Rule 6 Parties Meeting with Environment Agency

Thursday 9th September 2010

The Environment Agency (EA) recently published a Draft of the environmental permit, that may be issued, to allow the operation of the proposed mass burn incinerator near St.Dennis.

No final decision has been taken on the question of issuing the permit at this stage.

While the EA are "minded to issue the permit", the public’s response to the draft permit and decision document is a necessary and important part of the process.

They will make a final decision on whether to issue the permit only after carefully taking into account any relevant matter raised in the responses received during the public consultation period.

The EA held a public surgery event on Thursday 9th September between 2:00pm and 7:30pm at Kingsley Village, Fraddon, as required by the Public Participation Directive, while Rule 6 parties involved in the Public Inquiry were invited to meet with EA officers from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm that morning.

Due to the depth of discussions, that meeting actually continued until after 5:00 pm, with a few short breaks.

Representatives from St.Dennis Parish Council, STIG, The Power of Cornwall (PoC), Cornwall Sustainable Waste Network (CSWN) and Transition Cornwall (TC) attended, along with nine EA representatives from Bodmin, Exeter and Sheffield  which included people in the field of air quality, biodiversity and national permitting.

Concerns were raised that the public surgery should have been held at St.Dennis and that EA publicity was inadequate.

The EA said that an appropriate venue in St.Dennis was not available at a time when all of the EA representatives could attend but Kingsley Village was available.

Rule 6 parties requested an extension to the response deadline for the draft permit, as we were fully engaged preparing final submissions for the public inquiry and considerable time was required to study the draft permit and decision document in depth.

This was agreed by the EA and the deadline has been extended until Friday 29th October.

This extension also applies to members of the public.

The meeting progressed with questions and concerns from all of the Rule 6 parties.

Impacts on Cornwalls food industry were raised by Elizabeth Hawken (CSWN)

Many technical questions were posed by Rod Toms(PoC)

The EA attempted to answer some of the questions but with many of the points raised, felt they needed to respond at a later date after looking more closely at the detail.

There were two subjects raised which are "overarching". Rod Toms said that there was no study of alternatives apart from different incinerator technologies and Charmian Larke (TC) asked about CO2 emissions in relation to the 2050 target.

Charmian Larke  voiced concerns about the energy efficiency of the proposal as her calculations indicated that it would not qualify as a recovery facility and would therefore be a disposal facility.

EA national permitting officer, Simon Holbrook, then made it clear that the Draft permit was indeed for a DISPOSAL facility and not a RECOVERY facility, and that SITA had applied for a waste disposal permit and not a recovery permit. When questioned whether the EA would have published a draft recovery permit for the proposal Simon Holbrook inferred that they would not.

From the outset SITA have called the facility the Cornwall Energy Recovery Centre (CERC) but it was made clear that the EA has always treated the CERC as a waste incinerator as it's primary purpose was waste disposal.

Clearly SITA has attempted a "greenwash" by promoting the incinerator as an energy recovery facility when the primary purpose of the facility is waste disposal.

Once again SITA has not been open and transparent with the public.