Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Memory Lapse... AGAIN!!

Can the belowing plume of Rugby Cement really wash across the minds of our paid advisors and cleanse their synapses of uncomfortable memories..Time and again when asked really important questions we are faced with excuses showing traces of convenient amnesia...

Karen Stone our 'Director Of Environmental Health' said:

"I understand from David Burrows that you have already looked through the relevant files. Information over 5 years old can be subject to culling in accordance with the Council's file management protocol. I am afraid I cannot recall the consultation process 7 years ago.

Karen Stone"

and again..

"I am afraid I cannot recall. As I told you the other day we couldn't find a record of being consulted.
Karen Stone"

My full opinion on this matter is HERE


Lilian said...

This is an excuse and is simply not valid. They knew perfectly well what was going on all along and have done everything in their power to conceal and cover up their own actions. RBC have to keep a duplicate copy of the Environment Agency's Public Register. The RBC Environmental Health Office receives all the copies of the publicly available information. They stamp it as received, and place on the file. What are they saying now - that these officers cannot read? These officers are presumably trained to a certain standard to justify the salary that the people of Rugby pay them. Presumably being able to read would be a first qualification - possibly learnt at Primary School by most people. Then there is the question about the control of pollution and the IPC/IPPC Permitting regime. This is basic EHO training. There cannot be an EHO officer in the country who does not know about the permitting process - except it seems in Rugby? So something is seriously wrong when such a person is in charge.

Moreover the Public Register contains the responses to the Agency's IPC consultation from the Health and Safety Executive and from the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food. MAFF 22 July 1999 says this: Re Environment Protection Act 1990 part 1 application by Rugby Cement:

"With reference to the further details sent by you on 24 June 1999 in support of Application No AP8314 for authorisation under the EPA 1990 I apologise for the delay in response and hope you will be able to take the following points into consideration.

I note that the cement kiln will be burning coal and pet coke. Since burning these fuels can release Metals, VOCs and Dioxins, I request that the operator monitor for emissions of these chemicals into the air from the process. I request that the monitoring is reported for both concentration and rate of release, and for metals the monitoring covers both particulate and vapour phase emissions. This is so MAFF may complete its assessment of the potential effect of this process on the human food chain.

I look forward to hearing from you in due course.
Mr P A Nunn (MAFF)"

The Agency ignored all this, did not write back, and gave the Rugby Cement an IPC Permit on 13th September 1999 allowing UNLIMITED and UNMONITORED VOCs and dioxins to be released. This was under the watchful eye of the RBC EHO office.

The permit was given 6 weeks before the IPPC regime (much more strict) came in on 1st November 1999. So the experiment on Rugby people began in February 2000 as they tried to commission the new plant with all the upsets and massive pollution epsiodes that came with that process. They had no limits as they could not control the plant, so why monitor? All this under the eye of the Pollution Officers at RBC.

Then Rugby Cement - now sold to RMC, but still operated by the same people - had to apply for an IPPC permit, and RBC helped organise meetings into "tyre burning". Agenda 21 was consulted - on tyre burning. The very first meeting at the Indian Club in September 2001 was called to discuss "tyre burning". The files containing the IPPC application were carefully hidden at the RBC EHO office. Meanwhile the Agency stood by, and RBC stood by, as RMC gave out non-technical summaries of the "Application under IPPC to allow burning of tyres" which of course what they wanted to talk about. Kathy Hayter chaired another epic meeting where questions were directed at tyre burning. The public were told they could not discuss the "cement works" but only the difference between the burning of tyres and the burning of coal. The officer of both the Environment Agency and RBC pushed the tyre burning down our throats day and night.. which was all a deliberate red herring to stop anyone asking about the IPPC permit, and how this had evolved from an unlawful IPC Permit?

WCC officers were also involved, and I post separately the Minutes of the 13 September 2001 held at RBC. Even the Primary Care Trust was fooled into having a Health Impact Assessment into tyre burning in cement kilns. "Is it better for the residents of Rugby to breathe coal dust or tyre fumes?"

RBC spent a massive amount of public money - our money - trying to stop us finding out the truth. They then have set about bullying and intimidating those of us who stood up for the truth, and tried to protect the people of Rugby. Only one councillor will speak to me, all the rest refusing to answer any emails or quests for help - so are they all involved in this massive cover up? Where are the so-called green Councillors and those who belong to Green Peace, and Friends of the Earth? Councillor Mrs Wyatt has worked indefatigably for Rugby residents, but she has been obstructed by this Council, treated despicably by the Leader of the Council in public, and is now being investigated by the Standards Board, presumably to put her mind onto different things! I have received bullying letters, and two recently saying that my quest for the truth has cost RBC £50,000 in one weekend! As an example, when I complained about the coal dust from the unloading of 1,000 tonnes of coal a day at Hunters Yard for transfer across the town by lorry to the cement works, I got a letter from RBC EHO saying they had reported me to the Transport Police to be investigated for possible criminal damage and tresspass on the railway and endangering life. This is the type of thing they do to stop the truth coming out.

There can be no defence in "selective amnesia". This has been a deliberate attempt to hide the truth. Let us hear from RBC what they have to say, and how much of our public money they have wasted in an attempt to keep the truth from us?

Anonymous said...

Shame the culling only refers to the files. Seems like RBC would benefit from an across the board culling.

AP said...

As much as I appreciate the health risks caused by the unsightly Rugby Cement-scraper, and to break through the patina of self-defensive bureaucracy thrown up by the powers that be . I think its important we try to see a wider perspective on the issue.

-I have lived near RC for most of my life, and by far the most dangerous threats to my health (both in terms of mathematical risk and immediate harm to my body) come from motorway travel and fast food. These are very real life-shortners, shouldn't we be addressing those issues before we focus too much of our time on the less dangerous health risks of RC?

-Does anyone campaigning against the cement works NOT live in a house held together by cement? We are guilty of serious cognitive dissonance and hypocrisy if we expect one of Britains top cement suppliers to simply 'go somewhere else' unless we are prepared to vote with our feet and live in houses NOT made using cement. Otherwise we are simply saying "We don't want it in our back yard- give it to someone else!" Which would be indefensibly selfish of us.

Just a couple of thoughts..