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    Fourth Major Health & Safety Award for RPS

    23 October 2012

    Fourth Major Health & Safety Award for RPS

     

    Left to right: Pauric Corrigan, National Irish Safety Organisation (NISO) President, Joan Gallagher, RPS, John Perry, T.D., Minister of State for Small Business and Priscilla Woods, Chair of Northern Ireland Safety Group (NISG).

    RPS received a fourth major safety award at the NISO / NISG 21st Annual Safety Awards at a ceremony in Sligo on Friday 5th October.

    This year, RPS was awarded the overall Regional Award – East.

    John Perry, T.D. and Minister of State with responsibility for Small Business at the Department of Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation, presented the overall Regional Award for the East to Joan Gallagher, Health, Safety & Environmental Coordinator for RPS Group.

    President of NISO, Pauric Corrigan, congratulated all Award winners for their efforts in placing health and safety to the forefront of their respective businesses.

    This award follows our winning the 2011 Consulting Engineers Award, 2010 Construction Civil Engineering Award, 2009 President’s Award and various smaller awards since 2006. It is continued recognition of the dedication of all RPS Group staff in supporting our proactive and continuous improvement culture with respect to Health, Safety and the Environment.

    The safety and health of our employees, contractors, stakeholders and visitors, along with the quality of projects undertaken by RPS Group, is paramount and this award reflects best practice. To further demonstrate RPS Group&rsquot;s commitment to Health, Safety, Environment and Quality, we operate in accordance with and are accredited to OHSAS 18001, ISO 14001 and ISO 9001 management systems.

    Speaking at the awards ceremony in Sligo, Joan Gallagher, Health, Safety & Environmental Coordinator said "We are delighted with this Award and it clearly demonstrates the significant resources, time allocation and commitment by RPS Group management, staff and our suppliers and subcontractors in maintaining a safe place of work for all those who come into contact with our company".

    Contact:
    Joan Gallagher, Environmental, Health & Safety Coordinator
    E: joan.gallagher@rpsgroup.com

     

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    Launch of Irish Scottish Links on Energy Study (ISLES) Full Report

    26 September 2012

    Launch of Irish Scottish Links on Energy Study (ISLES) Full Report

     

    Mr. Martin Finucane, Principal Officer DCENR, Mr. Pat Rabbitte T.D., Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources, PJ Rudden, RPS Project Director on ISLES Project and Mr. Bob Hanna, Chief Technical Advisor, DCENR.

    The Irish Scottish Links on Energy Study (ISLES) Full Report was launched in Dublin on 14th September by Mr. Pat Rabbitte, T.D., Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources.

    RPS led an international consultancy team on the ISLES study, examining the feasibility of developing an offshore renewable energy grid off the coasts of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Western Scotland. The two-year study concludes that a cross-jurisdictional offshore integrated network is economically viable and competitive, and can potentially deliver a range of wider economic, environmental and market-related benefits to both Ireland and the UK.

    Funded by the EU’s INTERREG IVA Programme, the ISLES project was a collaboration between the Scottish Government, the Northern Ireland Executive and the Government of Ireland.

    Speaking at the launch of the full report in Dublin, Pat Rabbitte, T.D., Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, said "With a sea area that is almost ten times the size of our landmass, Ireland has an abundance of ocean renewable energy resources, potentially a multiple of the energy requirements of our own system."

    "By co-operating with our neighbouring administrations, we can work together to create a viable market for these resources, initially across our own islands but in time to continental Europe. The study shows that we have the long term potential to reduce infrastructure costs by working together to develop a planned network design" said Minister Rabbitte.

    The next steps are for Ireland to produce offshore legislation that will dovetail with legislation in our neighbouring jurisdictions so we can start to put the network in place by 2020. The timeframe is achievable, if very aggressive, given the planning, financing and construction challenges that have to be overcome.

    The 12 volumes of the Full Report on ISLES are available at www.islesproject.eu or on CD from jackie.whelan@rpsgroup.com

    Contact:
    PJ Rudden
    E: pj.rudden@rpsgroup.com

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    Grid Link Electricity Transmission Project

    07 August 2012

    Grid Link Electricity Transmission Project

     

    Study Area Map

    RPS was appointed by EirGrid in February 2012 to provide planning, engineering, environmental and communications consultancy services for their Grid Link Electricity Transmission project. The multi-disciplinary RPS team will facilitate the implementation of a new high voltage power line linking the provinces of Leinster and Munster.

    The Grid Link Project is the single largest project within Grid25, EirGrid’s development strategy, and consists of a 400 kV transmission circuit. The estimated €500 million project will reinforce the transmission network in the south and east of Ireland to meet the future electricity needs of the region and it will facilitate further electricity interconnection with the European grid. It will help ensure that the most efficient electricity generators in the region are utilised in the most effective way and it will facilitate the integration of renewable energy onto the transmission system helping Ireland meet its target of 40% electricity demand from renewable energy sources (it is estimated that the project will facilitate supply of enough wind energy to power 750,000 homes).

    RPS will be responsible for securing all necessary consents to facilitate construction of the 400 kV circuit and the associated infrastructure. The team will ensure that all works are carried out in a safe, secure, reliable, economical, efficient and environmentally sensitive manner and will engage pro-actively and constructively with stakeholders throughout. Public consultation started in April 2012.

    The RPS team is providing the following services on The Grid Link Project:

    Planning consents and permits

    Project Management

    Environmental Impact Assessment and Appropriate Assessment

    Public and Stakeholder Consultation and Project Communications

    Landowner engagement

    High voltage transmission (electrical) engineering

    Civil/Structural engineering

    Mechanical engineering

    Electricity transmission route design and sub-station site selection

    The anticipated timeframe for the project will see the submission of a planning application to An Bord Pleanála in mid 2015.

    For further information on this project, visit http://www.eirgridprojects.com/projects/gridlink

    Contact:
    John Shalloe
    E: john.shalloe@rpsgroup.com

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    RPS Developing Strategic Integrated Framework Plan for Shannon Estuary

    01 August 2012

    RPS Developing Strategic Integrated Framework Plan for Shannon Estuary

     

    Kilrush Marina, Shannon Estuary

    A multi-disciplinary RPS team are currently developing an inter-jurisdictional Strategic Integrated Framework Plan (SIFP). Appointed by Clare County Council, on behalf of Kerry County Council, Limerick County Council and Limerick City Council, RPS is developing the SIFP for the Shannon Estuary and its environs.

    The aim of the SIFP is to identify the nature and location of future development, economic growth and employment that can be sustainably accommodated within the Shannon Estuary, without detrimental impact to the status of its environmentally sensitive sites. Ultimately the plan will be used to direct and guide the sustainable development and environmental conservation of the estuary and its environs into the future.

    It is the first time that all the relevant agencies in the Mid-West have joined forces to come up with an overall framework spatial plan for potential marine-related development to the estuary. As well as the local authorities, this group includes the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government, Environmental Protection Agency, Mid-West Regional Authority, Shannon Development, Shannon Foynes Port Company, National Parks and Wildlife Service, Marine Institute, Office of Public Works, National Monuments Service, Limerick Clare Energy Agency, Inland Fisheries Ireland, EirGrid, Dublin Airport Authority, and Shannon International River Basin District Project.

    The RPS team on this project includes planning consultants, environmental scientists, marine engineers, renewable energy experts, archaeologists, and ornithological experts amongst others. Each discipline is addressing a key environmental, planning or marine related issue pertinent to the Shannon Estuary while maintaining communication with other teams and consultees, under the co-ordination of an overall project core team. RPS is currently undertaking considerable stakeholder consultation with the local authorities, statutory agencies and the general public.

    A Geographical Information System will also be designed to organise and present the large amounts of data concerned and to enable the spatial analysis of constraints throughout the area. RPS is also undertaking a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and Habitats Directive Assessment as part of the process.

    The SIFP is expected to be completed and adopted by way of variations to the County/City Development Plans of the four local authorities by December 2012.

    Contact
    Sheila Downes
    E: sheila.downes@rpsgroup.com

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    RPS Develops Good Practice Guide for Coastal Planners and Decision Makers

    25 July 2012

    RPS Develops Good Practice Guide for Coastal Planners and Decision Makers

     

    The RPS Galway Marine Science team was appointed by NUIG and Mayo County Council to act as Technical Advisor to the Atlantic Network for Coastal Risks Management (ANCORIM) project. The project focuses on strengthening the operational capacity of decision makers in Atlantic regions, with the aim of preventing coastal risks and in particular those linked to climate change.

    This strengthening of capacity is possible by making practical use of shared scientific and technical information, which is translated, interpreted and made available to managers of coastal zones in western Europe. The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) funded project aims to improve the relevance of decisions concerning coastal management and planning and the management of potential crises where coastal systems are affected.

    As part of the project, a series of awareness information and education tools have been developed. These include a handbook for assessing and including coastal risks in coastal planning, which was translated and released at conferences in Ireland, France, Spain and Portugal earlier this year. The handbook and tools are being sent to all local councils and relevant decision makers on the western European coast.

    For more information on this project, visit: http://ancorim.aquitaine.fr

    Contact
    James Massey
    E: james.massey@rpsgroup.com

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    RPS Appointed as Lead Consultant for EU Project on the Conservation of Freshwater Pearl Mussel in Ir

    18 July 2012

    RPS Appointed as Lead Consultant for EU Project on the Conservation of Freshwater Pearl Mussel in Ir

     

    RPS has recently been appointed by Donegal County Council as lead consultant for the Practical Implementation of Freshwater Pearl Mussel Measures in Ireland and Northern Ireland, a project aimed at helping to secure the conservation of this flagship species. The project is funded under the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund under the INTERREG IVA Programme, as part of the Environment strand, under Priority 2.2. The Project Study Area covers Northern Ireland and the border region of Ireland.

    FPM is protected throughout the island of Ireland under European and national law. The locations of designated FPM populations on the island of Ireland are shown in the map. Virtually all of these populations are at unfavourable conservation status and evidence suggests that recruitment of juvenile mussels to the adult population has substantially failed in recent decades. Unless measures are put in place to ensure successful breeding and recruitment, the existing populations will go to extinction as the standing population of adult mussels dies off.

    As part of the effort to conserve the pearl mussel, the FPM Project is undertaking the tasks outlined below on a cross border basis through engagement with agencies and parties interested in the conservation of this flagship species.

    • Preparation of management strategies for a number of pearl mussel catchments. Project management strategies will be prepared for mussel populations in three catchments; the Ballinderry, and the Owenkillew, both in County Tyrone, and the Swanlinbar cross-border catchment in Counties Fermanagh and Cavan. The strategies will identify pressures and impacts on FPM and propose mitigation measures to address these issues.
    • Testing of Selected Measuresthat are designed to protect mussel populations. This will establish whether actions are likely to be efficient and cost effective.
    • Drafting of Codes of Practice for various sectors to allow for a sustainable approach that prevents impact on the mussel’s survival.

    Contact
    Mark Magee
    E: mark.magee@rpsgroup.com


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    Outgoing President of Engineers Ireland completes a busy year

    05 July 2012

    Outgoing President of Engineers Ireland completes a busy year

     

    PJ Rudden opens 2012 Engineers Ireland Annual Conference in Belfast in April 2012

    At the end of May, PJ Rudden, Group Business Director for RPS in Ireland, completed his year as President of Engineers Ireland. He is succeeded by Michael Phillips, who is the Dublin City Engineer and Director of Transportation for Dublin City Council. This marked the end of a busy, but very rewarding year of national and international events.

    Engineers Ireland is the representative body for engineers in Ireland with over 24,000 members across industry, the public service, semi-state organisations and academic institutions.

    During his time as President, PJ met Ministers of Government and senior officials and discussed policy issues in transport, energy, water, environment, education, agriculture and marine. He also visited many infrastructural projects, third level colleges and research institutes. He was hosted in Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) Headquarters, Great George Street, London by President of the ICE, Richard Coackley, Director of Energy and Environment WYG, and Vice President Alan Stilwell, who is Director of Integrated Transport at Merseyside Transport Authority. He was given a Civic Welcome by various Elected County Councils as he visited the regional cities and towns.

    In his last month as President, PJ opened the 2012 Engineers Ireland Annual Conference in Belfast, which was titled Engineering Enterprise in Times of Change. He welcomed guest speakers Alex Atwood, MLA, Northern Ireland Environment Minister, Eddie O’Connor, CEO Mainstream, John Barry, MD Bord Gáis, Dermot Byrne, CEO EirGrid and Bob Hanna, Chief Technical Adviser at the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.

    Speaking about “Developing and Harnessing Creativity’ PJ said that engineers have an enormous opportunity in stressed economies to prove their value as innovators and creators, “Being innovative requires economies to do things that have simply not been done before. Keeping doing the same things won’t work. To succeed economies have to be creative and to innovate to remain competitive technically and financially. In industrialised society people expect originality, ingenuity and novelty from new or improved products and services. This presents the engineer with a challenge and even an opportunity to prove the added value of creativity and innovation.”

    With World Congress on Water, Climate & Energy Chairman, Ray Earle in May 2012

    On May 14th, PJ opened the World Congress on Water Climate and Energy in the Dublin Convention Centre, together with Irish MEP Mairéad McGuinness and Dr. Glen Daigger, President of the International Water Association (IWA). The conference ran for four days and was attended by 1,200 delegates from all over the world. He used the opportunity to update the Congress on the new Irish Government initiative on Irish Water and to set this development in the context of European Water Policy generally, looking forward to the new EU Blueprint to Safeguard Europe’s Water Resources due to be published by the end of 2012.

    Speaking about Engineers Ireland’s support for the new water utility model, PJ said “While there is some political opposition to this proposal I want to say here that Engineers Ireland fully support the Government’s action, including the introduction of water charges on domestic dwellings. This not only makes economic sense - it also makes good environmental sense in terms of the “polluter pays” principle as an incentive to conserve the finite resource that is water. Householders currently pay for every other utility like electricity, gas and communications, so why not also for water on a ‘pay by use’ system. It should not however have taken an economic crisis in Ireland for us to come to our senses in this regard.”

    In addition to the many meetings and events on a weekly basis, the President is also Chairman of the Council (44 man body representing all sectors and regions, which sets strategy and policy for the organisation) and Chairman of the Executive Board (14 man body, responsible for operational direction of Engineers Ireland). This year PJ led the radical overhaul of the Corporate Strategy Plan and Institution Byelaws as part of ‘change management’ to make the organisation fit for purpose towards the challenges of rebuilding national recovery. He also embarked on the first ever TV marketing campaign for Chartered Engineer with much success.

    For further information on PJ Rudden’s activities throughout his year as President of Engineers Ireland, visit his blog: http://apresidentsblogbypjrudden.blogspot.com

    Contact
    PJ Rudden
    E: pj.rudden@rpsgroup.com

    Meeting Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD and UCD President Dr. Hugh Brady at Government Buildings in July 2011

    Launching National Compost Standard with Environment Minister Phil Hogan TD and CEO of the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) Maurice Buckley in September 2011

    Launching the State of Ireland Report with Pat Rabbitte TD, Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources and John Power, Director General Engineers Ireland in February 2012

    At reception to announce Dublin’s shortlisting as World Design Capital, together with Dublin City Manager Dr. John Tierney and President of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland Paul Keogh in June 2011

    At Annual Conference Belfast with Northern Ireland Environment Minister, Alex Atwood MLA in April 2012

    Meeting Transport, Tourism & Sport Minister Leo Varadkar TD at the official opening of the Mizen Head Bridge, with Cork County Manager, Martin Riordan (partly hidden) and Cork County Engineer Noel O’Keeffe

    Meeting Agriculture, Food & Marine Minister, Simon Coveney TD at RPS Stand at the National Food & Agribusiness Summit in May 2012

    Celebrating 10 years of CPD in Dublin City Council with Michael Phillips, City Engineer and current President of Engineers Ireland, John Power, Director General Engineers Ireland, Dublin Lord Mayor Cllr. Andrew Montague, Education & Skills Minister Ruairí Quinn TD and Tom Leahy, Executive Manager Engineering for Dublin City Council in September 2011

    At opening of new University Engineering Building in NUI Galway, with President of Galway Chamber of Commerce Carmel Brennan, Mayor of Galway Cllr. Hildegarde Naughton and President of NUI Galway Dr. Jim Browne in July 2011

    At Conferring Ceremony for new Chartered Engineers in the Cork Region in April 2012

    With Don Keigher, Chairman of the GB Region of Engineers Ireland and Richard Coackley, President of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) following the Presidential Address to the Great Britain (GB) Region at ICE London in February 2012


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    RPS Managed Reuse Website Reaches Golden Anniversary

    16 May 2012

    RPS Managed Reuse Website Reaches Golden Anniversary

    FreeTradeIreland.ie, the reuse website managed by RPS, has reached the significant milestone of 50,000 items reused.  

    FreeTrade Ireland is a community initiative, promoted by local authorities around the country and has been in operation nationally since July 2010. With over 41,000 users the free online service has helped to divert items weighing an estimated 1 million kg away from landfill through reuse. The service has saved its users an estimated €5.1 million through skip hire costs avoided and in savings to new owners who no longer needed to purchase a new item.

    “We are thrilled with the success of the website and salute all our users who have found new homes for the 50,000 items free traded and helped to save 50,000 other users the costs involved in buying new items.” says Warren Phelan, Website Manager and RPS Associate. “FreeTradeIreland.ie is a simple concept that provides cost effective resource management to both the people of Ireland and the Local Authorities”

    The FreeTradeIreland.ie service is free and easy to use. Households and businesses can save on the hassle of transporting usable unwanted items to local recycling centres or the cost of hiring a skip, while helping someone else that wants the item. To date, people have offered mobile homes, furniture, pianos, office filing systems and even a fully fitted kitchen.

    The FreeTrade Ireland team will host a series of reuse days at recycling centres across the country in coming months. To find out more about using the service visit www.freetradeireland.ie, send an email to info@freetradeireland.ie or why not pop in to FreeTrade Ireland Facebook page to find out what the item of the day is!

    Contact
    Warren Phelan
    E: warren.phelan@rpsgroup.com

     

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    RPS Appointed to Deliver Marine Strategy Framework Directive Projects

    15 March 2012

    RPS Appointed to Deliver Marine Strategy Framework Directive Projects

     

    RPS has recently been appointed as expert advisor and project partner by the Marine Institute to assist in the delivery of six projects to ensure Ireland meets its obligations with regard to the implementation of the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). Ireland’s marine waters are over ten times its land area.

    The project will run over three years initially and will involve RPS working closely with the Marine Institute, National Parks and Wildlife Service, EPA, various government departments, EU and international bodies, and other project stakeholders such as the scientific community, the marine community, the private and public sectors.

    The six individual projects to be delivered by RPS are:

    • Preparation of a Draft Initial Assessment including proposals for Good Ecological Status (GES) and proposed draft Environmental Targets
    • Collation of relevant information into an Atlas of the Irish Marine Environment
    • Development of an index of environmental and associated indicators
    • Preparation of a summary report for public consultation
    • Development of a streamlined national reporting system
    • Recommendations for Programmes of Measures (POMs) and monitoring status and trends

    In addition to supporting the ongoing implementation of the Directive and the delivery of defined data, information collation, assessment, reporting including to the EU, establishing monitoring and scoping future work will also be undertaken as part of this project.

    Contact
    Willie Madden
    E: william.madden@rpsgroup.com

     

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    Drawing the Roadmap for our Renewable Energy Future

    16 January 2012

    Drawing the Roadmap for our Renewable Energy Future

     

    On 15th December, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) Wind Energy Roadmap to 2050, produced by RPS, was formally launched by Ambassador Richard H. Jones, Deputy Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA).

    The roadmap considers resource availability, technology development paths, transmission and system integration requirements and our existing and future regulatory environment. It examines an accelerated deployment path for onshore and offshore wind to 2050 in the context of both the Irish Market and the development of the European Target Model Market, due to be brought into play in 2016.

    The Wind Energy Roadmap to 2050 is one of three developed for the SEAI to inform energy policy in Ireland, demonstrate the potential to positively exploit our abundant, indigenous energy resources; create employment; and reduce our CO2 emissions and over dependence on costly imported fossil fuels.

    The Wind Energy Roadmap, delivered by RPS, outlines the benefits and results of following this Roadmap for Wind deployment. The output of the study includes Investment, Carbon Abatement, Deployment and Employment outputs alongside an overall development scenario outlining the milestones and actions needed to optimize the use of our wind resource. The project dovetails with other RPS activities in the wind and energy infrastructure sector in Ireland from due diligence and multi-disciplinary project development through to the recently completed Irish Scottish Links on Energy Study (ISLES).

    Speaking at the launch of the Roadmaps, Professor J. Owen Lewis, Chief Executive of SEAI said: “The Roadmaps unveiled today are a further important mapping of the long term opportunities in energy and the road to a decarbonised energy system for Ireland. They show a great many benefits, including reduced energy imports leading to increased security of supply, increased use of renewables leading to lower CO2 emissions and significant employment and economic opportunities. Importantly, the Roadmaps assist in informing the necessary decisions and actions about our long term ambition for sustainable energy in Ireland.”

    The three roadmap reports can be viewed here: www.seai.ie

    Contact
    Jim Gannon, Associate
    E: jim.gannon@rpsgroup.com

    Angela Treanor, Graduate Engineer
    E: angela.treanor@rpsgroup.com

     

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