Despite a prolonged campaign by the communities of Trafford and Salford, backed by their respective city councils; and despite advice from experts who have warned against its health risks, in May, Eric Pickles, the ConDem Government's Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, gave the go ahead for Peel Holding's biomass burning incinerator on the Trafford side of the Manchester Ship Canal - a decision set to be challenged in the High Court (see previous Salford Star article – click here).
Since then, ConDem Government ministers and the agency chairmen have been blitzed by over five hundred letters urging an about turn.
During the seven week campaign, Breathe Clean Air Group members and supporters have targeted Prime Minister David Cameron, Secretary of State at DECC Ed Davey, Minister for Energy Michael Fallon, Minister for Climate Change Gregory Barker, Secretary of State at DEFRA Owen Paterson, Chairman of the Environment Energy Lord Smith and Chief Executive of Public Health England Duncan Selbie.
"Our campaign has told the decision makers in London that the people of Trafford do not want a biomass incinerator on their doorstep and that biomass burning is bad news for air quality in the whole of the UK" says Pete Kilvert, Chairman of the Breathe Clean Air Group "Burning biomass produces toxic chemicals and gases as well as masses of tiny Particulate Matter that will have serious ill-health impacts, such as asthma, COPD, heart attacks, strokes, cancer and premature death
"Some of the responses received from Ministers show a complete lack of concern about the health of the public, and put complete faith in the Environment Agency" he adds "They did not comment on the fact that the Environment Agency has never turned down an application for an incinerator or biomass plant. They also told us that the Environment Agency carries out unannounced monitoring inspections of such plants, when the EA has admitted that all visits are arranged with the plant operator prior to the visit."
Campaigners won't be giving up the fight. For further information see www.BreatheCleanAirGroup.co.uk
See also Salford Star article – Salford In Line For Peel Holdings Incinerator Pollution – click here