GREATER MANCHESTER AIR POLLUTION ALERT
The Breathe Clean Air Group welcomes Greater Manchester Clean Air Day. Although this event focusses on traffic air-pollution the group has appealed to the organisers and GM Mayor Andy Burnham not to forget air pollution caused by industry, power generation and domestic wood burning stoves.
“Air pollution from traffic exhausts is mainly nitrogen dioxide, which is an irritant and toxic gas, and affects the development of children’s lungs” said Pete Kilvert, Chairman of BCAG. “This is bad enough, but air pollution from industry, power generation and wood burning can contain heavy metals, other more toxin chemicals and Particulate Matter. The Particulate Matter, especially from burning biomass and from domestic wood-burning stoves, can get deep into the lungs, then transfers into the bloodstream and can lodge in the body’s organs, including the brain. This can cause heart attacks, strokes and cancer. Recent research has also linked Particulate Matter air pollution to Alzheimer’s disease and autism.”
The Breathe Clean Air Group has been campaigning for nearly seven years to stop the construction of the Barton Renewable Energy Plant in Davyhulme. “This is in fact an Incinerator which will burn the Peel Group’s waste wood and plastics and dump it into the air that we breathe” added Pete Kilvert. “Its poor technology, outdated filtration system and under-sized chimney stack will spread its pollution throughout the county and will create massive ill-health impacts. It will operate 24/7 for the next 25 years or more.”
The Group is also concerned that Davyhulme has been designated air pollution capitol of Greater Manchester with continuing offensive odours from Davyhulme Wastewater Treatment Facility, planning permission granted for huge storage tanks of toxic chemicals, coalbed methane fracking and the nearby Port Salford facility.
“It’s time that Greater Manchester and Trafford Council recognise the dangers of air pollution from industry, power generation and domestic wood burning and do something to reduce it,” added Mr Kilvert.
Email sent to Andy Burnham; Mayor of Greater Manchester.
Dear Andy and Isabel,
Thank you for your invitation to participate in Greater Manchester Clean Air Day.
The Breathe Clean Air Group has been campaigning for Clean Air for almost seven years. Our campaign has been focussed primarily on stopping the construction of the Barton Renewable Energy Plant in Davyhulme, Trafford. This has also lead us to monitor nitrogen dioxide in the Davyhulme and Urmston area over the last 3 years. The reason for this is to establish a benchmark for nitrogen dioxide, and to be able to identify any increase in NO2 when the plant is operational.
We notice that the thrust of the Greater Manchester Clean Air Day is on vehicle exhaust emissions and recognise your proposed contribution to reducing NO2 by not using your car on one day per week. Although “every little helps” it will be very difficult for most motorists to follow your lead, as their daily journeys don’t go on the “home to Manchester city centre” route (which has a good choice of alternative public transport). Furthermore, it would appear that the blame for air pollution in Greater Manchester is placed on the private motorist.
I realise that you have to start somewhere with tackling air pollution, but I want to draw your attention to the more dangerous sources and future sources of air pollution in Greater Manchester: INCINERATION, INDUSTRIAL PROCESSES, POWER GENERATION, FRACKING and WOOD PROCESSING AND BURNING (including domestic wood-burning appliances).
Traffic produces nitrogen dioxide which is bad enough, but the other sources quoted above produce heavy metals, Particulate Matter, and organic chemicals including dioxins. The health impacts are far greater.
Therefore we ask that you take a wider look at reducing air pollution in Greater Manchester by the following actions:
a) Taking a more in-depth scrutiny of the performance of Local Planning Authorities when they consider applications that involve air polluting processes, especially near residential areas.
b) Better and independent measuring and monitoring of air polluting processes.
c) Challenging the Environment Agency to identify dirty processes and encouraging the EA to refuse Environmental Permits when necessary.
d) Challenging the Government’s policy that allows air polluting processes to flourish.
e) Declaring that Greater Manchester becomes a Biomass-Free Zone and a Frack-Free Zone.
f) Launching a campaign to ban/discourage domestic wood-burning appliances.
g) Doing what you can to STOP air-polluting processes like the Barton Renewable Energy Plant.
h) Taking action to stop wood dust pollution endangering neighbours.
We wish you well on Greater Manchester Clean Air Day and see it as a first step on the journey to ensure that the residents of Greater Manchester can breathe clean air. We would be delighted to talk to you about our vision for an air-pollution free Greater Manchester.
Many thanks and Best Wishes Peter Kilvert, Chairman, Breathe Clean Air Group, Trafford.