Thursday, January 26, 2006

Community Forum

Last night's forum was as entertaining as ever with the Environment Agency and Cemex admitting that the plume, whether visible or invisible, will ground on Rugby residents, due to circumstances beyond their control - the weather! I do not see why God, and the met office, should get all the blame? Perhaps they should shut the plant when the weather conditions are "favourable to plume grounding", but then again perhaps not! That situation can be even worse as no limits are placed on it at all when it is in the "shutting down" or "starting up" mode as it cannot be controlled at those times.

Start up is only considered to be complete when the "raw material throughput" reaches 200 tonnes an hour, so theoretically they could be on nearly 5,000 tonnes a day with no Emission Limits! So much for the Agency's claim of "tight limits". The Devil is in the detail as ever. Compare this to the situation of the old works which only made a 1,000 tonnes of clinker a day. The limits must have applied by 50 tonnes an hour at least.

Air Quality experts were also present to tell us "not to worry" as the air quality monitors show that the plant contributes only 1-9% of particulate pollution in Rugby. They struggled with the maths of it when they realised that on 28/11/05 and 29/11/05 the plume grounding caused the monitor in Addison Road to read 90mu/m3 instead of the background level of 20mu/m3. What percentage increase is that then? Oh they said but that is only for a short term peak. The jury is still out on how much dioxin, mercury, arsenic, VOC etc would have been in the "toxic one metre cubed boxes" as they had to admit that they only know about the daily average and not about any concentrations in each box.

As ever the interesting questions were left to last, and as "arranged", and as always we ran out of time before getting down to the nitty gritty.

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