Air pollution from smoke, gases and ash from incinerators must be considered as should any heavy metals left in the ash. The cumulative air pollution impacts on people’s health, already suffering in this area, and on the health of nearby designated sites is unsustainable. S Glos should not grant planning permission and the Environment Agency should not give an operating permit to any mass incineration of waste on Severnside – this area is already heavily polluted, impacting on both human and environmental health.
Consider the effects of pollution from this area, added to the pollution already emitted, on the Severn Natura 2000 Marine site. This area was selected against rigorous scientific criteria to protect the most threatened and important species and habitats in Europe. The site is of international significance (UN RAMSAR listed, up to 100,000 birds over-winter there, Slimbridge is just upstream). It is very close to the incinerator site and is protected with tough limits for nutrient nitrogen deposition.
Because of the traffic on the M5 and the other polluting activities already in the area cumulative air pollution is already a real problem. It is our understanding that only insignificant levels of nutrient nitrogen could be permitted by the Environment Agency ie less than 1% of the critical load.
In our view this mass incinerator is not part of a properly considered and appraised local/regional strategy which both acknowledges and acts on the fact that waste reduction, reuse and recycling saves far more energy than is generated by burning waste. Making fewer new things from raw materials is what makes most environmental sense because stocks of raw materials are finite. We should be doing all we can to recover and recycle valuable materials from our rubbish, rather than turn these materials into a ‘fuel’.