Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Cornwall Council, the incinerator and air quality

Rod Toms – a leading member of the Cornwall Waste Forum – recently addressed a meeting of Mebyon Kernow members in St Austell.

He was very critical of Cornwall Council for failing to meet its responsibility to monitor air quality in the Mid Cornwall area. He told members how the incinerator at St Dennis was nearing completion and yet, Cornwall Council was failing in its obligation to assess background air quality in advance of the plant coming into operation.

Put simply, Cornwall Council as a principal local authority is legally obliged under Part IV of the Environment Act 1995 to assess and review air quality. This is linked to the EU Directive 2008/50/EC on ambient air quality.

He told our meeting that the unitary authority needed to demonstrate how it will meet the requirement of frequent tests, and added that he considered it was not possible to discharge its responsibility by getting a local community group to carry out tests.

Today at Full Council, three councillors raised this issue. MK councillor Andrew Long, plus independents Fred Greenslade (St Dennis) and John Wood (Roche) sought assurances about prompt and appropriate testing before the plant could be brought into operation.

The responses from the portfolio holder did not provide any additional information, and left us all very concerned about what is happening.

Obviously, there is much more challenging to do on this issue.

No comments: