Wednesday, February 02, 2011

First Minister challenged to consider environment in Port Talbot

Following concern over the proposed increases to emission levels at the Prenergy biomass station in Port Talbot, South Wales West Liberal Democrat Assembly Member Peter Black has challenged the First Minister in the Senedd Chamber to outline how we will ensure the environment is protected.
The Environment Agency believe that the proposed increase in nitrous oxide, sulphur dioxide and hydrogen chloride levels will not pose a risk to local people or air quality but Mr Black is concerned about monitoring at the plant.
“The increase in emissions, in one case to over 8 times the previous limit is bound to have an impact on the air quality in the region,” he said.
“The owners have been trying to sell the plant for 18 months, as the availability of wood chip as a fuel has diminished. They have applied for a variation on the license so the plant can use wood pellets instead of woodchip. The Environment Agency are including a clause to ensure the wood pellets comes from sustainable sources
“I pressed the First Minister to ensure the Environment Agency is able to monitor these new emission limits and the wood pellet fuel sources. Port Talbot already has poor air quality, failing previous air tests. The impact on biodiversity and the environment in the region, as well as the impact on the quality of life for local people if this application is approved will be immeasurable.”
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