What peo­ple say it’s like liv­ing in shadow of an in­cin­er­a­tor

Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News - - Front Page -

● into her home and bed­room, hav­ing pre­vi­ously en­joyed look­ing out at the trees be­hind her home and the site.

She said she was also alarmed to dis­cover an uniden­ti­fied black sub­stance in a fil­ter she left in a bowl to catch rain­wa­ter overnight.

Sheena she added that she could hear a ‘con­stant dron­ing’ from the plant ‘24 hours a day’.

Other noises in­clude a ‘high pitch sound’ that ‘doesn’t seem to be so bad re­cently’ and the sound of con­tain­ers oc­ca­sion­ally be­ing dropped.

She said: “Ob­vi­ously at night you want to sleep but you can’t be­cause there’s a low dron­ing.”

Sheena, a sup­ply teacher, sin­gle par­ent to two boys and busi­ness­woman, also keeps her win­dows and doors shut to keep out the smell.

She said: “Well the smell is like rot­ting rub­bish – that’s what it is.

“If I open the front door it can be right out­side my front door and it’s like walk­ing into a solid door of smell and I have to hold my nose and walk to the car and it wafts into the car. “It’s not ev­ery day but not far off. “To­day I could smell it in We­ston Vil­lage.

“They’ve got de­odoris­ers that are sup­posed to mask the smell but that makes it even worse.”

Ac­cord­ing to an air qual­ity and noise re­port filed by Hal­ton Bor­ough Coun­cil to the En­vi­ron­ment Agency and ob­tained by the Weekly News via a Free­dom Of In­for­ma­tion re­quest, air pol­lu­tion has re­duced since be­fore the in­cin­er­a­tor was turned on, com­par­ing data for ni­tro­gen diox­ide and PM10 par­tic­u­late emis­sions in 2012 and 2015.

How­ever, the data has no PM2.5 data for be­fore 2015 be­cause it was not manda­tory un­til 2015 so a com­par­i­son is not pos­si­ble and the re­port did not con­tain PM10 fig­ures for 2011, 2013 or 2014.

The clos­est avail­able PM2.5 data is from We­ston Brine in 2012 when the level of PM2.5 was slightly lower than in 2015, in­di­cat­ing a small rise.

And al­though there are lim­its un­der the terms of the plant’s en­vi­ron­men­tal per­mit for most types of emis­sions, ac­cord­ing to a Viri­dor 2014 an­nual per­for­mance re­port for the plant pub­lished on the What Do They Know pub­lic dis­clo­sure web­site, the in­cin­er­a­tor is not sub­ject to lim­its for cer­tain types of pol­lu­tion, in­clud­ing dioxin-like poly­chlo­ri­nated biphenyls and poly­cyclic aro­matic hy­dro­car­bons.

Noise sur­veys found that the in­cin­er­a­tor was op­er­at­ing within lim­its but that the over­all am­bi­ent noise mea­sured on Sandy Lane east and on Rus­sell Road at night ex­ceeded the lim­its, but the sur­vey at­trib­uted this to ex­press­way traf­fic.

The noise sur­vey con­tained a ta­ble of the vol­umes ex­hib­ited by other phe­nom­ena for com­par­i­son.

Night-time lim­its for the site vary be­tween 50 and 53 deci­bels, which the ta­ble ranks as be­ing sim­i­lar to be­ing on the bor­der of the cat­e­gories for in­side a typ­i­cal of­fice or in­side a car .

But with the scale of the project as it is and the masses of com­plaints and well-doc­u­mented le­git­i­mate con­cern such as with the hy­drated lime leak, there could be spec­u­la­tion as to whether the site could now be­come a bo­gey­man in res­i­dents’ minds, with any un­ex­pected phe­nom­ena be­ing at­trib­uted to its op­er­a­tion, such as the mysterious white spots that ap­peared around We­ston in early De­cem­ber and de­spite a strong re­sem­blance to bird poo or paint, were a source of con­cern that they could have been linked.

A re­cent drone or UFO sight­ing re­ported by the mother of a young child in the area also trig­gered spec­u­la­tion that a mysterious craft could have been mon­i­tor­ing pol­lu­tion.

Viri­dor has said it con­stantly mon­i­tors the site and takes ac­tion to re­solve is­sues raised by res­i­dents.

In a state­ment to the Weekly News, Roy Grif­fin, Viri­dor’s head of op­er­a­tions for the North, said: “The fa­cil­ity has been built in ac­cor­dance with the plan­ning con­sent and is op­er­at­ing within the spec­i­fied plan­ning and per­mit con­di­tions.

“We take each com­plaint se­ri­ously, these are logged onto our sys­tem and where de­tailed in­for­ma­tion is pro­vided in­clud­ing, dates and times, they are in­ves­ti­gated.

“We con­tinue to re­spond to noise com­plaints and have re­solved spe­cific is­sues when they have arisen.

“In ad­di­tion, we have con­ducted nu­mer­ous noise sur­veys across var­i­ous lo­ca­tions and times of day, all of which have con­cluded we are op­er­at­ing within our al­low­able lim­its.

“Feed­back in re­la­tion to light­ing has been taken on board and acted on in­clud­ing switch­ing nu­mer­ous lights within the sites bound­ary to ei­ther timers or mo­tion sen­sors as well as chang­ing the bulb types.

“Again light­ing sur­veys have been con­ducted and con­clude we are com­pli­ant with our plan­ning per­mis­sion.

“Emis­sions from the fa­cil­ity are rig­or­ously mon­i­tored to demon­strate com­pli­ance with our op­er­at­ing con­sents and all tests show we are well within the lim­its stated in our per­mit and plan­ning con­di­tions.

“Odour mon­i­tor­ing is com­pleted on a daily ba­sis at a range of lo­ca­tions and the re­sults do not in­di­cate that plant op­er­a­tions are pro­duc­ing off site odours, we do not recog­nise any cheesy smells aris­ing from this fa­cil­ity.

“The steam plume ris­ing in­ter­mit­tently from the fa­cil­ity is part of nor­mal op­er­a­tions and can be ex­pected to rise ver­ti­cally and travel away from the site bound­ary, this is more no­tice­able in cold con­di­tions.

“Since we started op­er­a­tions we have en­gaged with the com­mu­nity through a num­ber of routes in­clud­ing the lo­cal li­ai­son fo­rum, the web­site and news­let­ters, as well as log­ging, lis­ten­ing and tak­ing ac­tion on feed­back and com­plaints.”

The en­ergy-from-waste in­cin­er­a­tor on Pi­cow Farm Road in We­ston Point, Run­corn

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.