Neston Residents Urged to Fight Proposed Deeside Incinerator
|Published: 9th January 2012 16:43|
North Wales Residual Waste Treatment Project plans large-scale waste incineration facility at Deeside.
The NWRWTP brings together 5 councils - Flintshire, Isle of Anglesey, Conwy, Denbighshire and Gwynedd. Together they propose to purchase a service from the waste industry to provide a tailored solution to treat waste that has been left over after as much as possible has been recycled (Residual Waste).
Concerned at the potential health and environmental effects, Connahs Quay Council held a Public Meeting in November 2011 to gauge public opinion and investigate options to oppose the plans. Counciillors from neighbouring Parish Councils (including Neston) were invited to attend, as emissions from such a facility are predicted to spread miles from the immediate vicinity.
The NWRWTP estimates that that there is approximately 5 years of landfill capacity left in North Wales. North Wales presently recycles approximately 50% of household rubbish - but by 2025 needs to achieve a target of 70%.
In order to secure additional funds from the Welsh Government, NWRWTP produced an Outline Business Case identifying the potential for an 'Energy from Waste' (incineration) plant to be situated on Deeside Industrial Park. This was used as an 'example' to illustrate what levels of funding would be required. The Welsh Government has subsequently pledged £142 million to the project, enabling NWRWTP to commence looking for a treatment solution.
A sole, alternative site, located at the former aluminium works near Holyhead, was recently rejected when alternative uses were identified for the site.
The 3 companies short-listed for tender are SITA, VEOLIA and WHEELABRATOR. The procurement process has to follow clear guidelines before the 30 year contract can be awarded. A decision on the preferred provider will not be made before March 2012 and formal plans are not envisaged to materialize before the end of 2012.
The potential for a rail link with Deeside (for transport of bulk residual waste) has already been explored. Many local businesses have indicated that they would support the project - and it is believed that they have been offered an incentive in the form of cheap energy. Community leaders are understandably concerned that the decision is a 'done deal'.
Residents are similalry concerned that the NWRWTP will end up on their doorstep. Their main concerns are over health issues, given that the area is already exposed to the emissions from Power Stations, Paper Mills and a Steel Plant.
For every 100ft of chimney stack, it is accepted that emissions travel 7 miles, therefore the implications of the emissions are not restricted to the immediate vicinity. Surrounding areas are likely to be affected and Connah's Quay councillors have requested the support of neighbouring councils in opposing the proposal.
The informative Public Meeting, convened by Connah's Quay Council, benefitted from two passionate guest speakers, Chris and Alison Austin (members of Friends of the Earth) from Merthyr Tydfil who informed the meeting of their own community's experience in successfully opposing plans for a similar incinerator their area. Their key message was that the argument cannot be won on Health grounds because 'incineration' is a major part of the Government's National Policy Statement on waste management. National Government gets its advice from DEFRA - who engages a company called ENVIROS to report on the impact of incinerators. Unfortunately, ENVIROS works for the incineration industry and boasts of its success rates in getting applications for incinerators through the planning process, so any impact assessment by ENVIROS is unlikely to be entirely objective.
The only realistic chance of successfully opposing the plan is to campaign on local issues (location, existing industry emissions, local weather conditions, etc). Chris emphasised that even if a community cannot win their case outright, they can win concessions.
Sign the Petition
A petition has been launched by objectors to the project which Neston Residents are invited to sign if they wish to do so. Petitions are available to sign until the end of February 2012 at the following locations:
- The Brown Horse Pub, The Cross, Neston
- Nicholls Ice-Cream Parlour, Parkgate Parade
- Parkgate Stores, Parkgate Parade
- Bargain Booze, Town Lane, Little Neston
- Neston Community & Youth Centre, Burton Road, Neston
Additional, related information:
Modern incinerators are cleaner than they used to be but still produce toxic emissions in the form of carcinogenic dioxins. The impact of these emissions is bio-cumulative and thus increases over time. Whilst the plant itself may be able to comply with EU limits on emissions, when taken together with other local industry it is forecast that the total output would exceed EU guidelines.
Residents in and around Wrexham recently successfully opposed plans for an incineration plant. They achieved 13,000 signatures on their petition and as a result, an alternative solution was found.
There is a well-established high temperature incineration plant located in Ellesmere Port, operated by VEOLIA , which processes industrial waste.
It is understood that there are plans for five more incineration plants within Wirral and Cheshire (one near Hooton).