Leading Biomass Expert’s Report on Threat Posed by Davyhulme Incinerator
Mary Booth, a leading Biomass Expert, Ecosystem Ecologist and Environmental Analyst, has written a report into the concerns that she has found within relation to the Davyhulme Incinerator proposals.
My testimony will largely focus on emissions of heavy metals emissions from this facility, which I believe will represent a very serious threat to the health of the surrounding community. I believe, and intend to demonstrate, that emissions of heavy metals and other pollutants have been underestimated, and that for some other pollutants, the emissions levels are inexcusably high, given the emissions controls that are available and could be used at the facility. I will also comment on the net greenhouse gas emissions impact by the facility. While I am dismayed by the inadequacy of the controls for NOx and the cavalier attitude of permitting authorities regarding adding to the NOx burden when health standards in the area are already exceeded, this topic is well covered by others, so I will only cover it briefly.
To support my arguments, I will draw on the work I have done in the United States, where I have been involved in regulatory processes around biomass power and where I have reviewed numerous air emissions permits for wood-burning plants, including plants that burn construction and demolition (C&D) wood. I am dismayed at the low quality of the analysis offered by the Barton developer, and accepted by the Environment Agency, and by the overall the lack of rigor in the permitting process..
The general theme that runs throughout my comments is that emissions – of greenhouse gases, of metals, and of other pollutants including NOx and VOCs – have consistently been underestimated or even actively misrepresented. This means that the Barton facility will present a greater threat to human health and the environment than the EA or the developer admits.