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Are you concerned about cement works emissions?

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baldy:
Are you concerned about cement works emissions?
 
I put down the item on the Agenda of the town council meeting on 7th July as follows:
 
"To consider the fact that the LaFarge cement works in Westbury has been issued with a written warning by the Environment Agency for exceeding its permitted limits in its emissions of dioxins and furons on one occasion earlier this year, and to request and / or receive a full explanation and reassurance from the management at La Farge that they are doing their best to avoid any further breach of the limits. Cllr R Hawker to present this item". 

I also contacted Jim Cross, Works Manager at Lafarge, to invite him to come along. He accepted straight away and came to give a presentation to everyone.
 
I also rang David Levy to invite him along as a local expert campaigner for cleaner air. David gave an interesting speech.
 
The outcome of the council debate was that we basically were happy with what Lafarge had to say about the incident earlier in the year and that it did not present any extra threat to local public health.
 
HOWEVER, I gave a long speech when I explained that there is another issue we should be looking at.  This is the fact that all the scientific calculations for determining the safe and acceptable level of pollutants in the emissions assume that the plume from the smoke stack dissipates into the atmosphere before reaching ground level. In other words, it is assumed that by the time anything reaches people on the ground it is already very diluted. BUT, sometimes the smoke and steam "plume" does go downwards instead of upwards. Under certain atmospheric conditions, when the wind is in the right direction and speed, the plume goes straight down and reaches the ground in a fairly undiluted form in parts of Westbury such as Studland Park and Newtown.
 
People have contacted me saying that at night during the Summer when their windows are open they sometimes wake up with a strong sulphuric smell in their bedroom.
 
The point is that no research has been done on whether this situation poses additional risks for people in the plume when it grounds like this.
 
I suggested that extra monitoring is required.
 
I therefore proposed that we call a special town council meeting, which is fully open to the public with the Mayor able to allow people to speak at any relevant time in the discussion, to discuss this issue.
 
I specifically asked that the following are invited to attend:
 
Lafarge
Environment Agency (which is the official regulatory authority for Lafarge emissions)
Primary Care Trust
Health Protection Agency
West Wiltshire District Council's chief Environmental Health Officer (who is responsible for local air quality monitoring).
 
This was voted through unanimously.
 
It will be an interesting public meeting, which the Mayor is expected to call in early - mid September as soon as all the invitees confirm that they can attend all at the same time.
 
Cllr Russell Hawker
 

westbury chap:
the problem with the chimney is it a red herring to the sulpher people can taste in the air, that comes from the kiln and hoppers from the works, usually from spillages of plant and machinery. That is what people should check and test for

baldy:

--- Quote from: westbury chap on July 31, 2008, 18:49:48 PM ---the problem with the chimney is it a red herring to the sulpher people can taste in the air, that comes from the kiln and hoppers from the works, usually from spillages of plant and machinery. That is what people should check and test for

--- End quote ---

I partly agree with you in the sense that one additional source of air-borne pollutants is the occasional dust cloud from other parts of the works such as when a spillage occurs and toxic gasses escaping directly from the kilns.
 
But, the primary source of pollutants into the air is via the smoke stack.
 
In any event, the proposal is to undertake air-monitoring on the ground to see what is happening at ground level in places such as Studland Park.
 
At the moment, all the monitoring is done inside at the bottom of the stack before the emissions actually are emitted.
 

Quantumtheory:
Ah, I've just realised who you are Mr Hawker. You're the councillor chappy!

 

baldy:

--- Quote from: Quantumtheory on July 31, 2008, 18:57:01 PM ---Ah, I've just realised who you are Mr Hawker. You're the councillor chappy!

--- End quote ---

I am one of 20 councillors in Westbury, but I'm not sure I am "The Councillor".

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