At the public meeting last week to begin the process of a licence application for the remediation of the waste on the East Tip of the Island,  Tony Lowes, a Director of Friends of the Irish Environment, challenged Project Director Peter Young over the extent of the cleanup. The proposal is limited to the 9 hectare waste dump on the island.
Mr. Lowes cited a Report co authored by Peter Young in 2002  which identified the extent of the contamination on the island. 'This included not just the 9 hectare East Tip which is being addressed, but the 12 hectare site of the steel plant itself', Mr. Lowes told the meeting in Cobh, County Cork.
In a statement released after the meeting, Mr. Lowes quoted from Mr. Young's 2002 Report 'Phase One Investigation and Assessment at Haulbowline Island' prepared for the Department of the Marine. This Report stated:
On the Main Site, a high risk to humans from PCBs spills; a high risk to marine ecosystems from metals from dust; high to moderate risks to humans from wind-blown dust; high to moderate risks to human intruders from radioactive contamination; a moderate risk to site workers from metals in the building interiors; and high risks to groundwater from hydrocarbon process and storage spills were identified by Enviros Aspinwall.
The statement pointed out that Project Director Peter Young was also the technical expert who provided the affidavits for the 2004 High Court Case when three ministers unsuccessfully attempted to force the steel company's liquidator to remediate the site because of 'serious ongoing environmental pollution'. 
In his affidavit Mr. Young stated:
'unless the steps recommended in the report are undertaken,there is a serious risk that environmental pollution will continue to occur and/or is likely occur in the future.'
'I asked the Project Director, who assured the meeting of his experience at remediation of steel works sites all over Europe, if he had ever remediated a steel works site that ignored the site of the operations itself. He had no reply.'
'I produced a copy of a cross section of the island that was contained in his 2002 Report which showed that the East Tip and the Steel works were both built on reclaimed ground that would allow a path for contamination to pass undeterred across the island. I asked what was the point of a clean up that covered only half the site. He had no reply.'
TREATMENT CLAIM QUESTIONED
Mr. Lowes also sought clarification of the Project's claim that no further material had to be exported for treatment. '115,000 tons of toxic waste was exported to Germany for treatment in 2007 with an estimated 350,000 tons remaining.  The Government cancelled the clean up contract under Section 8.1.4 of the contract, 'Guilty of an act which brings the Minister in disrepute or which in the Minister's opinion is prejudicial to his interests.' 
We are now told that the contamination levels are so low that no further material needs to be exported for treatment.  Did the taxpayer then pay for the unnecessary shipment of 115,000 tons of toxic material or has the remaining contamination now been leached out into the environment?'
The FIE statement claims that 'If indeed there is no longer a requirement to export material for treatment, the ring fenced sum of €40m will not be required to remediate the East Tip and there are sufficient funds available to clean up the steel plant site where the highest levels of contamination have been found.  While the plant building has been removed, there was no attempt to clean up the ground, the extensive collapsed drains, or the cellars, which remain congested with toxic flue dust and hazardous waste.'
'This area could be remediated solely for industrial use and offer valuable land for the expanding marine renewable energy research facilities on the island.'
The organization's statement concluded: 'The entire 21 hectare licensed area including the 12 hectares licensed for the operation of ISPAT steel must be included in the new waste licensing process. The Project Director must come clean with the residents about the extent of the contamination which his own company has documented for more than 10 years.'