What are called “pre-commissioning works” – involving the discharge of massive plumes of steam – have now started at the controversial new Biomass Incinerator at Barry Docks.
The installation of the incinerator has been imposed on Barry by the Labour-run Welsh Assembly Government – despite the unanimous opposition of the Conservative Vale of Glamorgan Council and even the Labour-run Barry Town Council.
It’s feared that when the tests are complete and the incinerator begins full operations, clouds of effluent will be discharged from the high smoke-stack on the building which will pollute Sully and Penarth.
The steam pouring from the plant today was so dense at times it stopped traffic in the docks area .
So much steam was being discharged, the condensed water vapour fell as a localised rain shower on Dock View Road . The operation is said to be to be part of the a process of pre-cleaning the plant prior to the start of incineration.
The steam today was coming from what is described as a temporaty structure at the side of the incinerator .
At the same time as the steam was being discharged from the site of the building, diesel fumes were being emitted from the tall smoke stack on the site. The diesel exhaust fumes were coming from the burning of diesel fuel which is said to be “part of the pre-commissioning phase” . [The by products created by burning diesel fuel contain minute particulates which are a proven cause of cancer.]
The Vale of Glamorgan Council – which unanimously voted against giving planning permission to the scheme – but was overuled by the Labour-run Welsh Assembly Governemnt – says ” We are aware of health concerns that have been expressed by local residents, but through consultation with Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and the Operator we are not aware of any emissions that are of public health concern.”
Vale Council officials also say “We are aware of complaints of noise in the early hours and SRS are responding to these and other complaints relating to nuisance that is affecting local residents. We are working closely with NRW and a meeting took place Monday between officers of NRW, the SRS and the Operator to discuss the pre-commissioning phase. Sole responsibility for regulating the operation of the site will soon pass to the NRW when full commissioning takes place.”
The incinerator is supposed to convert what’s described as “waste wood” into electricity and is projected to supply the energy needs of the population of Barry.