KING’S LYNN: Incinerator firm’s environmental record called into question
The environmental record of one of the two companies behind the proposed Lynn incinerator was called into question today (Wednesday) at a public inquiry into the planning application.
Wheelabrator paid out $7.5 million following one in a string of civil actions against its facilities in America, the inquiry at West Norfolk Professional Development Centre, in North Lynn, heard.
Carla Goodyear, solicitor for opposition group King’s Lynn Without Incineration (KLWIN), said people in Lynn might assume it meant environmental standards may not be kept up if a facility were approved for the site close to Palm Paper, at Saddlebow.
John Boldon, director of planning for Cory Environmental, which has formed a consortium with Wheelabrator on the Lynn incinerator plan, denied that was the case.
Miss Goodyear suggested failing to declare the civil actions to the Environment Agency amounted to supplying false information, but Mr Boldon said all information requested had been supplied.
Miss Goodyear said at one American facility, Wheelabrator violated at least one permit condition every quarter and some quarterly reports document as many as 15 violations.
Mr Boldon said the $7.5 million payment referred to was an out-of-court settlement to avoid lengthy and costly proceedings.
He added: “My understanding is the violations were not deemed serious as the permit was not revoked and not enforced against.”
In his second day of giving evidence to the inquiry, Mr Boldon was also questioned on the claimed benefits of the incinerator to people in Lynn.
He admitted there was no guarantee the 40 full-time equivalent jobs created at the site once completed would go to local people, but said there was a commitment to employ locals where possible.
Miss Goodyear also referred to payments of up to £100,000 a year for community projects the firm had offered. She said there had been claims Cory Wheelabrator’s incinerator bid was £46 million more expensive to the public purse than a rival tender so it would take 460 years for those payments to translate into a real benefit.
Mr Boldon said Norfolk County Council had stated it chose the bid that represented the best value for money.
The inquiry continues.
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Sunday 26 May 2013
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