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Incident Alert! Systems crash at Chineham Burner causes concern

On Tuesday 7th September, 2004 the Incinerators control PC's crashed and it shut down.



Please select an event from the list above.


The photos above were taken by CPC chairman Martin Adams, during the restart process on the evening of Wednesday 8th September 2004. The Environment Agency were called as the noise of escaping steam noise scared nearby residents.

Curiously at the time that these photos were taken, a number of residents reported a strong 'burning' smell right across in Chineham. Some reports of black smoke and smells were also reported in Old Basing.

The Environment Agency have stated that they are planning to investigate, but to date no further feedback has been received...

 

Environment Agency to act over incinerator

In early 2003, the BBAC began to receive a number of e-mails from concerned residents in Chineham, Wildmoor and Hook, reporting a variety of strange smells and haze, sometimes lasting for days!

Copies of residents' concerns were immediately reported to Councillor Martin Biermann who diligently made subsequent enquiries within the council and contacted the operator, Hampshire Waste Services, to request an explanation.

The response was typical; the operator claimed that the size of ash particles taken from Chineham indicated that they could not have come from the incinerator and instead blamed unidentified bonfire burning.   Subsequently, John Collis from Hampshire Waste Services gave an interview to the Basingstoke Gazette, in which he claimed to be "Proud" of the burner and made blanket accusations of "scaremongering" amongst local residents.   He also stated that the output from the incinerator was "completely normal". Martin Biermann has now responded to this article by issuing a Press Release , in which he questions the so-far-undiscovered "bonfire" theory purported to be the cause of the reported incidents.

Since both the Hampshire County Council and the Environment Agency seem unwilling to provide a publicly viewable log of complaints regarding the Chineham burner, the BBAC will once again do their job for them. This page contains a viewable log of all complaints, received from local residents and includes a brief note on the official response, if any, from the Operator.

 

Points of Contact


As well as reporting your incident to the BBAC for inclusion in our incident log, you can also contact the applicable authorities and report your incident, at the following locations:-

Authority Contact Name Telephone E-mail
Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council Mr Colin Thomson (01256) 844-844 c.thomson@basingstoke.gov.uk
 
Environment Agency Mr Andrew Pembroke - andrew.pembroke@environment-agency.gov.uk
 
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BBAC Incident Log
  Details of Incident Official
Response
  Incident Date: 18/03/2003

A beautiful hot day is being spoilt by ash deposits in the air a smoky haze and a strong smell of burning. This is evident from Little Copse Chase all the way up Hanmore Road and through the industrial estate. Strangely the blue sky is NOT blue in the direction of the incinerator.

Wind direction: Not Sure
Reported to: Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council

Reported by: J. Lennon
Postcode: RG24 8GL

No response to date
  Incident Date: 17/04/2003

Tuesday morning my car and all the others I could see in Little Copse Chase were covered with a fine brown deposit of pollution which
had occured overnight.

This must be dealt with before the incinerator goes into full production and
pollutes the whole environment including the woods in Chineham which have only just been given special status.

Wind direction: Not Sure
Reported to: Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council

Reported by: J. Lennon
Postcode: RG24 8GL

No response to date
  Incident Date: 31/03/2003

I live in Renown Way, Chineham. I am becoming increasingly concerned about acrid smells and deposits on windows and cars, that I have noticed over the last few months.

On a number of occasions I have woken to acrid smells in the house.   One morning the smell was so strong that a neighbour was walking along covering there face with a scarf.  I now regular notice this smell whilst walking the dog.

I have attempted to locate the source of burning, walking quite a distance trying to establish if anyone may have a bonfire.  On each occasion I have been unable to find any local bonfires.  I have however noticed smoke from the incinerator being blown across Chineham.

This Saturday my car was unbelievably filthy, covered in some brown deposit, it was clean the night before. My family have been waking with
headaches and stuffy noses which are associated with occurrences of these acrid smells.

Wind direction: South-West
Reported to: Andrew Hunter MP / Environment Agency

Reported by: M.Oakley
Postcode: RG24 8XD

No response to date
  Incident Date: 27/03/2003

Getting the bus home from college & there was a very strong burning/smell of waste.  First smelled in Wade Road and people were shutting the windows on bus because of smell.  The smell got worse through Chineham and was even more evident when we got off the bus, outside near to the Chineham arms pub.  The smell was very sweet, but made most people feel quite sick on the bus.

Wind direction: Not Sure

Reported by: A.Houssein & S.Downer
Postcode: RG24 8XQ

No response to date
  Incident Date: 05/03/2003 - 11/03/2003, 22/03/2003, 24/03/2003

When wind blows from a s-s/w direction, one can smell burning in the air. I have taken the time to look for local bonfires. NONE AROUND.

Wind direction: South-West
Reported to: Environment Agency (2nd time)

Reported by: T.Burgess
Postcode: RG27 OHD

No response to date
  Incident Date: 21/03/2003

I work in Chineham, burning smell was very strong upon leaving work in Crockford Lane at lunch time today.

Wind direction: Not Sure
Reported to: Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council

Reported by: J. Lennon
Postcode: RG24 8GL

No response to date
  Incident Date: 19/03/2003

Pervasive smell of burning in the air as soon as front door was opened.

Wind direction: Not Sure

Reported by: J. Lennon
Postcode: RG24 8GL

No response to date
  Incident Date: 10/03/2003

I write to tell you that the burning smell has reached Wildmoor. For the last last 3 weeks approx. we have smelt the burning smell. This only occurs when the wind is from a south to SW direction.

I have been in touch with the environment agency/Hampshire waste. They all inform me that the smell does not come from the burner.

I am amazed how they are, trying to move the blame to Local bonfires. If this was the case then the size of the fire would have to be massive to reach places like Wildmoor.

Due to the fact that I have not seen any smoke for bonfires, I would find it hard to believe the smell comes for that source (what is that old saying ), I might be cabbage looking but I am not that green. In my simple mind the only possible source for the smell is the burner.

Reported by: T. Burgess

"Bonfires"
  Incident Date: 26/02/2003 - 04/03/2003

Over the last week to 10 days there has been a burning smell noticeable morning, noon and night depending on wind direction. Noticed at home and at work in Crockford Lane, Chineham.

Found two dead birds in garden at the weekend and am worried that the whole woodland ecology as well as human health may be at risk.

Reported by: J. Lennon
Postcode: RG24 8GL


No response to date
  Incident Date 22/02/2003

The air around Guinea Copse is, again, non too good this evening (February 22) - a distinct smell of burning.

Reported by: A & D Helsby


No response to date
  Incident Date: 21/02/2003

Evening air in Chineham smells strongly of burning.

Reported by: A & D Helsby


No response to date
  Incident Date: 25/08/2003

20:15am - Strong smell of burning paper and plastic on the wind.

Wind direction: North East

Reported by: M.Wells

No response to date
  Incident Date: 26/09/2003

9:15am - Clouds of black smoke seen rising from the chimney stack. Clouds dissipated by 9:45am, indicating a possible burner shutdown / restart.

Wind direction: North-East

Witnessed by: P.McKenzie / C.Derrick

No response to date
 
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Incident/s Hints and Tips
 

Since it is quite apparent that neither Hampshire County Council, nor the Operator appear to be taking residents' complaints seriously so far, it is very important to document your incident/s as comprehensively as possible.

The more detailed your report, the more difficult it is for the bureaucrats to ignore it!

  • If you have access to a video camera, we strongly recommend that you film the incident, making sure that you add any comments regarding smell, wind direction or anything else you think may be important.  Most modern video and digital cameras also have functions, which can watermark video footage with an appropriate date / time, which would also be helpful.  You can also take photographs to help document the incident.

    If you can provide us with video material on either a standard VHS cassette or in digital format on CD-Rom, we will be happy to convert it to RealPlayer streaming video format and then make it available on the BBAC website.  Likewise we can place any provided photographic material (digital or normal photo) on our website.  If you would like us to return any provided material, please include a stamped addressed envelope big enough for the return of your photograph/s, video tape etc.


  • If you find physical evidence (such as ash deposits etc), please place a sample in a washed and sterile container, such as a glass jar (a small jam jar will suffice) or a re-sealable plastic bag. Make sure you seal the jar / bag and label it with the date and time it was collected, as well as your address and where it was found on your property (e.g. "found on my car in the front driveway" etc.)

  • Speak to your friends and neighbours and note any comments they may make regarding the incident. Try to persuade them to log the incident to the authorities as well, since the more people that complain, the more pressure will be applied on the operators to come up with a more feasible explanation than the current "bonfire" speculation. 

  • If you are contacted by either the Hampshire County Council, or the operator regarding any form of incident that you report to them, make sure you note the date and time you were contacted, as well as the name and position of the person contacting you.  If possible, please note down pertinent points raised during the conversation.

  • Although we would like to hear from local residents regarding any incidents they notice, it is not mandatory that you live in the local area to report an incident.  Anyone who works in, or is a visitor to the area where they notice anything such as smells or ash can make a report. 

 

 


Thank you!   We understand that it takes time and effort to properly document such incidents and your assistance is greatly appreciated!


 


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