Pollution and health fears over proposed waste incinerator in Bedfordshire

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A giant waste incinerator could trigger a whole range of deadly health problems by pumping out poisonous gases as well as speeding up global warming, according to angry protesters.

They say the proposed Covanta Plant near Stewartby would produce three times more nitrous oxide than a coal-fired power station, six times more lead, twice as much carbon monoxide and 70 per cent more sulphur dioxide.

They also claim claim up to 600 trucks a day could be bringing in rubbish from all over Britain to be burnt – with the toxic ash produced belching out even more poisonous fumes.

Members of Bedfordshire Against Covanta Incinerator (BACI) fear the pollution could trigger heart and lung disease, cancers, and asthma.

They have mounted a huge campaign to stop the Rookery Pit South plant – which will be as big as the Cardington airship hangars and have a chimney higher than Big Ben – and are urging people to object before an Environmental Agency consultation period runs out on April 18.

Spokesman, Nicola Ryan-Raine, said: “We fear thousands of Bedfordshire residents are still unaware of the proposals. There are many environmental and health issues here, and the added pollution is being taken very seriously by people living nearby.

“The volume of lorry and associated traffic needed to sustain such a large scale industrial area will be beyond the capacity of the roads in this area. But Covanta do not seem to be taking this aspect seriously and are trying to brush it off as insignificant.”

A Rookery South spokesman said: “Our Energy Recovery Facility will produce low carbon energy sufficient to power 65,000 homes from non-recyclable waste and has been designed to operate well within strict air quality limits.

“The facility is regulated by the Environment Agency to ensure it operates safely and we are currently in the process of applying for an environmental permit with consultation running until April 18.

“We are also proposing to minimise and enhance traffic and access impacts including: a controlled and monitored HGV Route Management Plan, new junction with a right turning lane on Green Lane, improvements to the footway/cycleway provision on Green Lane and reconnection of severed footpaths and creation of new footpaths and cycle ways.”

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