O’Sullivan began practicing as an environmental consultant, and he was the first to become established in Ireland. He has more than 30 years experience as an Independent Professional Consultant working in the fields of environmental and sustainability policy; environmental impact assessment; natural resources evaluation and management, aquaculture issues; marine and freshwater pollution; oil spill contingency planning, prevention, control, and clean-up; preparation of waste management plans; evaluation of landfill sites; environmental and ecological planning; eco-auditing; institutional strengthening and capacity building in relation to environmental activities,  development of public participation in environmental decision-making and rural development issues. He has provided specialist evidence at oral hearings and High Court cases dealing with existing and proposed landfill sites, other waste management facilities and infrastructure projects throughout Ireland.

Recent assignments include the preparation of a report on the environmental effects of Meath County Council’s  abstraction of water from Lough Bán, an ecological survey of the River Barrow around Portarlington, preparation of an environmental report on a planned lake-side amenity at Derrya Harbour, Lough Derravaragh, submission of observations on two proposed bye-laws intended by Westmeath County Council to control jet skis and fast  high-powered boats on the county’s lakes, and provision of advice on effluent discharge standards to protect populations of the rare freshwater pearl mussel Margaritifera margaritifera.

During 1994 and 1995 Jack O’Sullivan was Team Leader in the development of the first national environmental strategy under the Ministry of Environment in Lithuania, funded by the EU Phare programme; and in 2001 he became the first Irish recipient of the Order of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas, awarded by the President of Lithuania for services to the cause of development of the relations between the Republic of Lithuania and the Republic of Ireland.

More recent overseas experience includes the preparation of Terms of Reference for waste management studies in the Russian Federation and in Kaliningrad Region, funded by the EU Tacis programme.

Jack O’Sullivan is a director of Environmental Management Services (EMS), the environmental consultancy which he established in 1981, and he has carried out assignments in Ireland, Britain, Middle East, Far East, Africa and Central Europe.

His clients include Irish Government departments and agencies, the European Commission (PHARE and TACIS programmes), large and small companies in Ireland and overseas, and numerous environmentally aware citizens groups which are attempting to protect nature and our environment for future generations.

Jack O’Sullivan has represented environmental NGOs on the Advisory Committee of Ireland’s Environmental  Protection Agency, and he is a member of the Council of An Taisce (Ireland’s longest established environmental NGO). He has taught courses for industrialists and local authority planners on the implementation of the EIA Directive, and he lectures regularly in specialist topics at the UN World Maritime University (Malmö, Sweden), University College Dublin (Diploma Course in EIA Management, and Diploma in Safety, Health and Welfare at Work), University College Galway, and the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT — Masters Degree Course in Sustainable Development).

Contact details

Environmental Management Services, Outer Courtyard, Tullynally Castle, Castlepollard, County Westmeath, Ireland.

Telephone: + 353 44 966 2222 Fax: + 353 44 966 2223

E-mail: jackosullivan2006@gmail.com

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