Cardiff Against the Incinerator has been founded as an independent, resident-led campaign against waste incineration in Cardiff and anywhere in Wales. We demand: no incinerators in Wales, democratic control of waste management, and sustainable solutions that put people ahead of profits.
Organisers of the Cardiff Against the Incinerator Group have sent a letter to the Environment Agency Wales outlining the reasons why a waste permit should not have been granted to waste management company Viridor.
The firm was granted a permit to process waste at the site on Trident Park, Splott, in November and campaigners took their protests to the Welsh Assembly Government’s petitions committee. Edmund Schluessel, from the campaign group, said local residents may be forced to take the decision to court to make their point.
“There are some major flaws with the consultation and evidence used by the Environment Agency,” he said. “We’ve taken advice and there is a strong moral case, and potentially a legal argument, to reverse the permit decision.”
Mr Schluessel revealed he and fellow campaigners had discussions with barrister Mair Coombes Davies, from Civitas Law, about their case. She represented the Rumney Rec campaigners in their fight against Cardiff council last year.
A spokesman for Environment Agency Wales confirmed it had received the letter and was formulating a response. “We will respond to their concerns and the Cardiff Against the Incinerator Group will decide whether to take the matter to a judicial review.
“We carried out a thorough and rigorous 18-month investigation into this application and we acted to protect local communities and the environment.”
It is estimated campaigners will need to find £5,000 to get the case in front of a high-court judge, and costs could escalate from there.
But Mr Schluessel said: “We are not giving up. We don’t feel the agency has properly considered the health impact of the incinerator on the local community and there are issues about information provided by the Cardiff and Vale Health Board.”
Dan Cooke, external affairs manager of Viridor, said: “Viridor welcomes rational security of the process that has been followed by the Environment Agency in granting an environmental permit for the operation of an energy from waste combined heat and power facility on Trident Park.
“The permitting process is open and transparent. The granting of this permit followed a professional and detailed inspection of plans for the proposed facility and was in keeping with the thorough approach adopted by the Environment Agency across the UK on all schemes of this nature.
“Whilst people are of course entitled to scrutinise decisions that are made by public bodies, the views of a small number of politically motivated protestors are by no means representative of the wider community. Viridor would like to make clear once again the facility will use tried and tested technology that is already in operation at over 20 sites in the UK and over 400 sites across Europe. The operation of the facility will be constantly monitored by the Environment Agency. We will also be pleased to establish a local liaison group to ensure community involvement and scrutiny.
“The Trident Park facility would make a considerable contribution towards meeting the challenging residual waste needs of the area, working alongside high levels of recycling, and provide the opportunity to help businesses and local authorities achieve greater resource efficiency. Importantly, the facility will also bring much needed new jobs to the area and potentially provide electricity and heat to nearby properties and local busiensses.”
Cardiff Council Executive Business Meeting Committee Room 3 County Hall to discuss