RAMPS UP PRESSURE ON GOVERNMENT OVER COSTS IN ENVIRONMENTAL CASES!!
RUGBY RESIDENTS WIN TEN YEAR BATTLE OVER UNLAWFUL CEMENT CO-INCINERATOR:
NO PLANNING PERMISSION: NO LAWFUL OPERATING PERMIT:
NO ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT!
NOW CO-INCINERATING ABOUT 500,000 TONNES WASTE A YEAR.
LITIGATION FUTURES 15.4.13
Following a referral by the UK Supreme Court, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that the financial means of people bringing environmental legal proceedings should not be the sole criterion when deciding whether the litigation is prohibitively expensive within the meaning of international law.
BUSINESS GREEN : Businesses and developers are being urged to make doubly sure all the “i”s are dotted and “t”s are crossed when undertaking planning applications and environmental impact assessments, following a landmark European Court ruling that promises to make it easier for people to take legal action on environmental grounds. The Court ruled yesterday on a case prompted by a UK Supreme Court ruling that left a Mrs Lilian Pallikaropooulos facing costs of around £90,000 after she unsuccessfully joined in legal action against the Environment Agency over the way the watchdog did not consult on the construction and operation of a large replacement cement works in Rugby.
Uproar once again broke down on 31 May at the CCEG – Cemex Community Engagement Group – as many people declared "SICK OF IT – YEAR IN YEAR OUT!"
Several irate vociferous sleepless residents harangued the Environment Agency and Cemex for the continuous dust coatings, and for the continuous noise.
They were sick of the sleepless nights, exasperated by the windows having to be closed during the heat-wave to try to keep put the cement work's din – and dust.
A Rugby Borough Council Environmental Health Officer, Sean Lawson, gave a 45 minute lecture on how sound waves work, culminating in the incredible advice that : ' if you close your eyes you will not hear the sound.' Guffaws broke out, as the public declared they had come to talk about the nuisance noise, and did not want a lengthy lecture
on how sound waves work. And they HAD been closing their eyes but it would not go away! And they wanted a REMEDY – NOW! At the end of the meeting the Environment Agency officers were compelled to go and stand in the field at the back of the clinker cooler to hear the noise and see the dust for themselves. So far no news about any action on that.
CHAIR ALARMED IN BUILDING
The CCEG Ms Diane Pask, after threatening to throw us out if we did not stop whispering, had to leave the table as she had suddenly become a nuisance noise herself. It appears a personal alarm stored about her person had gone off and she could not even locate let alone switch it off. Finally she returned to take charge, but among the 14 residents was one many who gave her a good pasting, saying what was felt by many, that she would not listen to anyone, would not allow anyone to speak and constantly interrupted, and that there was no attempt to engage with the community. As a new resident he was appalled at how he had been treated, and he stormed out to loud applause, saying words we dare not utter for fear of being reprimanded by the alarmed head mistress.
EVALUATION OF THE RUGBY CEMEX ENGAGEMENT PROCESS has now started as the EA strives to say the process is working. Ha! The evaluator has somehow missed the whole point of the exercise, unless of course it is deliberate, as he seems to have missed out the word COMMUNITY from the questionnaire. Mind you having dismissed from the "community engagement group" Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, Agenda 21, Sustainable Rugby, Rugby in Plume and all other interested residents, to replace them with hand-picked council puppets, all suggestions of any democratic and community engagement have been finally laid to rest. They have an "engagement" between the main culprits in all this: Environment Agency; Cemex; Warwickshire County Council planning office; Rugby Borough Council Environmental Health Office and local hand-picked acquiescent councillors, all headed by the self-appointed Diane Pask who has no community group and does not fit any of the criteria for being on the forum. Information is still being withheld from the forum members, who it appears ostrich-like, simply "do not want to know!"
TO ENVIRONMENT AGENCY AND RUGBY RESIDENTS :
“OUR PROFIT BEFORE YOUR ENVIRONMENT, AIR QUALITY AND HEALTH!”
* REFUSING TO REDUCE PARTICULATE
“To guarantee a 20 mg/Nm3 level would require an investment of nearly £400,000 annualised cost and to guarantee a less than 10 mg/Nm3 would require an investment of nearly £14,500,000 capital cost and a £3,000,000 annualised cost. When assessed both of these options show negligible impact on predicted ground level concentrations of PM10 and therefore the the high costs outweigh the environmental benefit. CEMEX therefore believes that the minimisation of emissions should continue as at present…..” ( i.e. NOT minimised!) “The Rugby main stack is effectively utilised for five sources : raw mill; fuel mill; clinker cooler; kiln bypass and kiln…” which can not be controlled.
* REFUSING TO REDUCE NOx
“to reduce NOX would cost Cemex up to £2 million pounds.. for a minimal gain due to the already low emissions … plus the reduction in NOx by installation of SNCR would have a detrimental overall environmental effect – increasing ammonia emissions…. (ammonia – still further!!) NOx has been increasing as they have increased the gas flow rate year on year.
*REFUSING TO REDUCE PARTICULATE
from the LOW LEVEL POINT SOURCES – the five mills and separators – hundred/s of tonnes a year… but no one knows as there is no monitoring but you can see the dust coming out 24/7. Cemex say “The EA knows the equipment is of the older generation of dust monitors… they are indicative, and detect burst bags only ( and so in truth do not monitor!”)
* STATE OF THE ART BRAND NEW PLANT
So all this in a so-called “state of the art, brand new plant”. Mmm – how was this ever BAT – best available technology?
* CEMEX CASH TO FUND JUBILEE
Seems to be funds for their showy involvement in that.
* CEMEX AND OLYMPIC FLAME
Yes, the flame is to be parked with the hundreds of HGVs at the Cemex co-incinerator, to commence its journey through Rugby.
* HOW PROUD WE ARE
See this link for a memorable tour of Rugby – a journey soon to be enjoyed by the flame.
THE FACTS SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES
Link to the ASA http://www.asa.org.uk/ASA-action/Adjudications/2011/12/Cemex-UK-Operations-Ltd/SHP_ADJ_166190.aspx
RUGBY ADVERTISER and OBSERVER: used by CEMEX!
On 23 June four full colour pages of a Cemex Community Matters “advertisement feature” appeared on front and back pages of Rugby’s newspapers.
LORD CHRIS SMITH, and DR PAUL LEINSTER of the “prestigious” Environment Agency Board, (the regulator) , featured on two pages, singing the praises of Cemex, who they supposedly “regulate.”The burning of waste RDF/climafuel was said to have met “the rigorous approval of the EA as the public watchdog. Its report on the most recent trials leaves no doubt that it is satisfied and highlights in particular a reduction in emissions of oxides of nitrogen which, mainly because of road traffic, is one of the most significant pollutants affecting the town of Rugby.” Cemex says : “that success has now paved the way for the company to push the bar higher, with new trials to take the co-incineration of climafuel up from 65% to 80% thermal replacement.” “The EA recognises the importance of the plant and the huge strides we have made to a more sustainable world, operational efficiency, emissions reduction, and increased use of alternative fuels.” “In so doing we have reduced our emissions.” BUT the EA’s own Cemex Compliance Assessment Report shows that the officer is concerned as to why emissions are increasing and has asked Cemex for an explanation. So why is the EA featuring in the misleading Cemex report which claims emissions are decreasing?
ANNUAL AIR EMISSIONS HIDDEN
Finally in July 2011 we managed to get hold of the 2009-2010 facts. The Environment Agency had written “retained” on the 2009 report – showing annual air emissions increasing. And the even-worse 2010 report was also withheld from the Public Register and from Rugby Borough Council, who are “so concerned” about air quality in Rugby, which is deteriorating supposedly due to the large increase in lorries. Whose HGVs might they be? The burning of low-calorific value waste in place of high density high calorific coal greatly increases the number of HGVs , and the emissions of course! How much do Cemex get paid to burn the waste? They refuse to say but calculations based on £40 a tonne show a daily profit of £60,000 – £80,000, without considering the sale of clinker and cement! The Environment Agency has, as usual, got away with hiding the data about emissions, just as they have during the ten years since all this began, including in the public consultation and in the court cases in which the judges consistently “exercised their discretion” to find against the claimants – the wronged members of the public, an thus to encourage the agency in its heinous behaviour.
CEMEX FAILS TO CEMENT THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF RELATIONS WITH THE COMMUNITY!
Cemex claims they have “constructive liaison” with a new community engagement group, (Diane Pask and Councillor Claire Watson being named as key in all this) but the fact is that everyone who knew anything, including Friends of the Earth members, Greenpeace, Agenda 21 and Rugby in Plume were all excluded from the new CCEG, as they did not want anyone there who knew any of the history, and facts about the emissions. ” A new task group has been set up to examine the plant’s emissions performance from 2006 to 2010.” Mmm! So what will that show I wonder? The massive increase in emissions of ammonia, mercury, butadiene, nitrogen dioxide etc? I very much doubt it!
LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION!
The Environment Agency express concern that Cemex has not revealed its total electricity usage at the plant – deliberately leaving out the figures for the quarrying of million tonnes of chalk: and pumping them 60 miles up to Rugby from Dunstable Downs; in an underground sewage slurry pipe with chemical slurry thinners – polymers. Then when it gets here the chalk in the 40% sewage water has to be “dried off”., before being cooked! This plant is environmentally unsupportable. This is obviously a feature of having had no ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT before the Warwickshire County Council unlawful planning permission of 1996 (in breach of EU Directive 1985 EIA), and the construction of a plant three times bigger than had even been applied for, which was then operated without a lawful IPC Permit. The Permit was given in secret by the Agency, and subsequently the Environment Agency also granted an IPPC operating permit without a proper consultation as they hid the air quality and H1 assessment reports. Yes, they built a cement plant in a town, without any raw materials, without any train connection and without any proper roads, and now have made it into the UK’s most environmentally damaging CO-INCINERATOR. How are they going to continue to justify this?
THE SEARCH FOR JUSTICE!
The Courts, the House of Lords and the Supreme Court have all been misled by the Environment Agency, and the Rugby residents have suffered, and continue to suffer a great injustice. Not only have the true facts about the plant, its construction and its operations been concealed from the courts, but I personally have had false witness given against me in the courts; the courts have indeed been misdirected by the Agency’s own lawyers. Slowly, slowly the jigsaw is being completed, the truth is emerging, and let’s hope in this “new age of enlightenment” that right will prevail and justice will finally be done!