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Council won't wait for 'vital' incinerator health study in Gloucestershire

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: November 22, 2012

worried: Clockwise from back left; Myles Keyte, 11, Lucy Gee, 10, Charlotte Lumsdon, 10, Martha Card, 10, and Ben Williams, 10, Daniel Evans, 10, and Joe Wilcox, 11.

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IMPASSIONED pleas to postpone the Javelin Park incinerator plans until a new health study is complete have fallen on deaf ears.

Liberal Democrat councillors had urged Shire Hall bosses to delay the proposal until the Health Protection Agency (HPA) publishes its findings in March 2014.

The HPA's current position states that "well run and regulated modern municipal waste incinerators are not a significant risk to public health".

However, prompted by public concern, the agency has begun a new study researching whether there is a potential link between incinerator emissions and health problems.

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But the county council's Conservative administration vowed to plough on with the waste disposal plant at a meeting of the full council yesterday.

Speaking at the meeting, Councillor Ceri Jones (LD, Cleeve) said: "The decision about the incinerator in many ways is the most important decision this council has made, certainly in my time. Surely you would agree that it would be the right thing to do to wait for the results of this vitally important piece of research?"

He added: "What will you say if the building of the incinerator is underway and the HPA finds a link?"

However, leader of the council Mark Hawthorne said that too many opposition members have fallen back on "Google science" before accusing some Liberal Democrats of "scaremongering".

He said: "The HPA has made it very, very, very clear that the study that is being undertaken does not undermine the HPA's current position.

"I know there are very strong feelings about this development but let's stick to figures and to what is scientifically-proven evidence. Let's not scare people with what are frankly fairy tales."

The incinerator, by Junction 12 of the M5, will cost £500million and will be run for 25 years by Urbaser Balfour Beatty at Javelin Park.

Anti-incinerator group Glosvain have released an internet video at www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk.

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  • Future2010  |  November 22 2012, 1:34PM

    The potential for the HPA investigation to be a "whitewash" is enormous. Imagine what would happen if the investigation reveals the true "rates of illness & rates of premature deaths (at all ages) in electoral wards upwind & downwind of incinerators", imagine the costs that would be involved in shutting down incinerators currently in operation and cancelling the construction of those for which planning permission has already been granted. Would incinerators in operation be closed or new plans cancelled? Money or People first? Which would those in power choose?

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  • CommsGuy  |  November 22 2012, 12:38PM

    The HPA have failed to monitor health impacts of incinerators. In Aug 2003, the newly-formed Health Protection Agency promised to examine health data around incinerators & landfill sites due to public concern. But they didn't bother, & were exposed in two Surrey papers on 22 May 2008, Dorking Advertiser & Surrey Mirror. The above articles resulted from a Freedom of Information request to the HPA, asking for a list of incinerators around which they'd examined rates of illness & rates of premature deaths (at all ages) in electoral wards upwind & downwind of incinerators. The HPA admitted that they'd not checked the data around any incinerator & yet they still continued to tell people that there weren't any significant health risks. This has led councillors across the country to accept the HPA's "wisdom" and give incinerators the "green light" . Belatedly the HPA have now announced a new study but this will not report until 2014 and is likely to be another whitewash, given past form.

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  • capital1978  |  November 22 2012, 8:18AM

    Recycled surely?

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  • Bonkim2003  |  November 22 2012, 7:57AM

    Why is this repeated?

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