Monday, May 28, 2007


And what have Rugby in Plume been saying all along?

"That the Rugby Cement plant was not, (and still is not), BAT!"

And now even the Agency and DEFRA have to admit it. But of course they would rather not "admit it", and they favour the removal of sector ELVs, arguing they are "unnecessary" because the UK applies BAT "properly" - so they say! Is this yet another "Rugby Cement - flying pigs story?

Here below they deal ONLY with a "portion" of the "main stack" particulate emissions, so the Cemex claim that particulate emissions (as a whole) are reduced by 80% are simply "misleading", to say the least. It would be interesting to know exactly how they have calculated this "miracle improvement"?

And why did they not do it before, if, as they claim, they could so easily have decimated the particulate emissions, but instead RMC/Cemex were allowed by the Agency to unnecessarily increase the pollution during the tyre trials in 2004 and 2005. Indeed the Agency even gave them permission to carry out the trials in three stages in 2005/2006 splitting the agreed (as in the permit) 1,000 hours of baseline into two parts to allow them to conduct the tyre trials BEFORE they fitted the bag filters - allowing tonnes of extra unnecessary particle pollution.

And the other 18 or so low level sources, that pump out particulate, have not been affected by the new bag filters, and indeed the bag filters only work on the kiln, where they have replaced the kiln ESP, and there are still two other ESPs emitting from the main stack in parallel with the bag filters - the clinker cooler ESP and the bypass ESP. These are not filtered through the new bag filter.


Quote: The case of CEMEX underlines how emission limit values (ELVs) can drive tighter standards than the more flexible IPPC regime. In April the Mexican building materials giant announced it had cut particulate emissions at its Rugby works by 80% after investing £6.5 million in a bag filter abatement system.

The company CLAIMED the improvement was evidence of its commitment to sustainability. IN FACT it was necessary to comply with the Waste Incineration Directive because the sites existing electrostatic precipiatators were unable to meet the new PM10 limit of 30 milligrams per cubic metre which came into force in January. The site is caught by the Directive becaue it uses scrap tyres as a substitute fuel. Cemex acquired the works in 2005 when it bought UK firm RMC. It is one of the largest kilns in the country producing 1.8 millions tonnes of cement a year.

(RIP comment: UNLAWFULLY! it has only a planning permission for 1.2 million tonnes, and an (unlawful) 1999 IPC Permit for x? tonnes!)

Controversy has surrounded the site, partly because of the presence near the town centre and close to residential areas, but also because of fears over the health impact of burning waste fuels. The proposal to use tyres as a partial substitute for coal was made in 2001 as part of the company's IPPC Permit application (ENDS Report 345 pp9-10)

(RIP comment: not only this, but also, the realisation that there were tonnes of particulate being emitted from many different sources which we had not been informed about - and which were nothing to do with the main stack and the "new element of tyre burning" - but all of which has a health impact. That is why they hid the information.

# The public only found out at IPPC that the plant had no planning permission, and that what was built had not even been applied for, let alone consulted on.

# The public were only told at the IPPC stage that the old plant that had been 300,000 tonnes a year, and maximum 40 HGVs a day, had now been replaced by stealth and unlawfully by a new plant that year on year rachetted up production, and is now near TWO MILLION tonnes a year.

# The controversy also included the way the public and PCT were mislead and misinformed by the Agency and Rugby Cement, and crucial environmental information was withheld, for many months and years, while misleading information was distributed only too freely!

# At the IPC application stage the Agency, pre-empting the huge problems that were to arise at IPPC, at first "cleverly" avoided the problem altogether by hiding the whole June 1999 IPC application.

# The Rugby Borough Council, ever complicit, and in collusion, (officers? and/or councillors?) compounded the harm by being complicit in hiding the IPC application, and "they" (whoever they are as they refuse to name the people concerned) decided IN SECRET, with no proper procedure, and no records, to UNLAWFULLY by-pass the consultation process, and to hide the IPC application;

# and to make no reply to it;

# and to make no attempt to limit the pollution and damage to Rugby residents' environment, air quality and health, They gave them a carte-blanche to do to us as they wished.

# The Agency, very strangely, even claim they have "no record" of Rugby Cement ever having paid ANY of the usual charges for the IPC application, so it seems that Rugby Cement have done very well out of this - getting a "FREEBIE" to the great detriment of Rugby's 90,000 residents.

# Of course we have to bear in mind who was chair/board member of the Agency in the 1990's and who was chair of RMC group. Seems someone got more than "just his expenses" from being on the Board of HMIP and the Agency?)

EU guidance on the Best Available Techniques (BAT) that cement manufacturers should use to control pollution recommends bag filters to control particulates. But the company argued against the need to fit new abatament, despite the risk of increased dust emissions from tyre burning. It insisted that bag filters could not be used because of the wetness of the raw materials fed into the kiln and that ESPs provided adequate protection. The Agency agreed with the company, despite the local Primary Care Trust's concerns over the public's exposure to dust emissions, and issued a permit on that basis in 2003.

# The recent investment Cemex was forced to make raises doubts over the previous management's technical argument against bag filters.

# Questions may also be asked about the Agency's BAT decision. It appears that either the Waste Incineration Directive has forced Cemex to spend millions on unneeded abatement, or the Agency's view that ESPs constituted BAT for the works was wrong.

Agency sources say privately that the bottom line is to ensure its decsions are "court proof" - defensible against a legal challenge by a company. The cost-benefit case for one technique over another can be difficult to prove, whereas the ELV in the Waste Incinerator Directive is mandatory.

(RIP comment: but even in the IPPC application there was NO BAT assessment carried out by the company. The Agency "tried" to do a BAT assessment in the H1 but they did not do it properly - and there was no cost-benefit analysis - even though it is straightforward logical exercise.

Not only that but also the Agency REFUSED pointblank to give anyone at Rugby PCT or RBC or the MP Andy King or the Rugby Cement Community Forum, or the RBC paid consultant, or the public, any copy of the H1 BAT assessment.

RIP, the PCT and many others, pointed all this out to the Agency during the IPPC "sham" consultation, but the Agency was so busy hiding things and misleading that there was never any serious attempt to provide information about this plant, which goes along with the accusations the public have made all along about the wilfull and devious withholding of environmental information, accompanied by the unacceptable provision of totally misleading information.

Some might even call it the deliberate provision of LIES, and they would not be far off with that. Indeed AEAT did a report into the 2003 IPPC Decision Document and made many derogatory comments about the company and the Agency, the application, and the Decision, and how they had failed to comply with the IPPC procedure. Clearly the Agency is so afraid of the cement industry that they prefer to take their chances with the "gullible and bulliable public" and to deceive and pollute the Rugby residents, rather than to risk the threat of the industry taking court action against the Agency. The Agency and Defra the Secretary of State for the Treasury prefer to battle in the courts with the long-suffering but righteous Rugby residents, who they seem to assume will be easier to PULP into submission , rather than to face the unlimited funding, and access to top lawyers, and the massive weight of the lobbies and bullies at the BCA and Cemnet.)

Although EU guidance documents on BAT, known as BREFs, provide a wealth of information on the performance and cost of pollution control techniques, it falls to the Agency to prove they are BAT in the UK. The status of BREFs is also weak. Their recommendations are non-statutory, and the IPPC Directive does not even refer directly to them. The only mandatory requirement on operators is to use BAT.

One case involving QUINN GLASS underlines the perils of making BAT decisions. An IPPC Permit issued by Chester City Council was quashed by the High Court becuase it failed to require the company to use BAT (ENDS Reports 370 pp11-12 and 371 pp 49-50|). End.

RIP would also point out that according to the ENVIROWISE site, and to the UK legislation on the government's own web, the Rugby Cement plant should have applied for an IPPC permit straight away, in 1999, and not secretly applied for an outdated IPC permit. On 31st October 1999 IPPC was brought into Law from Europe and all NEW plants, that did not start operating until after that date - such as the Rugby kiln which was started in February 2000, - or even substantially altered old plants, had to apply for an IPPC permit right from the beginning. Instead there was the secret IPC application and secret IPC Permit in September 1999, granted before the plant was built. Then the Agency tried to say at IPPC that this was "only about tyre burning" as that is the "only difference" with IPC and it has already got that.

Watch this space.

Monday, May 07, 2007


..appears contravened by imports of London's waste?WCC and RBC have to:
..consider these things before they can cart London's commercial and household waste up the M1 in masses of extra HGVs, in order to to burn the Refuse Derived Fuel, branded as "CLIMAFUEL", in Rugby's smokeless zone.

This is from the WCC Waste Strategy:
" The principles of proximity and regional self-sufficiency have been important considerations in developing the scenarios described below. The PROXIMITY PRINCIPLE requires that waste be managed as near as possible to its origin. This principle recognises the desire to avoid passing financial and ENVIRONMENTAL costs onto communities not responsible for waste generated, whilst reducing the impact of transportation.

In order to adhere to the principles of self-sufficiency and proximity the scenarios for the BPEO (Best Practicable Environmental Option) assessment have been developed to consider ONLY the municipal waste arising for which Warwickshire is responsible. Any consideration of synergies with plans policies in NEIGHBOURING authorities may be undertaken ONLY after determining the BPEO for Warwickshire alone."

Assessment Methodology:
"The assessment methodology incorporates environmental, economic and planning criteria and follows the step-wise approach suggested in the UK Waste Strategy 2000 (WS2000) which states: 'Decisions on waste management including decisions on suitable sites and installations for treatment and disposal should be based on a LOCAL assessment of the Best Practicable Environmental Option.'

The BPEO concept was defined in the 12th Report of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution as: 'the outcome of a systematic and consultative decision making procedure which emphasises the protection and conservation of the environment across land, air and water. The BPEO procedure establishes, for a given set of objectives, the option that provides the most benefits or the least damage to the environment as a whole, at acceptable cost, in the long term and the short term'

The BPEO concept incorporates two further principles that need to be taken into account when making waste management decisions:

# the waste hierarchy.
# the proximity principle.

Other issues:

Traffic flow is an important factor.

Can anyone please explain how the import of London's household and commercial waste fits in with the Warwickshire Waste Strategy?

How does the BPEO apply to it?

How does the Proximity Principle apply?

Not to mention all those extra thousands of lorry miles?