Social Democrats TD for Wicklow Jennifer Whitmore has welcomed confirmation from the Minister for Environment and Climate Eamon Ryan that funding for remediation works at the Avoca mines in Arklow will be continued.
Deputy Whitmore raised the need for continued funding at a recent meeting of the Committee for Climate Action…
“Ongoing funding is required to ensure that remediation is carried out at the Avoca mines which has raised ongoing health and safety concerns. It is something I have been raising in the Dáil since I was first elected. To date, in excess of €5 million has been expended on remediation and monitoring costs at the site which shows the scale of the environmental legacy that comes with the area.
“During a recent Climate Action Committee meeting, the Minister has confirmed that funding of €450,000 has been allocated as part of Budget 2021. This funding will further support the monitoring of the site and will be used to re-evaluate the 2008 Feasibility study as a first step in the process towards managing and restoring the site. I am delighted to hear that the Minister has made the commitment to continue funding for these much needed and long-awaited works.
“This is positive news for Arklow and an ongoing focus on remediation will benefit residents and towns in the area. I also asked that the Minister ensure that there is a focus, not only on the remediation of the mine sites, but also on ensuring improved wildlife and environmental outcomes for the area. There is an opportunity to focus on the environmental aspects of the region now that a new waste treatment plant is earmarked for development in the next few years.
“I really believe that a healthy Avoca River is critical to a healthy Arklow – environmentally, recreationally, and economically. I will continue to work with the Minister and locally with the Council and the East Wicklow Rivers Trust to make sure that the Avoca is enhanced as much as possible over the next few years” concludes Whitmore.