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Mayor Dave Declares Covanta Fight Not Over, as Councils Make Powerful Case Against

November 9, 2017 2:45 PM

Placards from a Residents' Demo in Stewartby against the plans for an incinerator nearbyMayor Dave Hodgson has declared that the fight against the massive Covanta incinerator near Stewartby is far from over, as local councils submitted a powerful case against the proposed facility to the environment agency.

Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire Councils' joint response to the consultation on the environmental permit application for the site details a series of grounds on which the permit should be rejected.

The two councils teamed up previously in fighting against the incinerator in Parliament, but a group of MPs and Lords gave planning permission for the site to be constructed, confirming a previous decision of a national quango.

Now the US waste giant Covanta is seeking an environmental permit to operate the joint rubbish burner, and the two councils have delivered a case to the environment agency in opposition to the application.

Commenting, Mayor Dave Hodgson said: "The scale of this plant is ludicrously big. The amount of rubbish it will burn annually is more than ten times the size of Bedford Borough's entire household black bin waste.'

"This is a regional-scale facility, coming after years of the Marston Vale being a dumping ground for other areas with its landfill sites.'

"We've fought the plans at every stage, and believe we've made a compelling case to the Environment Agency that it should not issue a permit for the facility. Covanta might be assuming that they are effectively over the line, but they are not, and we'll keep challenging this monstrous plant as far as possible."

The councils' case sets out their concerns on the following grounds:

  • The Health Impacts of Particulate Matter
  • Potential impacts of waste incinerators on human health
  • Dispersion Modelling (the modelling of how the air pollutants disperse)
  • Diesel Emissions from the lorries travelling to and from the site
  • Concern about the operational performance of the applicant, citing the hospitalisation of eleven people after lime was released inside the flue gas treatment area at the Poolbeg Incinerator in Dublin on June 7th
  • Treatment and Storage of Incinerator Bottom Ash (IBA) and Incinerator Bottom Ash Aggregate (IBAA)
  • Energy Recovery
  • Types of waste and the effects on recycling of the proposed plant
  • Ineffective Public Consultation