The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled that Peel Energy misled the public in its publicity surrounding its proposed incinerator, or Barton Renewable Energy Plant, on the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal.
The ASA ruled that Peel misled the public over its graphic representation of the plant and its claim that the local area would make use of its renewable energy. The ASA had earlier forced Peel to remove claims on its website that the incinerator would be `continuously monitored' by the Environment Agency.
The Breathe Clean Air Group has led a huge campaign against Peel Energy's plans to build the Barton Renewable Energy Plant just across the water from Salford City Stadium, Irlam and Peel Green, claiming that a cocktail of pollutants will be heading Salford's way, as well as infesting their own back yards in Trafford.
Last November, Trafford Council kicked out plans for the incinerator, citing "genuine and significant public concern over the perceived impact on public health". The Environment Agency is currently deliberating whether or not to issue a Permit to Operate. Meanwhile the propaganda war continues, with the ASA today ruling that Peel misled the public over its claims for the plant, after objections by the Breathe Clean Air Group.
Last month, the ASA forced Peel Energy to remove a claim on its website that the incinerator would be `continuously monitored by the Environment Agency', when incinerator operators monitor their own plants and the Environment Agency only check these figure every few months.
"The term `continuously monitored' gives local people a false sense of safety" said Pete Kilvert, chairman of the Breathe Clean Air Group "The incinerator will burn waste wood containing heavy metals such as arsenic and lead. Burning plastics can cause dioxins. Fine particulates could cause ill-health and disease throughout Salford and Greater Manchester."
Now the ASA has upheld two further objections from the Group…
The first showed red images of Peel's proposed plant superimposed on photos of the site. This, states the ASA, "breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1, 3.3 (Misleading advertising), 3.7 (Substantiation) and 3.11 (Exaggeration)".
The ASA states: "in one example, the red images appeared to be half the size of a house, and in another example the red images were featured next to a car and people and appeared to be of a similar size. Although we considered that consumers would be unlikely to infer that an energy plant would be the same height as a car, we considered that the red images rendered the photographs ambiguous and confusing, particularly in the absence of explanatory text… We considered that the purpose of the red images in the photos would not be clear to consumers, and therefore concluded that they did not give a fair representation of the plant's visual impact and were likely to mislead."
The second ASA ruling related to claims from Peel that the area's businesses and homes "could make use of renewable electricity and heat generated at the site".
The ASA found that power from the plant would be distributed via the National Grid "which also provided energy from sources that were not renewable". While Peel was looking at these options, the ASA states "We considered that readers would be likely to understand that the proposals were not simply theoretical, but had been agreed by all relevant parties and were in progress. We understood, however, that that was not the case" and "was likely to mislead…On that point, the ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1, 3.3 (Misleading advertising), 3.7 (Substantiation) and 3.11 (Exaggeration)".
Peel has been ordered to remove all these claims from its publicity. Welcoming the decision, Pete Kilvert from the Breathe Clean Air Group says "Air pollution, caused by burning biomass and waste at the proposed Barton Renewable Energy Plant, must be stopped. The prevailing westerly wind will take the pollution into Salford…"
The campaign against the Barton Renewable Energy Plant continues…
* see the full ASA adjudication - click here
See previous related Salford Star stories …
Trafford Council Rejects Peel Holdings Incinerator – click here
Fight Against Peel Incinerator Continued - click here
Peel Holdings Incinerator Protest - click here