The BBAC can be contacted, regarding any of the press releases below, by sending e-mail to the following e-mail address:
BBAC Press Statement (15/09/2003)
BBAC Press release 16th September 2003
The Official Opening 26th September
BBAC are concerned that The Princess Royal has agreed to open the Chineham Incinerator. There is a level of concern expressed by Chineham residents that whilst any Royal visit is generally welcomed, in this case it is not. We feel that the Princess has been ill informed over the impact of incineration.
Many scientific papers have been written on this topic and provide compelling evidence, suggesting there are links between a wide range of child health issues and proximity to municipal waste incineration. One recent reference quotes:
"Proximity to several types of industrial source, around the time of birth, are followed by a raised risk of childhood cancer. Combustion products and volatile organic compounds are especially implicated... Low atmospheric concentrations of many carcinogenic substances suggests that the mother acts as an accumulative filter and passes them on to the foetus across the placenta or in breast milk." (E.G. Knox, E.A. Gilman 1998)
As The Princess Royal is President of the Save the Children Fund we feel that to publicly support incineration is misguided.
A letter writing campaign has been implemented to request HRH to cancel.
The hosts, Hampshire County Council and Hampshire Waste services - being conscious of local ill-feeling - have prepared for the event in what can only be described as a clandestine fashion; not even involving the local liaison panel or the Chineham Parish council and keeping the press at a distance.
The Chineham Plant
Sources within the County Council's project Integra have alleged that there are concerns with an over-capacity of incineration within Hampshire. This is due to the Governments tougher recycle targets that have been announced and the rapid pace of Hampshire County Council to complete a long term waste plan and to be seen to be the first county to have one in place. There is evidence that Hampshire Waste is in no hurry to build the 3rd incinerator plant at Marchwood near Southampton.
BBAC are justifiably concerned that if this plant is not built more waste will be sent to Chineham.
In reply to John Collis of Hampshire Waste's statement that their new facility at Chineham is state of the art BBAC refute that this is the case.
Research into alternative technologies of waste disposal such as Mechanical Biological Technology, has seen other Local authorities move away from Incineration (Lancashire for example). Furthermore there is a feeling of Political Suicide by politicians faced with an incineration proposal within their constituencies. This was recently illustrated by the Deputy Prime Minister throwing out a proposal for a plant in Hull this March, very close to his own seat.
The incineration process in Chineham is the worst form of the technology, as it burns totally unsorted waste straight from the wheelie bins. Current thinking would see waste streamed more effectively. This form of the process is now regarded as level with landfill as the worst way to deal with the waste problem.
The Chineham plant is not state of the art. It is a White Elephant!
BBAC Press Statement (02/04/2003)
This press statement has been brought about following reports of Burning smells and dust deposits occurring within the parish of Chineham during February 2003.
During the 2nd and 3rd weeks of February there were a series of complaints made to local Councillors and BBAC concerning acrid smells and in particular deposits found on vehicles in Chineham. Several calls were from asthma sufferers who also complained that their conditions had worsened. Many of these complaints were passed to the Local Basingstoke Council and the environment agency.
The environment agency presented its findings at the Incinerator liaison panel on April 1st. Following on from their statements in the press that the smells and deposits had come from bonfires they showed photographs of the deposits compared to the ash in the incinerator filter extracts. The photograph of the deposit in Chineham showed a far larger particle. Having stated this deposit was not a product of combustion they then said it had probably come form a bonfire. They did not investigate the elemental composition of the sample. Chineham parish council used a local university to analyse a sample from the same source in this manner. The results showed that the sample contained mainly calcium (and some steel) amongst a scatter of other elements.
The EA presentation continued by analysing the pollutant emission data (January and February) gathered by the plant (held on the public register at the Borough) for 6 pollutants whose limits are set in the IPPC licence by the EA. There had been 6 violations of those limits during this period due to malfunctions at the plant. Emissions of HCl had been greatest from February 15th to 23rd - just inside the daily average limit. Lime (calcium hydroxide) is used in the process to reduce HCl emissions by injecting it into the flue gas and then filtering most of it out using a bag filter. The EA pointed out that the more lime injected can lower the emissions but at a greater cost to the operator.
BBAC lists the "coincidences" that happened during this period.
Unprecedented complaints from local residents with a spread of people unknown to this organisation and so assumed incinerator neutral and not therefore influenced. Borough councillors saw this, as a series of complaints not witnessed before at this level.
These complaints peaked when the weather in Chineham was under a gentle easterly wind and there were inversion layers (cold and misty conditions) over Chineham. Observers stated that there was a visible plume from the incinerator stack coming to ground over the area.
On the 19th February samples of fallout were gathered in Chineham and subsequent analysis shows the main element present is calcium.
Lime ( a compound of calcium ) is used in the gas cleaning.
However Lime also makes up the major part of cement but no building works have been implicated.
From the 15th to 23rd we see 'on the limit ' HCl emissions - maximum lime usage to avoid breaking these limits within costs ?
During this period the climatic conditions in Chineham bring air in from the east and misty weather holds this air in Chineham.
Frequency of complaints dramatically reduced in subsequent weeks when the wind and weather has changed
BBAC believes that these coincidences do not prove that the incinerator is at fault but we strongly request further efforts be made to investigate the plant as these events in no way eliminate the incinerator as the source.
Councillor Biermann responds to HWS "Scaremongering" claim
Martin Biermann, Independent Borough Councillor for Chineham has released the following statement, in response to the claims of "scaremongering" made by John Collis of Hampshire Waste Services, in a Basingstoke Gazette article, published on the 7th March, 2003:
"I am disturbed to read a quotation attributed to John Collis, Director of Hampshire Waste Services, suggesting "an element of scaremongering" about the issue of possible discharges from the Chineham Incinerator."
Says Cllr Biermann:
"As I am one of the persons quoted in the Gazette lead article of 7 March, I suspect I might also be deemed one of Mr Collis's target scaremonger.
The truth is, I have in public been very careful not to attribute the widely reported pollution to the incinerator. I cannot prove the source, whatever it is. That said, so far Hampshire Waste Services, the Environment Agency and Basingstoke and Deane Environmental Health Department have all been unable to identify a source; this despite their massively greater resources.
All I have to date emphatically declared is that I have had a flood of telephone calls, e-mails and personal approaches about acrid smells and deposits on cars and infrastructure generally. Despite having been hauled out of my home by a resident at 21:30h one evening upon my return from a meeting and witnessing the smell together with confirmation from incinerator management that the wind was blowing from the incinerator towards Chineham, a subsequent search failed to find a bonfire. It is my role as an elected councillor to listen to the concerns of residents as reported to me.
It is then my further duty to seek resolution of such concerns. This I have endeavoured to do by reporting such concerns to the borough's Environmental Health Department staff, who have liased with the Environment Agency and Hampshire Waste Services. This is the sort of route I would take on any issue, be it high or low profile. Failure to do so would not accord with the performance standards I set myself.
Is Mr Collis suggesting I should ignore these representations or that there is a person or group whipping up imaginary phenomena?
I must admit that, applying simple logic to interpretation of evidence, I have some difficulty in accepting the "bonfires" explanation for the problems being experienced. (I readily admit I am no expert). The bonfire scenario appears rather flawed for several reasons:
Why have I only just started receiving these reports in coincidence with the commencement of continuous waste burning at the incinerator? I have never, to the best of my recollection, had any similar complaints since closure of the old incinerator.
How is it that the said bonfires managed to shed their pollution over such a wide area and over several days?
How is it that the acrid smells are still evident at hours when very few people are likely to be burning their bonfires?
How is it that neither I, nor residents, nor the various authorities have been able to point to bonfires in relation to the complaints I have received?"
In conclusion, Councillor Biermann welcomes the independent tests now being sought by Chineham Parish Council and also welcomes guidance from whatever source - offering evidence of pollution from alternative sources.
BBC joins incineration debate
A production crew of the BBC's regional programme, "Southern Eye" recently interviewed the BBAC and other campaign groups about the growing concern over health and environmental issues that municipal waste incineration presents.
You can now view a streaming video clip from the BBC's recent "Southern Eye" documentary, featuring Chris Tomblin, Chairman of the BBAC voicing our concerns over the new burner.
If you have RealPlayer G2 (or a later version) installed as a browser plugin, you can view the clips listed below, as streaming video online.
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|Chris Tomblin voices the BBAC Concerns.
(Duration: 1 minute, 8 seconds)
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|Chris Tomblin voices the BBAC Concerns.
(Duration: 1 minute, 8 seconds)
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Andrew Hunter - Wednesday 12th January 2000
Basingstoke MP Andrew Hunter says he is "angry but not at all surprised" that the Government has refused to move over its decision not to call in the planning application for the proposed new incinerator at Chineham.
In a formal letter to Andrew Hunter, Minister of State for the Environment, Nick Raynsford, has restated the Government's position.
"The Secretary of State for the Environment controversially decided not to exercise his 'call in' powers several weeks before the County Council granted planning permission. It was always unlikely that they would change their minds," Andrew Hunter comments.
"There will be many disappointed and concerned Basingstoke and Chineham residents. The Borough Council and over 2000 letter-writers and petitioners objected to the planning application and asked the Secretary of State to intervene. The Government has shown callous disregard for local opinion."
Andrew Hunter - Tuesday 7th December 1999
Basingstoke MP Andrew Hunter says that he is "angry and dismayed" by the Governments announcement before the statutory 21 days for appealing have expired, that they will not intervene over the proposed new incinerator at Chineham.
"Even by their own appalling standards, the Government have acted with breathtaking arrogance," Andrew Hunter says. "They have displayed disregard for the democratic process worthy of a dictatorship. They have ridden rough-shod over the statutory rights of Basingstoke people."
"The County Council approved the planning application on 17th November," Andrew Hunter explains. "Requests to the Secretary of State for the Environment to call in the application can be made for 21 days - until 8th December - but the Government are not prepared to allow people their statutory right."
"Government officials knew last week that I was on the point of submitting a request to the Secretary of State. It reached the department on 3rd or 4th of December. Without waiting to consider my request, the Minister for Housing and Planning (Nick Raynsford MP) informed me on 2nd December that he would not call in the application."
"The Borough Council, several Parish Councils, Country Watch, 2,500 petitioners and about 1,000 correspondents have all expressed their opposition to the incinerator at Chineham and asked the Secretary of State to intervene. The Government's refusal to do so before the statutory period of appeal has ended and without even considering my submission is nothing short of scandalous."
Andrew Hunter is demanding at the very least that the Government "respects the statutory rights of Basingstoke people" and considers his submission to the Secretary of State. "I am advised that the Government have acted illegally. In the light of this, I hope that the Secretary of State intervenes."
Media Statement - Andrew Hunter MP - Tuesday, 8th June 1999
"No incinerator at Chineham": this is the stark message Basingstoke MP, Andrew Hunter, has delivered to the County Council. The MP, who has opposed the new incinerator from the outset, has made vigorous representations to the County, urging a total re-think.
"I hope that the County, even at this late stage, will go back to the drawing board and think it out again," Andrew Hunter explains. "With so many people living so near to the site, there are understandable concerns about risks to health. Months of public meetings and public debate have not reassured. Legitimate doubts remain."
The MP is urging the County to take another look at its Waste Disposal Strategy. "This was drawn up in 1996. Since then there have been significant advances in the various technologies of waste disposal," the MP argues. "Some people believe that the County can decrease incineration and dispose of more waste through composting and anaerobic digestion."
Andrew Hunter is also highly critical of the statutory procedures which the County must follow. "The County draws up a waste disposal strategy which includes re-opening Chineham and then invites tenders for the implementation of this strategy. The successful company submits a planning application to re-open the Chineham site and the County planners then pronounce judgement on an application which the County has already announced to be its policy!"
Andrew Hunter has already raised his concerns with the Government and the time for action at Westminster is drawing close. "If the Council are mindful to grant planning permission for the development," Environment Minister Nick Raynsford has told the Basingstoke MP, "before doing so they will first notify the application formally to the Secretary of State to allow him to decide whether he wishes to call it in".
"If we reach this point," Andrew Hunter explains, "I shall urge John Prescott to call in the application and then do all I can to persuade him to reject it."