Severnside Together Opposing Pollution

PLANNING APPLICATION NO. DC/2017/00700 – Erection of 2 flue stacks and the siting of storage containers at Unit 4 Symondscliffe Way, Severn Bridge Industrial Estate, Portskewett, NP26 5PW by DPS Process Solutions Ltd.

In addition to pursuing this planning application, two permits have to be obtained. One is from Natural Resources Wales for a Waste Transfer Station permit and the other from Monmouthshire County Council (MCC) covering the environmental aspect. The former is to ensure the aspects of receiving, storing and processing of raw waste can be carried out while the latter covers treatment of the waste by the high temperature treatment process of pyrolysis.

There has been a clear indication by the applicant that the pyrolysis process will result in certain emissions, all of which can lead to considerable health problems. These emissions have been tabled as: nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, hydrogen chloride, hydrogen cyanide, hydrogen fluoride, benzene. In addition to these, attention has been drawn to the possibility of other emissions of an even more dangerous nature such as dioxins, furans, heavy metals, polyaromatic hydrocarbons, volatile organic compounds.

• The applicant’s Air Quality Assessment was based on theoretical data and modelled on forecast emission limits rather than actual plant data. This was subjected to an independent review, commissioned by MCC, which was very critical of it. For example it said: The assessment does not take account of start-up, shut down, abnormal operating conditions or of all relevant pollutants, and concentrations are not predicted at the worst-case locations.
• Although described as a Research and Development (R&D) operation, mention has been made of the continuous process of waste seven days a week 24 hours a day. Also, there have been no noise or odour assessments carried out for an operation known to be noisy and smelly from the process itself and the storage of waste.
• The applicant has indicated a number of different and varying waste streams to be input into the treatment process. Several of these (e.g. tyres) could have considerable effects on the health and welfare of residents, schoolchildren and workers in the surrounding area which, in air pollution terms, would include Chepstow. They are planning to process up to 20,000 tonnes of waste per annum.
• Waste is to be brought into the plant from outside sources and if not suitable for processing will be rejected and sent away to suitable treatment facilities. Initially, the applicant has stated the waste will be imported from England. Waste left over after pyrolysis will also be taken away and this may be of an acidic nature.
• There is no evidence of risk assessments of emissions discharged on the restart of the process after breakdown, a common event with pyrolosis equipment.
• The effect of fire and flooding on local residents and the area’s ecology is understated.
• The application contradicts several of the aims of the MCC Local Development Plan.
• The applicant has been able to produce little evidence of experience of operating such a waste treatment process. This means that the development and experimentation of the process will take place in close proximity to thousands of people.
• The applicant is a ‘small’ company for taxation purposes and there is little evidence of it having sufficient financial backing to finance an operation, costing £250,000 per annum in rent and council tax alone, given the likely limited income stream from an R&D facility. Also, it is two months late in filing its latest annual accounts.
• There is limited prospect of employment for local people. The applicant is talking in terms of between 10 and 20 employees, many of whom are likely to need a technically specific background and come from outside the area.

Send an objection by logging onto the MCC website and clicking through Services/Planning/View Planning applications/online and type DC/2017/00700 in the application number box. Alternatively, you can write to the MCC Planning Dept, County Hall, The Rhadyr, Usk, NP15 1GA. Please get your family members, friends and neighbours to do this as well.
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