Opponents of the proposed chicken litter-burning incinerator on the shores of Lough Neagh claim the project has been dealt a fatal blow by the European Commission. A spokesman for the commission’s environment committee recently told trade publication Farm Week that an “incineration plant is not a good option to deal with poultry manure as it mean waste of precious nutrients”.
That view is echoed by a section of the North’s farming community, which also believes that burning litter is not the preferred option. Commenting on the statement from the commission, Professor Sir George Bain from the Communities Against the Lough Neagh Incinerator (CALNI) said it “must now sound the death knell for the proposed incinerator. The commission’s opinion states that poultry litter falls under the definition of waste and therefore considers the installation would be a waste incinerator and no longer a good option to deal with poultry manure,” he said.
“The commission has also stated that they have always pushed Northern Ireland and all member states for a more sustainable use of manure, which includes adequate storage and application.” Mr Bain said the commission’s view was a further reason for environment minister Alex Attwood to refuse the application by Rose Energy, a company owned by Brazilian-owned poultry processor Moy Park and animal rendering firm Glenfarm Holdings. The professor said the commission has also indication that no fines were pending in regard to regional water quality.
A spokesman for the Department of the Environment said Rose Energy’s application was in the final stage of consideration and a recommendation would be forwarded to the minister shortly.