Halton Action Group Against the Incinerator (HAGATI) has sent a substantial new document to the Environment Agency (EA) in response to the EA’s issue of a draft Environmental Permit number EPR/EP3731XL for the Ineo Chlor incineration facility in Runcorn, Cheshire.

The document outlines the reasons HAGATI asserts that the information contained in the EA’s Decision Document is seriously flawed and therefore the issuing of the Environmental Permit on the basis of a defective assessment is invalid.

One question raised and documented by HAGATI relates to the classification of the facility as either an energy generation facility or as a waste disposal facility. HAGATI questions question the legality of the decision to consider the Application under section 5.1 and consider that the proper definition of the installation is a co-incinerator under section 5.3 and/or a large combustion plant under section 1.1.

According to HAGATI’s dedicated legal team, with support from the Environmental Law Foundation (ELF), there are inadequacies in the methodology used by the EA in performing their assessments; including:
(a) Reports detailing levels of existing pollution have been disregarded without explanation as to why they were considered irrelevant to the scientific assessment.
(b) The chimney height calculations supplied in HAGTI objections have not been addressed. Despite confirmation by AQMAU that the figures in the Application are correct, when using these figures gives a predicted height of 115 mtrs. This has not been addressed in the Decision Document because the AQMAU have not independently assessed the required height but merely run the same figures supplied by the Applicant, through the same computer programmes to confirm that there are no mathematical errors.
(c) The meteorological conditions defined as calm have not been assessed.
(d) The wind directions used in the assessment have not been identified.
(e) The contributions of existing incinerators have not been assessed under worst case conditions.
(f) The concerns of the Food Standards Agency have not been satisfied.
(g) Application of the Human Rights Act in relation to noise.
(h) Allowing further increments in pollutants to exceed limits.
(i) Use of ‘National levels of dioxin’ as the basis of the assessment.

Furthermore, there is evidence of a lack of due diligence by the Environment Agency, as follows:
(a) Acceptance of incomplete and inaccurate information.
(b) No consideration of the implications of changing the primary purpose of the incinerator.
(c) Failure to supply information under the Freedom of Information Act.
(d) Inadequate assessment of the Section 5 Notices.

We await the EA’s response.

2 Responses to “HAGATI challenges draft environmental permit”

  1. May 23rd 2011: Have just seen an application to Halton Council to increase the amount of waste being transported from something like 80 tonnes to 480 tonnes. Planning case number is 11/00186/COND

  2. Went to the meeting tonight (06/06/11) at the Pavilions and it was very interesting – the emphasis was on Ineos making two separate applications to move extra loads by road: has anyone checked what they intend to move via the Ship Canal? After all, it is going to burning Manchester’s rubbish, what could be easier than loading containers onto boats in Manchester and moving it up the “cut” to lucky, lucky Runcorn? Red herrings were spoke of at the meeting – I think both applications may fall under that category.

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