The Environment Minister says it could be up to three months before the ESB will resume operations at Lough Ree Power in Lanesboro.
Richard Bruton was speaking in the Dáil last night after Bord na Móna told its 150 full-time and part-time staff that they are to lose their jobs while the plant is offline.
78 seasonal workers have been let go immediately, with a further 70 to go by next Thursday. Unions have been meeting with Bord na Mona this morning.
The ESB is awaiting am EPA decison on an amendment to its licence in relation to discharges into the Shannon but has taken the action due to legal proceedings taken by the EPA.
Speaking in the Dáil last night Longford Westmeath Fianna Fáil TD Robert Troy strongly criticised state bodies.
Former environment minister and Roscommon Galway TD Denis Naughten called for financial assistance to all those affected.
In a statement, the EPA has reiterated that it not instructed this plant to close or shutdown pending the outcome of the licence review or prosecution.
It says before it an decide on a licence review, it must carry out a thorough environmental assessment of the proposals in the review application.
This includes, in this case, an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and an Appropriate Assessment (AA). Public participation and consultation with statutory consul-tees is also a central element of this EPA licence assessment process.
The EPA cannot grant a licence or a reviewed licence unless it is satisfied that the activity will meet all the required environmental protection standards, including that emissions from the activity will not endanger human health or harm the environment in the vicinity of the facility or over a wider area.
The Environment Minister Richard Bruton has confirmed it could be closed for three months.
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