INCINERATOR INQUIRY: Expert quizzed on what would be going into the King’s Lynn burner
Concerns about exactly what waste would be burned in the proposed Lynn incinerator were voiced at the public inquiry in the town on Friday.
Air quality specialist Dan Smyth faced a barrage of questions from the public during cross-examination of his evidence, after he concluded that the incinerator would not have any significant adverse effects on air quality.
Anti-incinerator campaigner Jenny Perryman asked him how it was possible to effectively monitor pollutants coming out of the chimney stack without knowing exactly what was in the black bag waste going to the burner.
Mr Smyth said: “There are controls over all the materials coming in. The environmental permit categorises what can come in for burning at the plant.”
He said although not every bag would be opened, there would be checks on loads at the gatehouse or weigh bridge and visual inspections of the waste in the bunker by the crane operator sorting out the incoming material and cameras focussed on the operation there.
He said: “If any non-conforming delivery is identified that is rejected and removed from the facility, so there are inspections and emissions are monitored continuously.”
When Miss Perryman asked if the plant would rely on people putting only permitted items in their waste, he said it was Norfolk County Council’s responsibility to deliver only materials of the kind specified and of the plant operator to check that was the case, with the Environment Agency regulating the whole process.
KLWIN’s solicitor Carla Goodyear asked whether there could be more regular monitoring for dioxins and heavy materials to ensure cleaner air for the local population.
Mr Smyth said it was the Environment Agency, which issued the environmental permit for the proposal, which would be keeping this under review.
She also asked if he could guarantee there would be no odour problems from the burner, as people in the Lynn areas had experienced some “quite strange smells at times”.
Mr Smyth said: “I can’t provide guarantees myself, but from experience this type of facility doesn’t give rise to particular problems because odour is effectively destroyed in the combustion process.”
During any plant shutdown, the waste bunker could be sealed off by doors to prevent smells, he added.
Judy Knights was concerned about the location of monitoring equipment for emissions from the plant and asked if more could be located downwind at Cory Wheelabrator’s expense.
Mr Smyth said a monitoring agreement had been reached which would see this undertaken by West Norfolk Council and funded by the company.
In his evidence, Mr Smyth said the Environment Agency would have specific responsibility for emissions from the incinerator, during its operation, and had granted the proposal an environmental permit.
In doing so, it considered that the permit “will ensure that a high level of protection is provided for the environment and human health”.
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Tuesday 21 May 2013
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