Public health fears over incinerator are 'justified' says expert
FEARS over the public health impact of a planned incinerator are "justified", a professor has claimed.
Modelling used for Gloucestershire's planned £500 million incinerator at Haresfield is "flawed", according to Professor Vyvyan Howard.
Prof Howard, a former toxicologist for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, was asked by protest group GlosVAIN to produce an analysis of Urbaser Balfour Beatty's (UBB) plans.
It comes after Gloucestershire County Council signed a 25-year contract with the firm to deal with the county's waste.
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Prof Howard says there are three shortcomings in the plans. He claims UBB has not said what level of uncertainty there is around their health projections.
He adds that UBB has "significantly underestimated" the level of potentially dangerous particles that will be emitted from the plant.
He also claims the modelling does not take into account other effects on the human body.
He said: "Public concern over these inadequacies is understandable and justified."
Sue Oppenheimer, chairman of Glosvain, said: "Professor Howard's research is very worrying.
"It raises real questions about the validity of UBB's claims that the incinerator would be safe."
Fellow campaigner Diana Shirley said: "It is time for Gloucestershire County Council to put the health of the people of the county first."
A spokesperson for Urbaser Balfour Beatty said: "Strict and highly regulated operating procedures and controls will ensure that the facility does not have an adverse impact on human health.
"The facility will incorporate bag filters which are best available technology, and are effective at removing particles from the plant's emissions."
A spokesman for Gloucestershire County Council said: "The issues of air quality and the proposed energy from waste facility at Javelin Park will be considered by both the planning authority and the Environment Agency."
The council has signed a contract with Urbaser Balfour Beatty but planning permission is yet to be granted.