Press Release - Friends of the Irish Environment - 14th June 2018
A submission by an environmental watchdog has flagged alleged pollution incidents arising from Dublin Airport’s carparks. An application is before An Bord Pleanala under the Strategic Infrastructure Act to allow the permanent use of 10,880 long term car parking spaces on 36 hectares of land. This is approximately half of the current total capacity of 22,902 cars which currently have only temporary permission.
According to Friends of the Irish Environment, records provided in the application show repeated breaches of statutory limits for both Dissolved Oxygen and Biological Oxygen Demand  as well as total petroleum hydrocarbon concentrations spikes on 25th August 2015, 14th September 2016, 27th September 2016, and 22nd November 2016. 
In their objection to the application, FIE has told the Board that ‘There is no discussion or explanation of the causes of these pollution episodes. And yet The Environmental Impact Assessment Report and the Appropriate Assessment Screening repeatedly state in relation to these polluted rivers, which it acknowledges have poor water quality, that “no significant water quality issues have been identified’ and that the ‘potential risk will not result in an adverse impact on surface water quality in the receiving environment of the car parks.’ 
This is ‘profoundly misleading’, according to FIE, ‘directly contradicting as it does the sampling results in the same document. These 36 hectares of surface car parks drain into the Mayne and Quinn River / Santry river catchments. These river systems have been identified as having poor or bad status respectively in the River Basin Management Plan published earlier this year and have been designated as “Areas for Action” under the that legally binding Plan with a date of 2027 to Restore Good Status.’
‘While new interceptors have been installed in the ‘Blue Holiday’ parking site in recent years under previous planning conditions, according to the application no new physical works to the existing ‘Sustainable Urban Drainage System’ are proposed as part of the application, nor does the application mention the results of a feasibility study for the construction of an ‘innovative and sustainable natural treatment system for airport storm water runoff’ which they announced in 2015. This is in spite of reported earnings of €36 million in that year alone from their car parks in Dublin and Cork.’
FIE's objection refers the Board to the ‘Weser judgment’ of the European Court of Justice . ‘Under that judgment a public authority can not grant consent for a development which may cause a deterioration of the status of a body of surface water. If the Board does not comply with this ruling, it is leaving its decision open to Judicial Review, both costly and hopefully unnecessary’, a spokesman for group said.
FIE last year challenged in the High Court the extension of planning permission for the proposed ‘Third Runway’ at Dublin Airport. While the Court ruled that there was no provision in Irish planning law for an objection to an extension of a planning permission, the case led to the recognition of a new constitutional environmental right consistent with ‘human dignity and the well being of citizens at large.’ 
A majority of Fingal County Councillors opposed permanent car parks in favour of a further temporary permission against the recommendation of the County Chief Executive at their meeting last Monday.
Contact: Tony Lowes 353 (0)27 74771 / 353 (0) 87 2176316
FIE Objection: http://www.friendsoftheirishenvironment.org/images/FINA...8.pdf
 http://www.daacpsid2018.ie/uploads/ENV/AAScreeningRepor...4.pdf, table 4-3, p. 28
 http://www.daacpsid2018.ie/uploads/ENV/EnvironmentalImp...3.pdf, Table 11-3, page 180
 http://www.daacpsid2018.ie/uploads/ENV/EnvironmentalImp...3.pdf, page xvii; 11.58
 Wesser Judgment [C-461/13] Press Release https://curia.europa.eu/jcms/upload/docs/application/pd...n.pdf