In a letter to the BBAC, dated 11th July 2003, John Collis from Hampshire Waste Services informed the BBAC that the operator had "obtained an order from the Vice Chancellor in the Chancery Department of the High Court of Justice dated 9 July 2003, against persons entering or remaining without the consent of ourselves at six incinerators, one of which is Chineham."
So far, the BBAC have been unable to determine exactly who was named in this order, or for what period of time the order covered. The letter does say however: "Your organisation has not been named as a defendant".
On Tuesday 5th November, the Zero Waste Chartists, held a demonstration in London, which was be attended by anti-incineration groups and activists from all over the UK.
View photographs of this action, in the BBAC photographic gallery.
At DEFRA headquarters (Nobel House, Smith Square, London - near Westminster)
Zero Waste representatives presented a copy of the Zero Waste Charter and Ten Point Plan, together with suggestions as to what the pending PIU report should really recommend. Michael Meacher had indicated that he would be there to receive it, but not surprisingly failed to appear. Instead an unidentified DEFRA lackey appeared, mumbled a few words and slipped back inside at the earliest possible opportunity.
Also present was Moses and his Tablet (familiar to all who attended the FOE conference in September), who presented a copy of the charter to the DEFRA lackey. SAGE representatives also provided a large map indicating known possible sites for incinerators around the UK.
Media turnout was quite high, with TV crews from the BBC and ITV covering the event as well as a reported from the Evening Standard.
Despite vociferous opposition from local residents, a huge wealth of information concerning the potential dangers of incinerator emissions, pressure from people throughout the country and even a direct action campaign, the Environment Agency has granted a license to operate the Chineham burner, to Hampshire Waste Services and Onyx.
The Environment Agency, whose website proclaims: "... We are the leading public body for protecting and improving the environment in England and Wales" has today demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they are both unwilling and incapable of protecting the very people they purport to represent.
The EA have further shown that they are much less a watchdog body than they are a quango, run by an institutionalised, unimaginative and jobs-worth civil servants, whose policy appears to be to wax lyrical on the need for a cleaner environment, while simultaneously bending over backwards to support the corporate interests, that are largely responsible for placing our environment in jeopardy in the first place.
The BBAC condemns the Environment Agency for this action, in the strongest possible terms. We believe that this decision has put the health of local residents in immediate peril (for a second time) and has once again demonstrated, that England will remain the "Dirty Man of Europe" for some time to come.
The wider implications of this Environment Agency decision will also perpetuate the existing problem of municipal waste disposal, because this decision will discourage councils throughout the country, from implementing recycling initiatives. Worse still, this decision demonstrates to the corporate interests involved, that the health of the nation is indeed for sale; it's just a question of how much slush money it will take, to buy it.
The BBAC continue to oppose this development and incineration in general terms as an aspect of a modern municipal waste disposal policy. We will be holding both the Environment Agency, and the Developers respective companies, personally accountable for the myriad of health and environmental issues that their short-sighted and greedy policies will invariably create.
The BBAC are calling on all concerned citizens, anti-incineration campaigners and activists throughout the UK, to lobby both the Environment Agency and government at all levels, to start representing the public instead of the profiteers; by actively pursuing a policy of implementing recycling and industrial composting plants as viable alternatives to municipal waste incineration.
Greenpeace, together with an alliance of anti-incineration activists from all over Britain halted construction of the Chineham incinerator near Basingstoke in June 2002.
For full details Click Here.
View photographs of the action, in the BBAC photographic gallery.
View streaming video clips of the action, in the BBAC video downloads section.
The BBAC have learned that Keith Riley, managing director of Hampshire Waste Services (the company contracted to build the Basingstoke Burner) has been appointed to the Regional Environmental Protection Advisor Committee (REAPC) for the south, a branch of the Environment Agency.
"This appointment of someone with such an obvious conflict of interest, further serves to prove that the current government still prefers to put profits before people.", said a BBAC spokesperson.
He added further, "First, Hampshire County Council handed responsibility for public consultation about the new Basingstoke burner to Hampshire Waste Services - the company who stand to make substantial profits from building and operating the burner and who have an obvious bias, based on that fact.
Then, to add insult to injury - and just possibly because with an election coming up, certain politicians are keen to keep on good terms with big business - the government appoints HWS's managing director to preside over important matters of environmental concern, despite a conflict of interest so obvious, only the government could fail to see it."
From the GLA Website. Thursday 12th October, 2000
MAYOR CALLS FOR HALT TO EXPANSION PLANS AT EDMONTON INCINERATOR.
Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London, said today: 'I do recognise Greenpeace's concerns for the health of Londoners. An important responsibility, which I have placed on me by the GLA Act 1999, is to have regard for the health of Londoners. I hope Greenpeace will not continue their demonstration beyond the point where it impacts on Londoners health.
'If there is evidence available about the health impacts of energy from waste incinerators I want to hear it. I welcome the Assembly's plans to conduct a scrutiny into waste and recycling. I understand that Greenpeace will be invited to attend and give evidence and look forward to receiving the results of this scrutiny.
'The seven local authorities feeding Edmonton with waste have very low recycling rates. Irrespective of any information Greenpeace may have on health impacts, waste incineration crowds out an increase in recycling, affects overall air quality and adds to the level of heavy vehicle traffic. For these reasons the large scale expansion proposed for the Edmonton incinerator should not go ahead.
'In addition recycling waste rather than burning it makes environmental and economic sense. London already has the capacity to incinerate nearly a million tonnes of waste each year (Almost a third of the household waste produced in London each year).
'It is indicative that the government has recently excluded energy from waste from receiving financial incentives under the Renewables Obligation and is also providing additional financial support for recycling. The importance of increasing recycling and the role of energy from waste in London will be fully explored in my Municipal Waste Management Strategy currently being prepared.
'Before anyone rushes into increasing incinerators and incinerator output we should actually look at the evidence about risks to human health and the environment by energy from waste incinerators. Until that time I am opposed to any new incinerators or expansions.
'In the meantime I have written to the Environment Agency, the licensing body for incineration in London, asking for a response on these issues. I have also written to the relevant local health authorities to ask if there is any medical evidence to support the claims of health risks, and to the Food Standards Agency about the possible effects on food. We wrote to London Waste Ltd in September requesting additional information on current emissions from the plant at Edmonton.'
From the GLA Website. Wednesday 11th October, 2000
AIR POLLUTION KILLS MORE LONDONERS THAN ROAD ACCIDENTS
A new report on the impact of transport on the capital's health has revealed more people are harmed every year by transport-related air pollution than by road accidents.
Figures in the report On the move, which will be launched at the first London Health Commission meeting on October 12, show 226 people died in road accidents in London in 1998 compared to an estimated 380 deaths from transport emissions. This puts pollution-related deaths over a third higher than road accident deaths.
The report also estimates that Londoners lose around 34,000 years of life every year from transport-related pollution. The combined effect of road accidents and transport-related air pollution are estimated to be responsible for at least one per cent of the city's total deaths every year.
Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London, will be at the London Health Commission to help launch the report. He said: 'This report shows it's more harmful to walk down the street than to cross it. It is no coincidence that two early strategies I am producing deal with transport and air pollution. They are two of the biggest problems facing the capital and are very closely related. Improving transport and reducing congestion will have a significant impact on pollution. Reports like this play a vital role in informing these strategies that will help improve life in London.'
Pollution, including long-term exposure to pollutant particles, causes a range of health problems including premature mortality, respiratory and cardio-vascular problems, and possible exacerbation of asthma, other respiratory problems and loss of lung function.
Dr Sue Atkinson, the Mayor's health adviser and London's Director of Public Health, said: 'This research shows the enormous impact transport, together with the related pollution, has on the health of Londoners. That's why transport is one of the four key priorities of the London Health Strategy to be driven forward by the new, independent London Health Commission. Transport can of course play an important role in increasing physical activity through cycling and walking - reducing inequalities and improving well-being. Not all these elements are not included in this report but it is a vital contribution towards minimising the ill-effects and maximising the benefits of transport in London.'
Chemical analysis of ash from Byker Incinerator now available!
Download the full report (PDF Format Only - 800KB)
From the Newcastle Council's Website. Friday 30th June, 2000
FULL REPORT ON ASH FROM BYKER HEAT STATION
The full report on the analysis of ash from the Byker Heat Station, which was used for the construction of surface footpaths, bridleways and hardstandings at various locations in the city, has now been completed.
The report, produced by Dr Tanja Pless-Mulloli of Newcastle University, confirms the initial findings, announced on April 7, that many of the ash samples contained raised levels of some heavy metals and dioxins.
Dr Pless-Mulloli now believes that we must await the results of further tests before any clear conclusions can be reached: "We were asked to find out if there was a problem with the ash. We now know that there was but the extent of it will only become clear when the results of further tests on soil, eggs and vegetables are available," she explained.
As soon as the City Council was made aware of the initial findings of the analysis it decided to remove the ash from every site in the city that had received it. That work has now been completed.
The report recommends that further tests are carried out on soil, vegetables and eggs found on any allotments which received ash. These tests have been, or are in the process of being, commissioned. The results of these analyses will be made public as soon as they are received.
Director of Cityworks, Barry Rowland, decided that the report should be published in full to make sure that the people of Newcastle were in possession of all the facts available:
"I realise that people are concerned about the levels of contamination and felt that it was important that this information should be in the public domain," he explained.
"The report makes it clear that the ash contains raised levels of dioxins and shows we were right to instigate immediate action to remove the ash as soon as we were made aware of the initial findings.
"With the benefit of hindsight we would not have used the ash on footpaths at allotments. The Environment Agency have launched an investigation into the use of the ash and we will be co-operating fully with that investigation.
"We regret any concern that the use of this ash has caused but the immediate hazard in the environment has now been removed and we must await the results of the further tests on soil and eggs before we decide on our next step."
The ash was first used on paths in allotments in 1994 but this process was ceased in mid-1999 after fears were raised about the chemical composition of the ash. Newcastle University was commissioned by the City Council, with advice from the Health Authority, to sample and analyse it.
Newcastle and North Tyneside Health Authority and Newcastle City Council issued precautionary advice to allotment holders on the sites in April, based on the initial findings of the testing, which still stands until the results of tests on the eggs and soil are available.
That advice remains:
Newcastle and North Tyneside Health Authority's Director of Public Health, Dr Tricia Cresswell, said: "The advice is a precautionary measure. The only evidence we had was of a hazard in the environment and that has now been removed. We now need the results of further testing on eggs, soil and vegetables to assess possible exposure before we can give detailed advice on any potential risk to health."
For more information contact Rachel Chapman at Newcastle and North Tyneside Health Authority on 0191 2196068 or Trevor Wood at Newcastle City Council on 0191 2115096
Councillors Who Voted For The Incinerator
Dudley Keep (Con) - Basingstoke East.
Keith Estlin (Con) - Fareham - Western Wards.
Mike Woodhall (Con) - Stockbridge and Wellow.
Pat Devereux (Con) - Farnborough South.
Jonathan Glen (Con) - Hartley Witney.
Patricia Wiggins (Con) - Eastleigh.
John Waddington (Con) - Ringwood.
John West (Con) - Petersfield.
Peter Langdon (Con) - Gosport Hardway.
Peter Andreae (Con) - Aldershot North.
Sid Leyland (Lab) - Gosport Rowner.
Mike Roberts (Lab) - Aldershot South.
Harvey Cole (Lib Dem) - Westgate.
Adrian Collet (Lib Dem) - Yateley.
Liz Brett (Lib Dem) - Romsey.
Mike Shand (Lib Dem) - Fordingbridge.
June Watson (Lib Dem) - Eastleigh, Botley and Hedge End.
Roger Price (Lib Dem) - Fareham Portchester.
Bill Blackett (Con) - Purbrook and Stakes (South).
Jack Carruthers (Ind) - Cowplain and Hartplain.
Alan Dowden (Lib Dem) - Baddesley.
Peter Hutcheson (Con) - Hawley and Church Crookham.