Response 241686981

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Seeking your views

4. Please provide your comments on the environmental permit application received from Day Group Limited

Please provide your comments on the environmental permit application received from Day Group Limited (Required)
Permit Number: EPR/TP3138DP/A001 Regulated facility type: 5.4 A(1) b) (iii) - Recovery or a Mix of Recovery and Disposal of > 50 T/D Non-Hazardous Waste(> 100 T/D If Only AD) Involving Treatment of Slags and Ashes Regulated facility location: Avonmouth Incinerator Bottom Ash (IBA) Recycling Facility, Royal Edward Dock, Avonmouth, Bristol, BS11 9HF Sir / Madam, I am responding to this consultation primarily as the closest ‘sensitive receptor’ in Avonmouth to this 'proposed' business venture between the Environment Agency, Bristol City Council, The Port Of Bristol, The Day Group and unknown others; I also respond within my capacity of membership of the Avonmouth Community Action Group and further membership of the Avonmouth Planning and Industrial Liaison Group. I strongly object to the development for the following reasons set out below, should I discover other issues around standards, professional accreditation or expert testimony or opinion relied upon in the considerations within the application going forward then I reserve the right to add to the list. For brevity I will step through the source documents provided by the EA via the following link I understand that the document pack is the legal submission by the applicant, checked and verified as correct and duly submitted by the EA officer designated, if any updates or extra submissions have been received since publication and available to the deciding officer then I require copies to be provided to me and any license under consideration should be stayed or placed in abeyance until the full detail is provided and the consultation period adjusted accordingly. Points of objection: The operator has not submitted the application form with due diligence. The scheme identified as denoting the operator has suitably trained and professional staff to run the facility within the guidelines issued by the EA is CIWM/ WAMITAB and in the form supplied there is a tick-box indicating that a registration letter from the scheme administrator is included with the pack. Upon examination of the pack provided the only certification I can find relates to certificate CCC6873 – Michael Woodward; this certificate expired 29/02/2016 and was not relevant at the date of submission by Dr Carolyn Hysted, received by the EA as confirmed by stamp on 15th June 2016. I have concerns that the applicant has a lax attitude to paperwork and regulation and this failure to supply and check visually calls into account the professionalism of the applicant and liable officer Dr Hysted when submitting applications that can have profound, extended impact to a communities amenity and health. This point is referenced in 3c Finances (for installations, waste operations and mining waste operations only) - EA reference; Please note if you knowingly or carelessly make a statement that is false or misleading to help you get an environmental permit (for yourself or anyone else), you may be committing an offence under the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2012. (my highlight). I require a response from the EA as to whether or not an offence has been committed, by whom and what the penalties are applicable in relation to professional accreditation, ongoing or future engagement with governmental bodies in a professional capacity. The operator has not obtained planning permission and has attempted to use a lawful use of land certificate to avoid following the correct legal framework. The EA should (cannot?) lawfully consider the application until planning permission has been sought correctly and permission obtained via lawful and legal process. As the operator was previously advised by Paul Chick, the North Bristol Area Planning Manager on the 3rd September 2015 and I quote: “With reference to these ‘Permitted Development’ provisions it is clear that industrial operations are not included. I am of course happy to discuss this and you may of course wish to seek your own independent legal opinion. “. The operator has subsequently chosen to wilfully ignore the law and proceeded to build this industrial processing plant against the specific advice of the Planning Manager and I fail to see how an agency of government can legally or lawfully license it to operate? What authority is the EA officer purporting to act under in this circumstance? I notified the EA on 1st November to inform you that BCC had served a PCN on the developer in respect to the violation and asked you to stay the consultation period until the council have concluded their investigation and issued findings (due end of November latest). You have made no announcement that you intend to acquiesce and therefore your consultation period will end before the BCC investigation completes; this may open both the EA and the developer to legal challenge. The consultation period for a development of this size and complexity is too short and the pack contents far too complicated for an average person who is not very familiar or professionally involved with the industries, technologies, protocols and legislation detailed within to gain a meaningful and or informed opinion as to the risks involved with the facility. Non-Technical Summaries are inadequate to meet the EIA Directive and Regulations, failing to describe the information and issues in the technical reports in a form comprehensible to the general public. I also believe that the EA are bound under the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act to seek and involve interested persons and persons affected by the development via meaningful and appropriate consultation. No information is given on the toxicity/hazard of the incinerator bottom ash (IBA), nor information on its chemistry, EIA Directive and Regulations state this should be clearly detailed with risks to the environment explained. The application omits the issue of IBA-contaminated waters arising from flooding of the site, whether fluvial, estuarial or peak rainstorm events, and their disposal to storm overflows. As the Met Office and the EA tells the public, when the ground is saturated, all or most of new rain during storm conditions goes to run-off and flooding. The frequency and duration of rainstorms are significant. No meaningful data on rainfall or storm events have been modelled or considered within the Environmental Risk Assessment. Under the Convention of Rights of the Child, children have to be consulted over matters that affect them; the EA has no procedures for consulting children or taking their interests into account, though children are particularly vulnerable to incinerator and diesel-lorry pollutants and to the hazards from noise disturbance in respect to mental health and physical wellbeing. The application does not include any form of health impact assessment to the residential properties adjacent to the site or further afield. As the materials processed by the development will include heavy metals such as Cadmium and the areas comprising North Bristol have a residual contamination from the Zinc Smelter and other sites, plus the massive expansion of the waste recycling industry in the area being developed by BCC, EA and the Port of Bristol coupled with the failure to understand the possible impact to human health due to the cumulative impacts of many contaminants in the soil and vented into air on the environment surrounding the historic site, elevates the risks. An extract from Thomas et al. (2009) reported “median urinary cadmium concentrations in a population living near the Avonmouth zinc smelter (UK) of 0.22 and 0.34 μg/g creatinine for men and women, respectively. Median urinary cadmium concentrations varied with history of smoking (non-smoking 0.18/smoking 0.40 μg/g creatinine for men; non-smoking 0.31/smoking 0.46μg/g creatinine for women). Thomas et al. (2009) reported an effect of cadmium exposure on biomarkers at levels as low as 0.3 μg/g creatinine. The presence of biomarkers does not necessarily mean that an individual will suffer an adverse health effect, but Thomas et al. (2009) questioned policy on concentrations of soil cadmium considered to pose a hazard.”. The EA classification of Incinerator Bottom Ash as inert and non-hazardous is scientifically incorrect and designed to mislead as illustrated by a study undertaken by Leena Sivula, University of Jyväskylä, Department of Biological and Environmental Science, P.O. Box 35, FI-40014 University of Jyväskylä, Finland and published in 2012. One quote from this paper “Both grate and gasification ash leachates showed a pH dependent toxicity for a period of two and three years after disposal”. Another quote “Bottom ash is a heterogeneous material containing corrosive and toxic elements, which restrict it's utilisation”. There is a site of special scientific interest 500 meters or so from the development and a dock 50m away. The claim is made that there is no pathway from the development to the SSI, however dust will migrate along with possible leachate in stormy conditions into the dock itself, raising pollutant levels in the dock water which is regularly discharged into the Severn when ships enter or leave dock, these contaminants will migrate via tidal flow to the SSI. There is no provision within the application for a site based air quality / dust emission framework; with the EA being fully aware of the sites previous issues with pollution of residents and the probability of further problems being experienced this is unacceptable. The EA have issued guidance in this area themselves: Part III of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 defines a number of statutory nuisances and includes:“any dust, steam, smell or other effluvia arising on industrial, trade or business premises and being prejudicial to health or a nuisance”; as the plant will generate dust and the dust will migrate over the residential houses either through flood, wind or leachate percolating through the soil the EA must mandate that a full and comprehensive permanent framework be developed before the plant is granted any licenses. Further any development in Avonmouth should be subject to a cumulative impact assessment before licenses are granted. The Site Condition Report details the following “Our investigations exclude surveys to identify the presence or indeed absence of asbestos on site. It should be noted however, that where intrusive investigations were undertaken we did not observe any obvious evidence of potential asbestos containing materials. This information does not constitute a site specific risk assessment and we recommend specialists in the identification and control / disposal of asbestos are appointed prior to commencement of any works on site or, if appropriate, purchase of the site.”. I believe that Asbestos has been recorded as cargo at the site as historical evidence from Dockers (all dead now strangely enough) confirms this fact. I believe the site should be assessed for Asbestos at the earliest possible opportunity by suitably qualified personnel. For example in Maggs v Anstey (2007) EWHC515(QB) “ when the claimant developed symptoms he was certain that he had never been exposed to asbestos but as time passed he was able to recall a single instance of exposure for one weekend in the late 1960s early 1970s. Some corroboration of this came from written diary entries made by Mr Maggs with little more than a reference to a delivery of copper at Avonmouth Docks. The claimant’s recollection and the diary entries did at least corroborate that at some point in the late 1960s and early 1970s he had been involved in a delivery from Avonmouth Docks and it was not necessarily unreasonable for the court to infer that this delivery is the same as that in the diary entries but the court did however feel entitled to infer that the delivery occurred after 1969.” The Site Condition Report details that the area of the site is within a flood area and flood maps, historical records and forward projections all indicate and confirm that my property can become flooded when groundwater saturates the earth under the hardstanding of the dock land and also can and will act as a runoff from the hardstanding due to my garden being lower than the dock itself, residing in a depression or natural basin to the SSE of the site. This guarantees that my land will become contaminated with any runoff or tidal / storm flows beneath the dock site proper. The Site Condition Report details that the exposure model is to be concentrated only on measurements affecting an adult worker as the critical receptor; the EA and BCC are fully aware that Boomeco and EGNI both polluted children in King St and the surrounding areas with carcinogenic wood dust recycling emissions which despite 'best practical means' being both mandated and enforced by the EA still managed to creep out past the fence 50 yrds away. When summing up the prosecution case of EGNI in September 2012 the judge stated that he could not understand why the EA had allowed such a development in a clearly unsuitable location; should an EA officer permit this development knowing that the site condition guarantees that an operator will not be able to avoid polluting critical receptors with toxic pollution and carcinogens they themselves will be committing the crime of malfeasance in a public office. The Site Condition Report details that “A category 2 Substantiated Pollution Incident is recorded on site in 2012, related to atmospheric pollutants specifically dust. There is no record of the type of contaminant.”. There is a record; carcinogenic, recycled wood dust, coal dust, heavy metals, fertilisers and dioxins. As to why the EA have not recorded these instances on the public registers is a question I'd like the answers to but I'd imagine it is to avoid the failure of the permitting and enforcement protocols and actions of the involved EA personnel becoming widely know; highlighted in a public meeting with Charlotte Leslie MP when Charlotte stated that the actions of the EA officers involved with the 'report' produced by the EA as a result of her questions in the Houses Of Parliament to the then Prime Minister were tantamount to lying as she herself had been in Avonmouth on the day detailed within the report in which the EA officers claimed that they could not find any residents complaining about flies. Ms Leslie was highly critical of the EA officers and asked Ian Withers of the EA to clarify and feedback to the officers concerned and the senior management team of the EA. The Site Condition Report details that “In general we did not observe any evidence of current or recent activities on site, or immediately adjacent site, which could provide a significant source of chemical contamination.” I believe that the officer should have gone to SpecSavers.. The Site Condition Report details that BH01 results are 'greater than expected' values found in the substrate and mud / water. Sulphate Arsenic (dissolved) Boron (dissolved) Chromium (dissolved) Copper (dissolved) Nickel (dissolved) Selenium (dissolved) Vanadium (dissolved) Zinc (dissolved) The key here is the word dissolved; I believe indicating that leachate has managed to find it's way into the subsoil through the hardstanding, or is the result of buried chemical sources, or a combination of both factors. I have only listed BH01 and only listed the values that have scored highly as it is closest to my property but all of the trenches and holes sunk and surveyed display multiple sources of contamination, noteably Lead, Zinc, Copper and Chromium and Nickel, Naphthalene, Acenaphthylene, Acenaphthene, Fluorene, Phenanthrene, Anthracene, Fluoranthene, Pyrene, Benzo[a]anthracene, Chrysene, Benzo[b]fluoranthene, Benzo[a]pyrene, Indeno(1,2,3-c,d)Pyrene, Dibenz(a,h)Anthracene, Benzo[g,h,i]perylene, Bromochloromethane to name but a few. The ground is heavily contaminated. The Site Condition Report details that it is likely that there will be inhalation of airborne dusts, inhalation of vapours and dermal contact with dust and soil at the site and all of the surrounding sites listed. The report makes no mention of the fact that an adjacent site has critical receptors who have the possibility of ingesting soil or dusts attached to food or drink consumed outside of the houses, or indeed inside should wind speeds and direction be 'favourable'. The Dust Risk Assessment report is inaccurate and makes no consideration of local sensitive receptors, the tone for the consideration of peoples rights is set out on page 8 of the Isopleth report “The site setting, particularly in relation to surrounding receptors, can be seen in drawing DRA1. The proposed IBA recycling facility lies in the docks area where the surrounding commercial uses would be regarded as ‘low’ sensitivity receptors. To the south east (within 100m) lie residences along King Street, and close to these are other residential streets such as Richmond Villas and East Street. These would be regarded as ‘high’ sensitivity receptors, albeit they are located within an area of historically dense industrial / commercial activity (for over 100 years)“. It would seem that Isopleth are claiming that the dock activities undertaken in the past (loading / unloading of ships and transporting goods) is comparable to the establishment of a noisy, smelly and dangerous toxic manufacturing plant on a previous polluting site 50yds from peoples houses and therefore human rights under article 8 of the HRA do not magically apply somehow. The Dust Risk Assessment report relies on 'evidence' supplied by both BCC and the EA's air quality studies undertaken in 2014; again the evidence supplied is flawed and designed to mislead an individual not familiar with the site concerned. The studies concentrated on two factors only: nuisance, and presence of particulate matter in the sizes of <PM10 and <PM2.5, whilst the EA and BCC both agreed that this would be a legal test of the amount of the particles in the atmosphere neither of the agencies tested the composition of the identified dust despite the agreement of both agencies in a public meeting with Charlotte Leslie MP in 2014. The reasons for this omission are plain; both the EA and BCC have a commercial interest in the Port being able to develop it's industrial production capability at the expense of the human rights of the sensitive receptors, the EA from a market and licensing perspective and BCC from a sustainability and landfill tax avoidance strategy, plus also being a shareholder of the Port and the actions of local Cllrs and non-executive directors. Further Isopleth highlight that BCC have not declared Avonmouth an AQMA; the reasons for BCC's reluctance to declare Avonmouth an AQMA are the close proximity of the Port and M5 and M49 motorways, BCC will be unable to satisfy the AQMA conditions should one be declared and the constant failing of the current, limited monitoring in place on over 50% of the sites monitored for air quality here indicates more that BCC are deliberately failing in it's legal duty to protect the health and wellbeing of it's residents, rather than the absence of a problem. The Dust Risk Assessment report is predicated on dust being a nuisance, many studies indicate that all dusts harm human health and the constitution of dusts independently tested by Avonmouth residents within King St and the wider area have proven that Aluminium, Arsenic, Cadmium, Chromium, Copper, Lead, Magnesium, Mercury and Zinc have all been found at the site of the sensitive receptors and much further afield. Carcinogens such as Chromium have no safe exposure limit under WHO guidelines and BCC and the EA are wilfully ignoring the impacts of highly toxic emissions by treating the pollution under nuisance legislation rather than the management of hazards or COMAH. Malfeasance in public office. The Dust Risk Assessment report details “Drawing DRA1 shows that there are no residences within 50m of the site boundary, and 11 residences within 100m. On this basis the sensitivity of the area to dust soiling effects on people and property would be regarded as ‘Low’. As the vehicles using the IBA recycling facility would exit the site onto Kings Road, the properties on Kings Street will not be influenced by HGV trackout.”. As no study has been performed on the distribution of dust from the site to date this assertion has no basis in fact. The Dust Risk Assessment report details “The closest weather station with sufficient records of wind direction and wind speed considered representative of conditions experienced at the site is Bristol Airport (Lulsgate) Meteorological Station.”. The use of data from a site that is 9 miles away, at a different elevation and aspect to the River Severn and further in a different county illustrates the duplicitous nature of the evidence presented as fact, metrological conditions on the side of the dock have absolutely no correlation to the airport. The Dust Risk Assessment report details “The wind speed and direction data must only be considered alongside the rainfall information, as it is only on dry days when the site would have the potential to release dust.”. Again the statement is designed to mislead; dust will be released in lower proportions when it is raining due to the moisture content of the IBA and the strength and length of the precipitation.It is important to note that dust will be released and will travel depending on how hard the wind is blowing and also which direction it is heading. The site condition report (692A/SCR) does not provide a full list of pollution incidents to the site and surrounding areas. Specific pollution incidents have been recorded by HSE, BCC, EA and local residents on many occasions between 2011 – 2016 which are omitted; Boomeco, EGNI, Stobarts Biomass, Sims Metal Management, A&A Recycling, Churngold, Earth Minded, New Earth Solutions. The net effect of this omission is designed to allow the EA legal wriggle room by defining the scope as considering only the site in question and not the cumulative impact of this and surrounding EA permitted installations, all have polluted and continue to pollute the residents of Avonmouth with the full knowledge and collusion of EA officers. The Environmental Management System & Operating Techniques Document identifies suitably qualified personnel who will run the facility, one of the personnel does not hold the required certification, the other registration is not provided. The Environmental Management System & Operating Techniques Document details that should any issue be noted that could cause a risk of pollution then it will be addressed within 5 working days, this is an unacceptable method of controlling waste. The Environmental Management System & Operating Techniques Document details that the site will not accept hazardous waste, as IBA is hazardous waste this would mean the site will not operate; I believe the EA's own definition details that waste is treated as waste until it completes mitigation and treatments and is then made into a product or is 'clean' enough to landfill should no other uses be available. The The Environmental Management System & Operating Techniques Document details that there will be an annual waste transfer note. As the operator will be accepting a mix of both domestic and industrial bottom ash, and as the ash will change chemical composition within a load, and between loads then this approach is unacceptable. The protocol proposed also progressively relaxes as time goes on until there are literally no checks and balances on the waste shipped to the operator from source. The Environmental Management System & Operating Techniques Document details that the facility will be built with an open front and a vented ridge to prevent the build up of explosive or flammable gas; unfortunately the gases in the main that are emitted by IBA are generally heavier than air and will not make the roof line, if they did then everyone would be dead. This could be indicative of the operator and their agents inexperience of the chemical composition of the IBA they propose to process which raises questions around safety. The open front also means that there is a direct discharge to air of noxious and poisonous gases which will impact on amenity in a best of worse case scenarios. The The Environmental Management System & Operating Techniques Document details that 15000 litres of Diesel fuel will be stored onsite. I believe this requires a site safety plan under COMAH regulations. The The Environmental Management System & Operating Techniques Document references the Noise and Vibration Assessment completed by WBM consultants (April 2016). This document relies on physical data from Richmond Terrace which is 60 meters further from the site than King Street residents, for which it relies upon ‘model data’. It is noted that the EA and WBM agreed that no more than 5db extra could be emitted by the plant to the nearest sensitive receptors; as the EA officers are fully aware the total noise levels at King St (the closest sensitive receptors) regularly exceed WHO levels as confirmed by investigations by BCC with calibrated and certified measuring equipment. By agreeing that an operator can further break the law and impact on members of the public's human rights under article 8 of the HRA; the EA officer is guilty of Malfeasance in a public office should they issue a permit. The EA are not above the law. Not fit for purpose. The The Environmental Management System & Operating Techniques Document references the odour management plan yet to be defined by the operator; as IBA produces a significant amount of explosive and malodorous gases when maturating and when cast into an aggregate, the lack of any scientific measurement of gaseous release and sensitive receptor impact is unacceptable. The Environmental Management System & Operating Techniques Document details the investigation of incidents and shutdowns but has no measurable criteria to which accountability and liability can be attached. Problem management is lacking, I would expect to see a Six Sigma or similar protocol employed. The The Environmental Management System & Operating Techniques Document details emergency plans, specifically fire. This plan fails to consider a fire affecting the coal conveyor, the material it contains and the explosive potential of dusts from the conveyor itself, Sims Metal Management which has experienced a number of major fires and explosions over the last few years, dockside deliveries of combustible material etc. The The Environmental Management System & Operating Techniques Document details a site diary, no examples are given and that this information is only available to EA officers, again unacceptable. ESA – A Sampling And Testing Protocol For The Assessment Of Hazard Status Of Incinerator Bottom Ash. The disclaimer indicates the confidence the public should have in this ‘protocol’, it’s an absolute joke. NOTHING IN THIS PROTOCOL CONSTITUTES LEGAL OR OTHER PROFESSIONAL ADVICE AND NO WARRANTY IS GIVEN NOR LIABILITY ACCEPTED (TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED UNDER LAW) FOR ANY LOSS OR DAMAGE SUFFERED OR INCURRED AS A CONSEQUENCE OF RELIANCE ON THIS PROTOCOL. ESA ACCEPTS NO LIABILITY (TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED UNDER LAW) FOR ANY ACT OR OMISSION OF ANY MEMBER USING THE PROTOCOL. USE OF THIS PROTOCOL IS VOLUNTARY. ESA – A Sampling And Testing Protocol For The Assessment Of Hazard Status Of Incinerator Bottom Ash details the objective and sampling methodology of the protocol; this protocol does not acknowledge or reference a 26 page document sent to the following EA personnel on 31st January 2012 by the Buckfastleigh Community Forum, the EA officers who permit without referencing why the protocol proposed by the ESA is superior to the excellent work by the Buckfastleigh Community Forum will be guilty of Misfeasance or Malfeasance in public office should any harm come to members of the public or habitats from preventable emissions by operators following the inferior ESA protocol. Officers and departments previously informed and notified. EA Board Members Lord Smith, Chairman of the Board Dr Paul Leinster, Chief Executive Chris Howes, Head of Performance and Engagement Mat Crocker, Head of Illegals and Waste Richard Cresswell, Director South West Martin Weiller, Devon and Cornwall Area Manager Ed Mitchell, Director Environment and Business EA Permitting Office Interested parties also informed Caroline Spelman MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Mary Creagh MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Mel Stride MP for Mid Devon Dr Sarah Wollaston MP for Totnes Alison Seabeck MP for Plymouth Moor View Giles Chichester, MEP Julie Girling, MEP Ashley Fox, MEP Graham Watson, MEP Trevor Colman, MEP William, Earl of Dartmouth, MEP UK REACH CA at the HSE UK Without Incineration Network