Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Assembly protest over Splott Incinerator


splott incinerator protest
Protestors against the proposed Splott incinerator took to the steps of the Senedd today in a bid to prevent a permit being granted for the waste burner.
Members of the campaign group Cardiff Against the Incinerator gathered outside the building at 11 AM to put pressure on Assembly Government to call in the permit decision and halt the incinerator plan.
The decision to grant the permit lies with the Environment Agency and the outcome is expected to be announced at the end of October.
But protestors, who are concerned about health risks and increased traffic in the area, believe the Assembly Government could stop waste management company Viridor from building the incinerator.
Edmund Schluessel, secretary of the campaign group said the protest was designed to keep the pressure on those who were part of the decision making process.
He said: “We have to keep the pressure on. The campaign is gaining more and more support but the biggest problem is that so much of the decision making happens behind closed doors.
“The timing of today’s protest has not been ideal, but it was dictated by the Welsh Assembly Government and I’m glad so many people were able to come.
“Splott is one of the most deprived areas in Cardiff. This used to be a thriving community, but now we are taking in all of South Wales’ rubbish.”
The Welsh Assembly Government said they were unable to comment on individual permits, but a spokesperson from the Environment Agency said: “During our extensive consultation, we received many comments from people concerned about the potential health impact of the plant. We will only issue a permit to any site if we are satisfied that it will not damage the health of local people or the environment.”
What do you think about the potential for an incinerator in Splott? Do you live in the area? Let us know your views in the comments below

Monday, 11 October 2010

Cardiff incinerator could cause Legionnaire's outbreak

A new study published this month shows a waste incinerator planned for Cardiff could cause an outbreak of Legionnaire's Disease.

Researchers at the University of Northampton took samples from a waste management facility over a three-month period and discovered that more than one-third of all specimens taken contained Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1, the bacterium that causes Legionnaire's Disease. Workers at the facility “will be exposed to L. pneumophila through the respiratory route shown to be important risk in the development of Legionnaire's Disease”, the researchers concluded, as the mechanical processes underway in the waste management facility spread the bacteria by air. Similar processes, scaled up, would be in place at the Cardiff incinerator.

The study, “Isolation and identification of Legionella pneumophila from material reclamation facilities” by Ali, Phillips, Phillips & Bates, is published in the October 2010 issue of the International Journal of Environmental Health Research.

The Cardiff incinerator would have a capacity of 350,000 tonnes of waste a year, including not just the composts and plant waste which are the primary source of Legionella bacteria but also animal carcasses, animal faeces, and human body parts. Under Viridor Waste Management's plans, aeration of the waste would make the bacteria grow even more. Then, the rotting five-day-old rubbish would be handled by cranes and violently shredded before being loaded onto conveyor belts, spreading the bacteria into the air. These conditions guarantee that the entire facility and surrounding area would be contaminated with Legionella.

An ongoing outbreak of Legionnaire's Disease in the South Wales valleys has killed two and infected twenty others. Many outbreaks of Legionnaire's Disease are attributed to cooling towers, which can spread bacteria as far as 6km (3.7 miles) from their origin. While the planned Cardiff incinerator does not make use of cooling towers, this new information shows that the health risks of the incinerator go far beyond what Viridor has accounted for. Furthermore, Viridor Waste Management have been repeatedly fined and cautioned for allowing waste and odours to spread beyond the boundaries of their waste management facilities and into the surrounding area. Combined with the recent Valleys outbreak, the study reinforces Leanne Wood AM's statement that the planned Cardiff incinerator is “far too big and far too close to a residential area”.

Edmund Schluessel, secretary of Cardiff Against the Incinerator, commented, “It seems like every day we find out about a new threat to public health from the Cardiff incinerator. The experience in Caerphilly, where a waste management facility is causing huge odour problems, shows that the problem goes deeper than any technique; putting waste processing close to residential areas is irresponsible, and the market can't be trusted to take care of the problems that arise. We need public ownership and democratic management of the waste sector to protect public health and ensure that the industry works for us.”

Cardiff Against the Incinerator will be demonstrating at the Senedd from 11am to 1pm on Tuesday 12 October in opposition to Viridor's plans and in solidarity with anti-incineration groups from around Wales. On 13 October, it will meet with Cardiff & Vale University Health Board to discuss the latest information on the health effects of incineration.
The original study as cited in the text is "Isolation and identification of Legionella pneumophila from material reclamation facilities", Authors: Shanom Ali; Carol Ann Phillips; Paul Scott Phillips; Margaret Bates. Published in: International Journal of Environmental Health Research, Volume 20, Issue 5 October 2010, pages 367 - 377. DOI: 10.1080/09603123.2010.484859

Information on waste handling procedures at the incinerator is contained in the Best Available Technique (BAT) statement submitted as part of Viridor's permitting application to the Environment Agency. Information on Viridor's history of fines & cautions comes from the Relevant Offences statement submitted as part of teh same application.

Friday, 8 October 2010

letter to Dr Sharon Hopkins

Dr Sharon Hopkins
Director of Public Health
Cardiff and Vale University Health Board
Whitchurch Hospital
Park Road
Whitchurch                      phone  029 2074 7747   to ask for her e-mail
CF14 7XB

Dear Dr Hopkins,
The Environment Agency informs us that they are consulting you again over the public criticism of their  arguments that this incinerator would have no effects on health.  Their letter to you of 27 Sept.  draws attention to our evidence of scientific papers saying the contrary, which have been published over recent years, but refer you only to Porta et al.
We are surprised you are asked to reconsider just on the basis of the 27 Sept. letter, in view of our complex evidence submitted to the EA consultation.  We therefore seek an appointment with you to explain our points, covering
# ignored sources of pollution due to ash-particles and emissions during abnormal operations
# ignored POPs (persistent organic pollutants) from highly brominated compounds in modern wastes
# scientific papers that find cancers are related to past incinerators, presumed to be due to trace pollutants that are not controlled in modern incinerators.
# limited control of nanoparticles, probably the most harmful fraction of emissions to air
# Glos health  authorities admitting concern over  the fine particles escaping from the Bishop’s Cleeve landfill (where Viridor’s flyash etc. would be sent) “unsure if living near the site is harmful to public health, with several studies still investigating the matter” **.
We understand the LHB did not consult the public before sending in their response to the Environment Agency last year.   Will you ensure that the new Health Board does better?  Our meeting this week wished to meet  with you on Monday next, 11 October, seeing your need to respond quickly to the EA.   We would ask for some time on that day to meet  with yourself or a deputy and look forward to your reply.


Thursday, 7 October 2010

“The Battle Hymn” from Paul Connett

“The Battle Hymn” from  Paul Connett   (tune  dei rifiuti ??)
We don’t want incineration
We don’t want incineration
We don’t want incineration
We know there’s a better way!

Mine eyes have seen the garbage
That’s a smoldering on the grate
We must stop incineration
Before it is too late
Unless we wish the dangers
We had better separate
And we must do it now!

We don’t want incineration
We don’t want incineration
We don’t want incineration
We know there’s a better way!

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Dr Paul Connett. Professor Emeritus of Chemistry. St Lawrence University, Canton, NY .... The Battle Hymn of Garbage. Mine eyes have seen the garbage ...