Council Apologises For Lack of Transparency Over Incinerator Breaches

The waste incinerator at Moorwell

The waste incinerator at Moorwell

The Council of the Isles of Scilly has said sorry for keeping residents in the dark over the emissions breaches at the Moorwell incinerator.

In a statement issued yesterday, spokesperson George Pearson said the authority accepts that the lack of communication was unacceptable, and wishes to offer its apologies for that.

Mr Pearson was referring to data obtained by Radio Scilly from the Environment Agency, and published earlier this week, which showed the incinerator repeatedly broke emission limits for several pollutants including highly toxic dioxins for several years.

George says the Council recognises people’s concerns over this, adding that they’re striving to be as transparent as they can.

Should there be any further issues, he says, these will be reported first to the Council’s Management Team and then General Purposes Committee as soon as they are identified.

Cllr Steve Sims, who became Chairman of the General Purposes Committee in May, said he’d asked the Environment Agency to copy him in to all correspondence and he’s asked for a summary of compliance issues to be presented to future meetings of his committee.

No prosecution has been sought against the Authority as a result of its performance, although they accept there have been historic compliance issues.

Andy Street from the Council’s waste consultants SLR admitted that the emissions were high on occasion from the incinerator, which was first commissioned in the 1970’s.

He says initial assessment of the impact of emissions to air was undertaken in 2009 under the instruction of the Environment Agency.

These investigations indicated that, even with monitored emissions at their highest, there was no clear risk to human health. This was because of the small scale of the plant and the low volume of waste incinerated.

George says the newly formed Waste Forum will be addressing the future of waste management on the islands. That will include management of the waste flow and the type technology used to deal with our rubbish.

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