Cowen and Dooley express concern for Offaly power plant
In a short statement, Fianna Fáil TD for Offaly, Barry Cowen, along with Cllr Eamon Dooley, have sought clarification from the ESB on the situation regarding the temperature of the cooling water discharge into the River Shannon, from the West Offaly Power Plant at Shannonbridge.
They were commenting following the suspension of operations at the Lough Ree Power Plant in Lanesborough, Co Longford following concerns over hot water discharges into the River Shannon nearby.
The ESB has confirmed the suspension of operations for the coming weeks.
Commenting on the matter Cllr Dooley said, “I am very concerned that a similar situation will develop at Shannonbridge. If this were to happen it will have negative knock-on effects for Bord na Móna workers at Blackwater and Boora."
“I am surprised that the EPA has brought this matter to a head while An Board Pleanala are in the process of making a decision on planning permission for co-fueling with peat and biomass."
“While this is a technical breach of the ESB licence, the situation of the cooling water discharge temperature is more or less the same since the plants were commissioned in 2004, indeed fishermen in the Shannonbridge area would argue that fishing is best at the point of discharge."
“During the operation of power plants in both Lanesboro and Shannonbridge for decades, the return of cooling water to the river has had a positive impact on angling and studies have identified no detrimental impact on marine life as a result of the stations' operation."
“I will be working with Deputy Cowen to get clarity on the matter and to ensure no Bord na Móna workers will be negatively affected,” he concluded.