Saturday, April 01, 2006

The SAME side, but different?

The Agency and local councils are on the SAME side... as they fight to protect air quality and health in other areas. While in Rugby they are on the SAME side, as they fight to protect industry, at the expense of air quality and health.

It is not only the cement kilns that are refusing to clean up, but also other industries. At least in these below the Agency and local authority are on the SIDE of the people, and not as in Rugby fighting AGAINST the people and against health protection! I quote ENDS environmental specialist magazine Issue 374 March 2006:

Hanson Building Products resist pressure to clean up brick kilns, and is using a series of appeals agianst Permit Conditions to Challenge EA efforts to reduce sulphur dioxide emissions, that are linked to local air quality breaches.

Sulphur in local clay leads to higher than normal Sulphur Dioxide emissions, and a distinct odour in the surrounding area. (one site at Stewartby Bedford and two in Whittlesey Peterborough)

In May 2005 Bedford declared an AQMA after monitoring revealed dozens of breaches of the 266 micrograms/metre cubed since 2000. From 2005 the objective is no more than 35 occasions of breach.

The same is going on at Hanson's in Whittlsey. The EA imposed an IPPC Permit, and in an attempt to improve air quality at both sites imposed strict limits for SO2 - NOT to breach the local air quality limits.

Last summer Hanson appealed against the improvements, claiming commercial confidentiality over the appeals. The Agency refused the request, so Hanson's launched a second set of appeals.

The appeals in effect prevent the Agency from enforcing the Permit Conditions to improve air quality and from disclosing information for public scrutiny. The Planning Inspectorate is unlikely to rule on the appeals before the end of the year.

Hanson's Corporate Policy states it will : "comply with all existing environmental legislation" and "minimise any adverse effects our activities have on the environment."

Bedford Council is concerned about the Agency's lack of progress in securing improvement at Stewartby. Officials have been concerned about the sites' impact on air quality since 2000.

Note there is NO mention of health. I wonder how many deaths, and how much ill health these air quality breaches are causing. It seems they do not have to comply with the UK and European air quality limits. But at least at these places the LOCAL AUTHORITY is on the side of the people, and so is the Agency, but it seems they can do nothing to protect health, which clearly must be being damaged. What right do the industries have to "use up the air", and make people ill, and even to die?

Meanwhile Rugby Cemex row rumbles on with the World Cement site revealing its advice to "tell them plausible stories" in order to get things over on the public. ENDS also reveal that under the Government's Climate Change Agreement an "opt-out" has been arranged, so the figures are being fiddled, as the cement industry is claiming CO2 reductions (which is meant only for the use of non-fossil "fuels"), for wastes containing fossil carbon, such as tyres and industrial solvents, which are NOT carbon-neutral materials.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...