Warrenpoint Harbour Authority (WHA) has been engaged in recent weeks in seeking a resolution for an ongoing, intermittent odour in the Warrenpoint area. We are aware of the continued concerns of both local residents and public representatives about this matter.
We wish to assure the general public that we are fully engaged with the relevant statutory environmental authorities currently monitoring the issue. Furthermore, over the past number of weeks, we have spoken directly with the tenant implicated in the matter and asked them to put in place mitigation measures as a matter of urgency.
Despite the tenant implementing an array of mitigations, WHA remains concerned that a complete resolution has not yet been achieved.
As a result, it has today confirmed that it will be appointing an Environmental Specialist to carry out an independent, robust, and scientific based investigation into this odour issue. The purpose of the investigation will be to independently examine and review the root cause and to recommend corrective measures if required, to prevent a recurrence.
The investigation has been instigated by the WHA Board.
Speaking after a board meeting, the Chairman of WHA, Dr Gerard O Hare CBE said, “I would like to personally apologise again, on behalf of the Board. We are taking the concerns expressed by our nearest neighbours seriously and we want you to know that we are taking action.
“Our executives have already put in place mitigation measures and Regen, a licensed tenant of ten years at Warrenpoint, have also put in place additional measures. These include modified bale wrap and expediting exports.
“Whilst the smell has become significantly less frequent in recent weeks, we recognise there remains periodic odour issues, outside the Harbour Estate. This should not be happening. We will be engaging with the relevant local and regional environmental authorities and with Regen, to secure their cooperation and participation in this independent investigation.”
Dr O Hare continued, “The Port of Warrenpoint and the town are integral to one another. As good neighbours we want to take, not just remedial action, but preventive measures to rule out any further reoccurrences.
“We are also very conscious of our environmental responsibilities and regulatory obligations. I sincerely hope, on behalf of the Board, Executive, the wider Port team of workers and tenants that this independent investigation will help us to deliver a lasting resolution.
“The investigation will be subject to the appointment of an independent, suitably qualified organisation.
“Our door remains open to local residents and/or their public representatives to express concerns to us directly.
“The Port of Warrenpoint remains part of the economic and social fabric of the town both as an employer and neighbour.
“We fully appreciate and understand it has been a difficult time for all those directly impacted. We can assure our neighbours that after the conclusion of the investigation and consideration of its findings, the outcomes will be made public as soon as possible.”