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Warrenpoint Harbour Authority announces findings of Environmental Audit Report

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• Warrenpoint Harbour Authority (WHA) will implement the recommendations of a new Environmental Audit Report, conducted by Practical Waste Solutions, in full.

• New fortnightly independent monitoring and review will continue throughout 2024.

• The length of time Re–Gen’s bales can be held at WHA will be reduced from the statutory 3 months to a target of 6 weeks with bale height reduced to a maximum of 8.

• All relevant regulatory correspondence to be shared by Re–Gen with WHA.

• WHA is appointing a new Environmental Officer.

• WHA is establishing a Community Forum to directly engage with the community.

Warrenpoint Harbour Authority (WHA) has said that it will be implementing the recommendations of an independent Environmental Audit Report, which examined odour and fly concerns relating to the waste management operations of its tenant Re–Gen, in full.

Following the intermittent odour last year, WHA immediately engaged with Re–Gen to address these issues and it commissioned an independent report to help prevent any future recurrence. The Audit which collected and interpreted data from a range of sources, including local residents, provided a series of findings and recommendations relating to both WHA and Re–Gen.

The report recognised the positive impact of the steps taken in late 2023 to mitigate odour and fly issues but found that the statutory conditions which enabled Re–Gen to hold bales on site for up to three months was the single greatest contributory factor to the odour and fly issue.

WHA has committed to delivering on all the report’s recommendations with Re–Gen agreeing to implement all proposed actions.

Commenting the Chair of Warrenpoint Harbour Authority, Dr Gerard O’Hare CBE DL said, “On behalf of the Board I would, once again, like to apologise for the odour and fly issue that arose last year and I want to assure the whole community that we will be implementing the recommendations of the Environmental Audit Report, in full, to help prevent any future recurrence.

“While measures that have been put in place have helped, we recognise that there is much more that we need to do. That is why we have engaged with Re–Gen to ensure that all the recommendations, which exceed the statutory requirements set out by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, are implemented in full.”

Recommendations set out within the report include a reduction in the length of time that bales can be held on site from three months to a target of six weeks, with bale height being reduced to a maximum of eight bales from nine.

The report has also proposed that all relevant regulatory correspondence is shared by Re–Gen with WHA, with a new additional and independent fortnightly monitoring process of all aspects of Re–Gen’s Port operations being put in place.

WHA has announced that further to the full implementation of the measures set out within the report, it is creating a new Forum to engage directly with the local community.

Commenting Gerard O’Hare added, “We want to be good neighbours to the people of Warrenpoint and we know that we need to rebuild their trust. We are fully committed to working closely with the local community to ensure that we contribute to the economic and social fabric of Warrenpoint in a constructive and positive way.

“To help us deliver on these commitments we are employing a new Environmental Officer, and we are establishing a new Community Forum which will consider a broad range of Port operations and developments, to which we will invite residents, local businesses and other stakeholders to sit on and influence in the months and years ahead.”

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