Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Rugby Councillors spurn world health expert help

Rugby Councillors spurn world health expert help......

Professor Vyvyen Howard came three times to Rugby and twice Councillors were invited to meet him and discuss the serious health implications of the waste-burning and coal/petcoke burning in the cement/co-incinerator in Rugby. Of the 48 Councillors only a handful bothered to turn up.

Yet more evidence against the burning of wastes, in incinerators and in cement kilns!

Cork incinerator site. www.chaseireland.org Burning chemical waste creates finer particles, which are not caught.

Norwich Evening News - 16-02-06
Invisible but deadly incinerator danger by HUGH BOWRING

The fight against plans for a waste incinerator near Norwich was strengthened today after a scientist rebuffed Government claims that the plants were safe.

Professor Vyvyen Howard, who is a leading toxico-pathologist and opponent of incineration, said burning waste as proposed in the £90 million incinerator on the Longwater Industrial Estate in Costessey was dangerous and totally unsustainable.

His comments come after the Health Protection Agency announced findings of a recent investigation, which concluded there was little evidence to suggest serious health problems linked to the large-scale burning of waste.

Prof Howard, who is a lecturer at the University of Ulster, said mass-burn incineration only served to compound the problem of the Earth's increasingly toxic atmosphere.

He said although modern incinerators were cutting out 99 per cent of particles emitted, this figure was based on weight.

What the plants were failing to do was to filter out the smallest, most harmful particles, which weighed virtually nothing, yet made up most emissions.

"We are learning all the time about the damaging effects of ultra-fine particles and have already discovered that the smaller the particles the more inflammatory and toxic they are" he said.

"Breathing in these particles can cause chronic inflammation, which can lead to cancer, as well blood clots and other chronic health effects. If you are living in the vicinity of an incinerator you are going to be exposed to these particles."

Prof Howard said that, even though the US National Academy of Sciences stated back in 1976 that weight-based emission filtration levels were effectively useless, the method had prevailed because no one was yet able to count the number of particles emitted.

The scientist acknowledged many of the particles emitted from cars, power stations and other modern inventions added significantly to the toxic content in the atmosphere.

"We have to start asking is it safe and sensible to press ahead with incineration when there are better alternatives?" he said. "I think the answer to both these questions is no!"

Prof Howard added that greater recycling, material reuse and sustainable
forms of waste treatment were vital for a sustainable future: "Incineration
is just a quick fix solution." he said. "The best solutions lie in organisational energy, effort and imagination."

Yesterday pollution expert Dr Dick Van Steenis told the Evening News how harmful emissions from the proposed plant in Costessey could reach a 17-mile radius.

The Evening News last month held a public meeting, packed with worried families concerned at the proposals for the incinerator.

Norfolk County Council has named the Waste Recycling Group (WRG) as its preferred operator for the controversial scheme.

Damning Evidence

Cement kilns co-incinerating waste are even worse than Incinerators: Damning Evidence Against Incinerators As Debate Shifts to Particulate Matter (PM) Emissions :

In a Prime Time Incineration special on Thursday last (23 February 2006) Minister Roche reinforced his position as a NIMBY, and exposed Government ignorance regarding the latest health reports on the safety of incinerators.

Minister Roche was unable to refute the latest evidence in the form of a report by The British Society for Ecological Medicine (BSEM), quoted by CHASE's Mr Frank Kelleher to support his argument that Incinerators are too high risk for human health.

The report, written in December 2005, entitled "The Health Effects of Waste Incinerators", and stating that 'facilities emitting substantial quantities of fine particulates [incinerators]...should not be approved and urgent measures should be taken to reduce the emissions from waste burning installations in current use and to apply vigorous biological monitoring until they can be taken out of service and safer methods of waste disposal brought into operation", left the Minister without reply, and made a complete mockery of the Government line that a safely run incinerator is acceptable.

Mr Kelleher also referred to the WHO Document produced in April 2005 - Particulate Matter, Air Pollution; How it harms health.

The growing body of evidence on the damage caused by PM was backed up during the programme by a number of national and international experts from both sides of the debate who expressed serious reservations about the safety of incineration.

When challenged by Mr Kelleher on the Governments failure to address the cornerstone of its waste policy i.e. Waste Prevention - having spent only Euro 5 million (Race Against Waste Campaign) out of a promised prevention budget of Euro 55 million - Minister Roche seemed under the impression the policy document was history and that building incinerators would solve the problem of illegal landfill in his own Wicklow constituency. Minister Roche has previously been quoted as saying that he would not want an incinerator in his own constituency.

If Minister Roche is serious about his position as Minister for the Environment he will now familiarise himself with current incinerator health reports, including PM damage, and consider placing a moratorium on the building of incinerators until he has spent his committed budget on waste prevention.

Council suffering selective memory loss.

Council thinks only ONE person in Rugby concerned with co-incinerator.... air quality, pollution and health.....

Yesterday leading Councillors, defending the professional reputations of Councillors and staff, said it was a "step too far" to suggest that Officers who refuse to answer letters, and Councillors who delete emails from the Rugby residents by "auto-rule", were a waste of money. Presumably each Officer and Councillor is free to grapple with the issues of the day that he/she chooses? There appears to be a problem with that as one would have thought that, as we all live in Rugby, that we all breathe the same air, and we all suffer the environmental detriment? Not so apparently. Is it just me, or is there a distinct lack of joined-up thinking?

A further scathing remark from the Conservative Cabinet member , holder of the Environment Portfolio, warns Lilian that "if YOU expect to receive ANY sympathy for YOUR cause" you must not go too far. Apparently "the Cause" is all mine! Can it possibly be that ONLY Lilian is concerned for the health of Rugby people, and the 48 Councillors are all very happy to have the biggest waste burner in the UK sited here? They delete emails, and refuse to read the environmental and health information provided to them. This follows on from missives from other Councillors instructing me to "be nice to Councillors to get them on my side", and "not to upset them".

1. This Council asked FOUR times for Defra's Secretary of State to hold a PUBLIC INQUIRY in Rugby.
2. This Council unanimously agreed that the cement plant was not to become a co-incinerator.
3. Officers and Councillors are singing from different hymn sheets: Officers welcome incineration in Rugby!
4. This Council has with held Environmental information in contravention of the Act.
5. This Council has written intimidating letters to residents who have asked for information.
6. Only a handful of Councillors bothered to attend meetings with Dr Vivian Howard, (the UK's leading expert on health effects from incineration), when he came to Rugby twice to talk to them, and to advise them.
7. Environmental Health Officers admit to having no idea as to how the cement plant came to be built here, and how it got an "unlawful" IPC operating permit.
8. This Council claims to have "mislaid" crucial Minutes of meetings, and refuses access.
9. This Council refuses to answer what it regards as "awkward" (incriminating?) questions.
10 The Government's policy is to burn waste as cheaply as possibly in the most conveniently huge cement kiln, regardless of the Health Impact, and the suitability, or otherwise, , of the location.
11 Lilian has got fed up with being "fobbed off; obstructed; misinformed; and mislead" by officers and Councillors at both RBC and WCC. Unfortunately they only answer anything when they are irritated - and then only very occasionally.
12 The Environment Agency is currently conducting a Public Relations exercise in a Survey to ask hapless, specially selected, residents in Rugby (and Westbury) how much the pollution from the cement plant "bothers them".

It does not appear that the Questionnaire provides any details about the pollutants, and the dangers and health impacts from the toxic chemicals being emitted, but on the more positive side it does stop short of telling
the interviewees that the plume is "only harmless carbon dioxide and water vapour!" At the end will there be this entirely predictable result:

"500 people interviewed in Rugby welcomed incineration and pollution after they were told that tyre burning is good for them and improves air quality. They understand it lowers the cancer risk from coal burning!" The findings of this survey concur with those of Cook and Kemm who were unable to prove one way of the other, in the Health Impact Assessment, "if it is better for the Rugby residents to breathe coal dust or tyre fumes". The Jury is still out.


Monday, February 27, 2006


Cement plant WINNER of Process Award Rugby Ltd : Pollution Control - Inbuilt in cement manufacture:


One might indeed wonder what planet these guys inhabit? Have they ever been to Rugby? This must be a sick joke, or proof if ever any was needed that the EU is totally out of step with the UK. RMC have this to say:

"The UK's Green Apple Environment Award has now been followed by a nomination for a European Award for the Environment," says a thrilled Dr David Evans Environment Manager for RMC, "and the National and European recognition justify the confidence we had in the design and the risks we took in developing the plant."

"Faced with the challenge of how best to meet increasingly demanding environmental requirements at a number of ageing cement plants Rugby - part of RMC group - opted for a bold approach. Instead of modifying seven existing installations it decided it would be more COST effective to replace them all with one new cement plant specifically designed to high environmental standards".

WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN SAID: Then we looked round for a target site, the softest option, and the most likely place to find the locals asleep. A green field site would seem to have been easier with only a few sleepy sheep to protest about the development, but we soon realised that sheep were not as stupid or as sleepy as some people believe. We quickly decided that we needed a more gullible populace than a field of sheep. By coincidence we also realised that the Real Estate at Chinnor, Rochester and Southam was worth much more than that at Rugby. And also, most conveniently, Rugby Borough Council and Warwickshire County Council seemed the "best bet", accustomed as they are to pulling the wool over the eyes of the 90,000 Rugby residents. With only 62 County Councillors at Warwick and only 48 Rugby Borough Councillors it was a pushover. They put up no defence, advised as they were by the compliant officers. Cunningly and by stealth local people were told a whole Grimms worth of Fairy Stories about what was planned, and then from the small bean of an idea the mighty stalk of a plant grew and grew. Month by month we fiddled with the plans enlarging and changing for three years, under the not-very-watchful eyes of the officers, who were having great trouble with their Ladybird Book of Planning for Beginners.

Some more wide-awake people like reporters at ENDS (Environmental Specialist) magazine mentioned that it was more than a little odd to build a semi-wet process plant when all over the world the wet and semi-wet plants were being shut down. And not only that but to build it in a town with NO raw materials - they ran out in 1965. And not only that but to put to the west, in a large town, with no roads and no rail connection, so that the plume, being wet would fall continuously on the residents. They said it did not represent BATNEEC and could not comply with IPC, let alone with the higher standards of BAT and IPPC. But the Environment Agency declared themselves to be "happy about it". (And please do not remember who was chair of RMC and the EA at that time).

THE DILEMMA: Now the Councillors and Officers are faced with a "Grimm"
decision: Do they put on a brave face, and try to brazen it out - and tell
the people of Rugby "we did this intentionally as we decided to purposely
and wilfully destroy the whole town". Do they say "we sold you out for
£500,000 that is still in WCC bank, but with all the interest of ten years
in RMC's bank"?

Or do they bite the bullet and admit : " We were totally fooled, mislead, misinformed, and not vigilant. We could not be bothered to read the papers. The words were too long. The files were too fat. We did not understand the terminology, so we let the officers advise us. We were just plain dumb. We did not know what we were doing, and we were ill-advised. We never knew the truth."

Or do they do as we have asked them to do: start an investigation into exactly who said what, and who did what. How did supposedly experienced officers manage to make so many blindingly obvious mistakes? Who could be that stupid for that long? No one! How did RMC manage to fool the officers at WCC and RBC and also to fool 110 councillors? The public are not to blame as the information was never given out to them. And they were not even asked. It was all discretely hidden, at the cement plant, and at the offices of WCC. The true plans were never revealed to Rugby people.

An old 230,000 tonne cement plant has now become a 2 million tonne a year production co-incinerator with:

* no valid Planning Permission, (no public consultation, officers amending
plans and acting under delegated powers)
* no valid IPC permit (No application, no fee was paid, no advertisement, and no consultation) and so is unlawful.
* no valid IPPC permit as proper procedure not followed. The EA and RBC mislead all the consultations, pretending it was only about tyre burning.

The PCT also carried out the same flawed procedure. It cannot have now got an IPPC Permit without ever having had an IPC Permit. It never went through the process of the IPC permitting.


WCC expenses

WCC Regulatory committee costs about £130,000 a year plus.....

Click HERE

Pay for councillors

Are Rugby Councillors best value for money.
What does your ward councillor get?
What is he/she worth?

Click HERE to find out what they are on....


Rugby residents are tough.

You too can find out the associated costs to human health caused by the incineration of waste and co-incineration, in the UK, and by the Rugby Cement plant. How does it affect Rugby residents, or are we "superhuman" and toxic pollutants have no impact on us, as the WCC and RBC would have us believe?

* Review of Environmental and Health Effects of Waste Management May 2004
* Valuation of the External Costs and "Benefits" to Health of Waste Management Options December 2004

There is also more information on the Defra website - see HERE for details.


Answer these questions!!

To those that know:

Can ANYONE out there please tell us the answers to these SIMPLE questions ?

1. When did WCC give the permission to SHUT the railway that accessed the cement works?
2. When did WCC give the cement works a planning permission to BUILD on the railway line?
3. When did RBC give the permission to unload 1,000 tonnes of coal each day in Rugby and truck it through the town centre to the cement works?
4. When did EWS get this permission to start this operation?

These are simple questions. Why have I had to ask this for MONTHS and everyone is declining to answer?
Please can you tell us the truth about this situation?
Thank you.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Freedom of Information?

This Council is not having ANY of that here in Rugby....

Even Councillors cannot get access to Information.... about air quality and pollution
Told to make pointless responses in the absence of the necessary information.....
We will only tell you what we want you to know.....

Dear Cllr

Unfortunately it is not possible to meet all the needs of elected members quickly. Officers have a number of duties and, therefore, priorities must be set. The Director of Housing and Environmental Health has introduced the ‘Policy document to improve understanding and working relationships between Elected Members and Officers’ in an attempt to clarify how elected members requests should be dealt with. Elected members have been sent copies of the policy document and were invited to presentations regarding it.

Should you want to make further responses to the air quality report, you may still do so, even if the information you have requested is not available to you at that time.

I am not and have not been the pollution officer as such. I was the Pollution Control Team Leader until January 2004 when I became the Commercial Manager. As Commercial Manager I am a deputy to Sean Lawson, Head of Environmental Health, and I have responsibility for the supervisory management of the Pollution Control Team, the Food Team and the Health and Safety Team.

I apologise for the delay but as explained above, operational needs and service requests by the public mean that expectations cannot always be met.

Yours sincerely

David Burrows
Commercial Manager
Rugby Borough Council
18 February 2005

Burning waste made easy by WCC

Warwickshire County Council agree to Incinerate more waste in Rugby town centre.

County Councillors once again spurned Rugby residents, and lawyer's requests, to conduct an Environmental Impact Assessment before permitting this change of use, and intensification of use, at the Rugby Cement site. They continue along the same lines as they always have, putting industry's profits before OUR health, in yet ANOTHER case of the blind leading the blind at Warwick. They ignored pleas from local residents, including one from Mrs Judge of Lawford who apparently has cement dust inbedded in her lungs from years of living close to the plant.

On 22nd December 2005 (specially stuck in just before Christmas so that the opposition would be either busy or on holiday) the Regulatory Committee met at Warwick and refused to Defer the planning application for a FULL and FAIR consideration of all the impacts, into the proposal to fit "bag filters", to allow waste disposal at Rugby plant. They do not, (apparently) realise, that the "WID" referred to throughout means the Waste Incinerator Directive. Why should that European Directive for the incineration of waste apply to the Rugby Cement plant? Because WCC have permitted it to become a waste co-incinerator - with the "expert" help of the Environment Agency and RBC.

The Councillors acted "according to officers' recommendations", presumably impressed by the presence of no less than five "experts" from Cemex, to jolly them along, and to ensure that this got through! They claim to have taken into consideration the Environmental Statement and other environmental information that accompanied the bag-filter application, and not one councillor questioned the "validity", or "completeness", of the information provided by the applicant.

This Statement of "justification" for their action/inaction has now appeared on the WCC web site:

Description of the Main Measures to Avoid, Reduce and Offset Major Adverse Effects:

* There are no major adverse effects

Main Reasons and Considerations on Which the Decision is Based:

The main considerations on which the decision was based were the Policies of the Warwickshire Structure Plan 1996-2011 and the Rugby Borough Local Plan and all other material consideration set out in the Report.

The Committee agreed with the reasons for granting permission given in the Report and relied in particular on the following main reasons:

(i) The bag filter would significantly reduce particulate emissions in up to 60% of the gases discharged from the main stack.

(ii) The scale of the proposed building and its colouring would result in the bag filter having no greater visual impact than existing buildings.

(iii) Noise mitigation measures enforced through conditions will contain noise from construction and make it unlikely that noise during operation will have any greater impact on neighbours than existing operations.

(iv) The bag filter would increase the use of electricity over current levels but there are no other likely significant adverse physical effects.

(v) The proposed development is in general accordance with the development plan there are no other planning considerations of sufficient weight to require that permission be refused.

The names of the Councillors on this Committee:

Richard Chattaway; Dave Shilton; Peter Barnes: Les Caborn: Michael Doody; Pat Henry: Joan Lea; Brian Moss; Mike Perry; Ian Smith; Ray Sweet: and Rugby's very own home-grown JOHN WELLS - who was one of the original councillors involved in the granting of the planning permission for the New Rugby Works!

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Hiding environmental information made not-so-easy

In our series "How to...... In Rugby"

We present : Town Hall in Shock as Freedom of Environmental Information Act bites!

"Hiding environmental information made not-so-easy" at Rugby Borough Council.

It might appear to casual observers that RBC spend more time, and more of our money, going to great lengths to hide information, than they would in just making the information "freely available" as they are required to do, by Law.

* Is this Best Value for Council Tax Payers?

* Do you feel a bit sorry for them, as after all it must be an enormous shock to "the system" after all these years of saying to the Public "we are not going to tell you because we do not have to!" - and now being obliged to.

Click here to read more

But the crux of the matter is below:

Case Ref: FS50072105
Date: 13/02/06
Public Authority: Rugby Borough Council
Summary: The complainant requested information about a planning application, and the Commissioner has found this request was not dealt with within 20 working days. Additionally, information was withheld from the response to the request without a valid reason, and without the issuing of a valid refusal notice. Therefore the Decision Notice requires the public authority to supply all information that was withheld without valid reason. In addition the complainant also alleged that the Council had not provided the information in the form requested, the Commissioner found no evidence of this and so this aspect of the complaint has not been upheld.
Section of Act/EIR & Finding: EIR r.5(1) Upheld, EIR r.5(2) Upheld, EIR r.6(1) Not Upheld, EIR r.14 Upheld.
Full transcript of Decision Notice FS50072105

Friday, February 24, 2006

Town hall succumbs to mushroom syndrome...

Cement Plant Colour scheme main concern....

Shades of grey with just a dash of orange?

In June 1997 yet even MORE "Further Changes to Approved Scheme of Rugby Works Upgrade" we learn that the senior planners main concerns were not: air quality; pollution; toxic plume; 1,000 heavy lorries each day; loss of amenity; intensification of use of the site; environmental impact; health impact; impact on roads and property: it was.... Wait for it......

The COLOUR scheme!

Reading through the "Schedule of Changes compared to the approved Drawings" we find:

* I suggest a stainless steel finish for the chimney top.
* What about oyster grey for clinker silo?
* What in lieu of mushroom? Ooohh!
* Yes, I think so, and for the cement mills shall we go for svelte grey?
* I like the slate grey myself., as opposed to plain grey.
* What do you say to using light, dark and orange cladding colours more positively?
* Yes I like that - as long as you remove the svelte grey enclosure to the stairs.
* Note: Some variation of colour may have occurred between sets of reproductions due to inconsistency of this process. Original samples should be consulted for TRUE COLOUR of proposed cladding.

Choruses of: Mmm! That's nice. Ooohh I like that. Lovely! Good riddance to the mushroom... Tee heee... The mention of mushroom makes me giggle... Are Rugby people really that daft that we can get away with this "mushroom technique", and build a 2 million tonne cement plant without them even noticing? Oh yes, with a colour scheme like this we will have it built before they see it, and in any case with a few nice plume-filled foggy days, say about three years worth, we should be finished and it will be too late. I tell you what, nip and get a few mushroom-coloured buckets of manure will you, and let's get started.

Perhaps we can have a "Hide the cement plant competition"...

What shade would you choose for the least impact... First prize to those who make it become "invisible".

It beggers belief.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Improving air quality" in our neck of the woods

In our series of "How to... in Rugby" we proudly present:

"Improving air quality" in our neck of the woods."

As long ago as 1999, after years of refusing to take any notice of repeated reports of dust, smells of sulphur, low lying plumes, toxic clouds, the local pollution officers finally caved in, and put one air quality monitor in the place least likely to record any highs, a mile south of the apparent polluting industry. After two intentionally fruitless years and heaving a collective sigh of relief, they - being RBC, Rugby Cement and the Environment Agency - abandoned the low-reading monitors, delightedly declaring all is well. "Didn't catch a thing!"

But the Public of Rugby are not going to take being polluted lying down, as it were, and they rose up again, with one voice, singing songs of dust storms, snow-like coverings, black smoke, fumes and plumes, until as many monitors were acquired as blackbirds baked in a pie. With shock and horror the stunned officials observed as one after another the monitors started to ring alarm bells, or would have if they had have been fitted! "We can't have this!" cried shocked officials. "2003 is a bad year for pollution. The weather is against us. Quick! Recalibrate the instruments".

And so it came to pass that the monitors were recalibrated, and recalibrated, and recalibrated, until that long-awaited glorious moment one miraculous morn in 2005 it was revealed that not only is Rugby the cleanest place in the world, but that the lowest reading monitors were sited due east of the cement works. People came from far and wide to admire this amazing phenomenon - a dust-free, pollution-free cement works, where prevailing winds have no influence. It reads just like a fairy story.

Next week in our "How to ...in Rugby" series we have "Hiding environmental information."

Who did this to Rugby people?

Ever wondered who exactly backed the building of the monster plant in Rugby.....?

Well at WCC there was John Deegan, Karen Downe and Andy Cowan doing their best to "get it through". Rugby had Haywood Underhill and Greg Vigars. Jerry Birbeck and John Rush also had a hand in it.

What were the Rugby Councillors doing? You might well ask. On 31st August 1995 they had this "unanimous" thought-provoking statement to make for the Environment Committee Report on the Application to "UPGRADE" the Rugby Cement Works:

"NO VIEWS RECEIVED".. Yes folks - that is it the considered opinion of the paid representatives. I know it falls disappointingly far short of what one would have expected. Surely they could have made a bit more effort? They did not even bother to send a "view"....

The Councillors with no opinions: B Levy; D Cavanagh: J Wells; J Vereker: T White; J Hilditch.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Rugby residents urged to stop breathing...

Rugby residents urged to stop breathing : responsible for 20 tonnes of carbon dioxide each..... Equivalent to about 6 tonnes Carbon each!

To do our bit to help Climate Change Rugby residents must behave responsibly. Apparently we produce more carbon dioxide per head than any other people in the UK. a lot more! According to Ceefax Tuesday 21st February, quoting the Carbon Trust:

London annually produces 9.46 million tonnes of carbon, making each Londoner responsible for a "horrifying" 1.09 tonnes each year. At the other end of the scale we have the environmentally friendly residents of Aberystwyth and Ipswich producing 0.42 tonnes each.

But in Rugby the 90,000 residents are apparently responsible for over 20 tonnes of carbon dioxide each! OK, OK, it is not all attributable to the heavy breathing and hot air produced in the Council Chamber, and it may just have everything to do with the Cemex co-incinerator plant. Yes, the one where the burning of waste "only gives out harmless carbon dioxide and water" according to propaganda put out by RMC in the 30,000 copies of the local free paper.

According to the cement industry figures : for each tonne of cement manufactured 0.86 tonnes of carbon dioxide are emitted, so the 2 million tonne a year plant would give us 1.8 million tonnes of CO2, and that divided up as a "share" between the 90,000 Rugby residents means we can all claim to have contributed 20 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

Can we join Cemex and the cement industry, and enter into a Climate Change Agreement with the Government and get paid for "stopping breathing"?

Monday, February 20, 2006

Cement production before.. And after..

WCC report:
"The old wet process cement works at Rugby manufactured the following tonnes of cement (not clinker) each year:

1990 278,320 tonnes
1991 194,346
1992 229,702
1993 264,488
1994 390,889
1995 315,739
1996 328,821
1997 375,532
1998 382,898

And that is consistent with a maximum capacity around 400,000 tonnes before the rebuilding of the plant. Therefore 1.25 million tonnes would accurately be described as a trebling of capacity."

They seem to think that this somehow justifies why the Planning Application in 1996, and planning permission granted, was for 1,250,000 tonnes. So how come now it is "suddenly as if by magic" able to manufacture 2,000,000 tonnes!!?

Actually when the planning application was submitted in 1995, the most up to date figures they could have had for the actual production was from 1990-1994. This made an annual average of 231,000 tonnes. So the production
at Rugby has not merely "trebled" as claimed by WCC it has actually increased nearer ten fold!

And during these years the railway was also being used. No wonder Rugby residents are smothered in dust, plumes, and lorries! This could be the biggest SCAM of all time... The Agency said to us "we got away with it in Rugby because there was no intelligent opposition!". It is time Rugby residents turned on their officers and Councillors at both Rugby and Warwick and asked "What the hell have you lot been playing at?".

Message from RBC : Shut up and put up!

Has RBC set the KGB onto Lilian?

Lilian had the audacity to complain to RBC about the coal dust at the Hunter's Road tip, which was emanating from the coal train unloading in Rugby railway station for transfer to lorries to convoy across the town to the Rugby Cement works. This has come about due to Warwickshire County Council giving RMC/Rugby Cement permission to SHUT down the railway, and to build a bagging plant on it. Yet another example of WCC 's extraordinary planning capabilities. Few counties can boast of such incredible ability!

RBC EHO office then reported Lilian to the Transport Police for investigation, for possibly causing criminal damage on the railway and for trespass and possibly endangering life - according to RBC EHO office letter.

Lilian got a more intelligent response from EWS, but still they do not seem to have grasped the main point. While I agree with them that the coal train into Rugby is less of an impact than bringing the coal by lorry all the way to Rugby, what relevance does that comment have? Who was suggesting that coal be brought by road from Wales?

The question is why did WCC give Rugby Cement/RMC permission to shut down the railway that operated into the plant and to build a bagging plant on it at the VERY SAME TIME as WCC were granting the plant permission to increase production from the old 300,000 tonnes a year to the new 2 million tonnes a year.

Let us hear it for WCC! BOO!
From: Wells, Gary
Subject: Rugby dust complaint 2 sept.doc


Dear Mrs Pallikaropoulos

Copy to
Customer Correspondence Team
Office of Rail Regulation

Mark Goodall,
Route Freight Manager
Network Rail

Thank you for your emails to EWS managers regarding our operations at Rugby. I can assure you that the Board of EWS does take its environmental responsibilities very seriously and is actively trying to minimise the impact of its operations on all its neighbours.

Some years ago when the operation first started, EWS obtained a permit from Rugby Borough Council for the transfer of coal from rail wagons to road vehicles. Current traffic levels amount to approx. 1000 tonnes coal per day delivered to the local Rugby cement works in sheeted lorries. No coal is stored at Rugby Yard. I can advise you that this permit is still valid, which Rugby BC will also confirm. Following problems earlier this year, the EHO visited Rugby Yard in March 2005 and discussed the operation with my local management team. We agreed ways to reduce dust leaving the site, including regular water spraying of the area and sweeping the roadway. Coating the coal with a dust suppressant at source would not reduce dust created during the offloading process.

EWS causes significantly less environmental impact than the alternative of using road transport throughout from S Wales / East Coast ports to Rugby.

In the mean time, my local managers have discussed with our contractors what can be done to further reduce the likelihood of dust leaving the site. They are actively monitoring the situation on a daily basis.

Yours sincerely,

Gary Wells

District Manager

Cement industry unsustainable.

The Cement Industry has vowed to have a year on year increase in sales of 5%, but how does this "aim" sit in terms of the Environment, global warming and the production of Greenhouse gases? And how does it fit with the Government's declared policy?

In order to please the Shareholders they have to make more money: i.e. more cement and more greenhouse gas.

Does anyone know how much Carbon Dioxide the Cemex Rugby plant gives out each year? Apparently approximately 1,660,000 tonnes!

According to RMC:
"During the manufacture of cement, CO2, is generated from three sources:
- combustion of fuel in the kiln, to maintain the required kiln temperature
- decarbonising of limestone within the kiln
- indirectly from the use of electricity in installations such as grinding mills

A total of 0.83 tonnes of CO2 is emitted per tonne of finished product (80% clinker) and is made up as follows:
- CO2 from decarbonising is 0.45 tonne per tonne of cement;
- CO2 from the combustion of coal is 0.40 tonne per tonne of cement
- electricity produced in coal-fired power plants to operate on-site installations contributes a further 0.1 tonne of CO2 per tonne of cement.

According to these figures the Cemex Rugby plant, making approximately 2 million tonnes of cement a year would give out 1,660,000 tonnes of CO2. It would appear that this does not take into account the associated transport costs of moving all this material.

The Environment Agency in its Decision Document for the Cemex plant in which they try to justify why they have allowed a Variation to the IPPC Permit increasing the VOC/TOCs from 10 mg/m3 to 50/75mg/m3 say that this is because Cemex now want to use/mill more than the usual 8 hours a day of Welsh coal. Welsh Coal is, so they say, high in methane, which is released during the milling process, and so there has to be a 5 to 7.5 fold increase in VOC/TOC. This is not however limited to when Welsh coal is being milled, and further alternative reports seem to indicate the increase is in fact to allow for the burning of waste fuels, and may not be "only methane" as the Agency is suggesting - and may in fact be VOCs! This is a great concern to Rugby residents on whom the plume grounds. Anyway, this needs father investigation, but in the meantime the Agency have this little gem:

Page 31 Permit BL7248 Variation no: UP3435SV Decision Document:

"The impact on Climate Change of the emission of additional methane was raised by Rugby Borough Council. A rough calculation suggests that the maximum additional amount of methane that will be emitted as a result of these proposals is in the order of 200 tonnes per annum. This is not significant, and to put it into perspective is roughly equivalent to the emissions of 4,000 tonnes per annum of CO2. This equates approximately to every motorised vehicle in the UK travelling one mile per annum. None of this takes into account the additional impact of transporting coal from South Africa instead of Wales."

So here is your starter question: how many miles can all the "motorised vehicles in the UK travel" to give out the same emissions of Carbon dioxide as the Cemex Rugby plant?

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  • Sunday, February 19, 2006

    People in glass houses.....should not throw stones!

    What is a conflict of interest? What constitutes a private interest? What constitutes a pecuniary interest?

    In the High Court on Wednesday 8th February 2006 Mr Elvin, QC defending the Environment Agency against allegations of "unfair process" in the case about the Rugby Cement PPC permitting process, improper public consultation and participation, brought by David Edwards on behalf of the people of Rugby, said that Mrs P of Rugby should pay for one third of the cost of whole the High Court hearing in the Court of Appeal because she had what he described to the Court as a "private interest". Unsurprisingly exactly what this "alleged private interest" is supposed to be remains unspecified. Chewing over this most outrageous, untrue and defamatory allegation Mrs P makes the following comment:

    "What constitutes a Private Interest and who is likely to have one?"

    Can anyone tell me if this is this the very same Christopher Hampson CBE who was non executive Chair of RMC Group PLC from January 1996, to May 2002, and a non executive director RMC before that, from February 1995?

    Is it the same person who was appointed deputy chair of the Environment Agency on 1st May 2000 by Michael Meacher? He has been a member of the EA board since 1995, and before that served as a member of the EA advisory committee. And for good measure it appears from these Press releases that before all this he was formerly Chair of HMIP Advisory Committee and CBI Environment Committee.

  • Click Here

  • The Rugby Cement planning application was first mooted in 1994. The first of a three Stage Application was submitted to HMIP in 1995, which soon became the Environment Agency, but the paperwork was concealed from the Public Register. No evidence of any full application for an IPC permit has ever been placed on any Public Register. No fee appears to have been paid to the Environment Agency. The final part of the application was sent to the Health and Safety Executive and Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food in the June/July of 1999. MAFF objected to the lack of any standards and monitoring for VOCs and dioxins. No answer was sent to them. The Agency told them that the application was by then complete - after the four years of randomly "adding bits", on a spasmodic basis, but the Agency apparently ignored the very serious comments that MAFF had made. Not only that but RMC were the owners of the Rugby Cement plant.

    RBC Head of Environmental Health Office has "no memory" of any public or statutory consultation for the IPC permit, and she has no Minutes of any meetings about this application. She does not know HOW it came to get an IPC Permit, as she thinks it had no IPC application - which appears to be the correct situation. On September 13th 1999 the Rugby Cement plant was given an IPC permit without following the correct and proper procedure, as laid down and as followed at Padeswood etc.. Why is the Rugby plant of RMC so very different, and immune from proper procedures?

    It could not possibly be that a "certain private interest" was at play here? The EA lawyers should start investigating their own officers and masters to find out why the due process has NEVER been followed at Rugby. They should stop attacking altruistic members of the public, and start investigating why members of the public have been bullied, intimidated, and obstructed by Agency officers.

    Council "helpless" as Rugby air polluted

    Rugby air is to continue to be polluted as Rugby Borough Council admit to lack of control, and "helplessness" over air quality issues:

    Many people have asked us to explain what RBC are doing regarding the air quality issues in Rugby, so I give a brief account.

    Firstly they had no monitors at all until 2003, with the one exception of a sole "TEOM" monitor which was located in a rather restricted place next to a building and tall tree at the Webb Ellis Road sports club for 2 years, in 1999 to 2000.

    This monitor was paid for by Rugby Cement, RBC and the Environment Agency. The purpose was to "catch the plume" from the cement works, that is IF it ever came that way, and IF it actually fell at that point. They wanted to compare the "impact of the old plant" with the "impact from the new plant". In terms, of the "most unlikely and infrequent place" to catch the plume they deliberately chose that most "inappropriate" place! The wind blows from the north about 5% of the time, or less. Then you have to have the weather conditions that cause the plume to ground, which almost always NEVER are found with a north wind. This according to them showed that there was more plume grounding with the old plant than with the new, but the new plant only made about 400,000 tonnes that year, so the comparison was hadly worthwhile was it? What about the planned 2 million tonnes production? Also how much plume grounding is good for us?

    Bowing to public pressure, and realising that RBC had not carried out its statutory duties to protect air quality and by implications also to protect human health, more monitoring was then carried out with the infamous "19 white elephant Turnkey particulate monitors" that you see on the lampposts, and the 4 TEOM monitors. They could not "unfortunately" and "ridiculously" compare the data from the new, and incorrectly named Web Ellis Road TEOM (New Street TEOM) with the 1999-2000 data as "some bright spark" at RBC had decided to re-locate the TEOM from where it had been, and to move it into a completely different place about 400 yards away out in the open on the side of a hill, at the top of New Street! "DOH my brain hurts!" Talk about mindless acts of vandalism!

    Long running rows ensued about the validity of the monitoring data, the locations and the way the instruments were repeatedly "re-calibrated" apparently in order to get them to "read lower". This has lead to much confusion and suspicion about the validity of the data. The fact that the FULL data is not available to the public, who have paid about half a million quid for this monitoring exercise, and the fact that that data which is given out is portrayed in such a way that the public cannot understand it or use it, or compare it, speaks volumes! We were refused timely and immediate access to the data, and they have only provided it many months after it has been pored over and "validated" by the contractors. We were not given access to the data until months later until it had been "ratified", and requests for access have been turned down. The web site containing live data that we were promised, such as that which other Councils have provided, never materialised and instead a very costly and not-much-publicised "help line" was set up, and this was charged by the hour, to give information to any one who rang up, (some days later?) when it could and should have been available to all IMMEDIATELY at the flick of a switch - for virtually the same money.

    When people rang up they were interrogated and data was kept about them, so it was a way of spying on who was asking what questions, and what "pollution incidents" that were looking into.

    Not only that but also RBC have "put up their hands and surrendered" and have now admitted that they are NOT responsible for air quality and health in Rugby: they can apparently do NOTHING about the air quality in Rugby. WCC, as the Highways Authority, have apparently (all by themselves) caused the pollution - the AQMA (Air Quality Management Area) for nitrogen dioxide to be declared because of the their failure to address the Highways and Traffic issues. Mind you RBC are not "blameless" as they have given more and more planning permissions for industrial sites in the town which see huge amounts of heavy polluting lorries travelling into the residential areas.
    And RBC say that, round the cement plant, Rugby Cement and the Environment Agency are the responsible bodies. So after all this expense, and effort to monitor the air, and so much expectation of improvement, the short answer from RBC is "Pollution is not our problem! Nothing can be done!" It is ash me they did not tell us this BEFORE we spent our money on the pointless monitors!

    On May 9th 2005 Sustainable Rugby (Agenda 21) asked RBC this question: "Please explain what powers under statutory nuisance exist to control dust emissions from Rugby Cement?"

    "The Council has virtually no powers of enforcement under any environmental legislation at the cement works: this includes the laws relating to statutory nuisance. Under Section 79 (10) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (as amended) the Council CANNOT take any action in respect of smoke, dust, steam, smell or other effluvia, accumulations or deposits, and noise from any part of the installation which is permitted under the Pollution Prevention and Control Act 1999. This is controlled by the Environment Agency and it is that Agency that is charged with the regulation, via the permit, to control activities at Rugby Cement.

    Councillors Mrs Wyatt raised this issue in question pursuant to Council on 15th December 2004. The response to this questions was: (5) The Council has limited responsibility regarding statutory nuisance on the cement works site, the quarry or than landfill site, as statutory nuisance is superseded by other legislation enforced by other authorities. The Council is fully aware of its responsibility for statutory nuisance enforcement which it has been enforcing in the Borough for many decades under the current and previous legislation. Statutory nuisance is not relevant to the report to Defra.

    This question has now been put to officers of the Council over the last few months in a variety of guises ranging from the above, direct correspondence from two individuals and most recently at the Rugby Cement Community Forum at which your group is represented formally and informally by members acting in other capacities. I produced a report to that forum which detailed the legislation that removed ALL permitted processes in England and Wales (not just Rugby Cement) from other environmental regimes. In case your representatives are unable to feedback on this issue I have attached that report for your information.

    I wish to state that I consider this question potentially repetitious and possibly vexatious. RBC Environmental Health Office."

    So you see that the EA, RBC and WCC are all in this pot together, along with the newly created Defra (2001), and that they are all playing "pass the parcel" with the Rugby Cement problem, air quality and health issues. They continue to pass the buck, each one making out they are "not responsible" and by this totally unprofessional approach and this complete lack of joined-up thinking we have arrived at this intolerable situation.

    What was and IS still required is a FULL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT! It is this that RIP, and Councillor Mrs Wyatt, (apparently the ONLY Rugby Borough Councillor out of the total of 48 who cares to help Rugby people, and who understands the Environmental Legislation), have been repeatedly asking for. It was recently her further question to the full Council about this that caused "misinformation" to be given out by the leader of the Council, as he read out some "rubbish/misinformation" that had been produced by the Director of RBC EHO. They will do anything not to reveal the truth, including insulting any Councillor who persists in the quest for access to information. When Mrs Wyatt queried the truthfulness/provision of this
    information she was told in no uncertain terms to sit down and shut up. The public of Rugby deserve better treatment and to hear the truth, and not to be fed a diet of untruths and misinformation! What is our Council doing? Who can hold them to account?

    The problem is that WCC planners, who advise Councillors, and their legal team who advise them, and RBC officers who advise the RBC councillors, are not trained enough and up to date on the Legislation to understand what an EIA is. They appear to think it is some sort of half-hearted Environmental Statement put in by the applicant when applying for a planning permission. They do not appear to know what elements comprise a full EIA, nor to recognise insufficiencies and inaccuracies in these Environmental Statements when submitted. They are determined, almost wilfully, to turn a blind eye
    to the inaccuracies and misinformation even when these are pointed out to them by the public, planning consultants and lawyers. You can see prime example on the WCC web site at the moment in the form of the Cemex application for the bag filters. They have called it Environmental Impact Assessment, and Statement and various other names, but in any terms it is INSUFFICIENT and INACCURATE. But, even though RIP and lawyers informed WCC that what they were doing was wrong, and was based on incomplete and inaccurate information in the application, the officers still "persuaded/advised" the WCC Councillors on the planning committee to vote through this application on 22nd December 2005. There were lots of obvious gaps in the application - the basic form had not even been filled in correctly. There can be no excuse for the officers to have accepted a partially completed application form. What pressure was being applied to them that they couldn't even carry out the basic function of seeing that the application was complete or correct? Even this simple function was beyond them, and how much more so then the even more taxing and difficult question of the inadequacies, inaccuracies and implications of the Environmental Statement? Who was applying what pressure to them? Is the course now set for a Judicial review against Warwickshire County Council, or how else can Rugby people obtain Justice?

    Saturday, February 18, 2006

    A Hairy Tale...

    Once upon a time, a long time ago, in 1860, a very small cement plant was built at Rugby, with two horses and one cart to handle the materials. Bit by bit it grew bigger and bigger as each new kiln was introduced. Local residents did not notice, (perhaps due to the permanent smog) that all the raw materials had run out by 1965. So Rugby cement built a pipeline to pump in the chalk, 55 miles in sewerage slurry water.

    They then built yet another kiln, and people grumbled about the air quality, the sulphur dioxide smells and the constant coverings of dust. Then on 14th April 1994 David Scott and Ian Smith of Rugby Cement met with Karen Down, head of planning at WCC to discuss the plans for a new and better, dust-free, cement plant. It all sounded so "promising" to an inexperienced, untrained, would-be planning officer, and that is where it began to go all wrong? The Minutes go like this:

    * Rugby works - major investment proposal.
    * Kiln can be readily converted to new system.
    * Due to wet chalk from Kensworth must have pre-heater tower - can put this at Rugby.
    * Southam will stay as fed at the moment.
    * Would increase manufacture at Rugby, therefore continue to import minerals from Southam.
    * Half length of kiln, and add pre-heater, and new buildings.
    * More akin to semi-wet process.
    * Timetable: try to get design by October - submit planning application.
    * Want planning permission by December/January - all complete by 1997.
    * Production now 0.4 Million tonnes.. New plant to be 1.15 million tonnes per annum.
    * Lower emissions: NO precipitator dust to waste disposal.
    * Can use opportunity to "tidy up the site".
    * Would take down existing chimney. Height of new building to be 85 metres.
    * Traffic main issue. And appearance and colour of the buildings.
    * We would "like an environmental assessment", and Rugby Cement agree. Why not use rail, still have rail access to works: traffic: landscape: economy;employment:emissions/dust to water.
    * Still have rail access to works therefore potential for rail access for cement and inert fill. This would need to be addressed in an EA.
    * NO LONGER ANY minerals from Rugby.
    * Joint meeting with RBC soon
    * RUGBY BC may want some FUNDS for RELIEF ROAD.
    * David Jarvis - landscape consultant.
    * Brian Coal associates - Traffic.

    So from this small beginning the mighty eyesore rose, looming out of its own pluming dust cloud, to hang over Rugby and destroy the town.

    Watch out for the next exciting installment, the encounter between the WCC puppets and the mighty industrial string-pullers, with the hapless bystanders, the Clounty Councillors involved, also to be named.

    Friday, February 17, 2006

    Grounding Plume

    Thankyou for submitting your photographs to this blog. It is really great to know there are people out there not blinded by the environmental agencies spiel.

    This photo came in yesterday and was taken by Rugby Blog watchers as they took thier 14 month old daughter out to the swings to play, "I noticed that the plume this morning was a fairly nasty dirty grey blowing towards town. Attached images are from today and are a bit worrying as there appears to be a tendril of heavier particulates separating and falling from the plume..."

    Thanks again.

    We will not speak to you, we will not answer

    The Agency refuse to answer questions. No prizes for guessing why they will not answer such straight forward questions?

    Sent: Wednesday, March 02, 2005 10:55 AM
    Subject: Re: Cement Forum Technical questions

    Dear Mrs P
    I refer you to the letter sent by my Regional Director, Tony Dean on January 18th. In this he told you that in future we will not respond to any enquiries from you unless:

    1. They relate to pollution incidents that you have reported to our 0800 80 70 60 hotline.

    2. They are part of a public consultation process that has been opened by us.

    3. They are put to us through the Rugby Cement Forum or Community Review Group and subject to approval by the chairs of those groups.

    He also reminded you of our Chief Executive, Barbara Young's letter to you of 12th November 2004 where she asked you to address any further enquiries to the Area Manager at Tewkesbury.

    I shall not therefore be responding to your questions and ask you to use the approved channels in future.

    Yours sincerely
    Environment Agency

    To Rugby site inspector :

    It was nice to meet you at the Forum, and renew our acquaintance with Mr Paul Quinn who we have not seen for over a year.

    We note the new information, Audit of Particulate Emissions from Rugby Cement Plant, Permit Improvement Condition number 13 that was due on August 13th 2004,has finally been provided at the end of February, but is still not on the RBC Public Register. It is of great concern that you have seen fit to delay this important assessment, which has affected the air quality monitoring report, and Faber Maunsell's ability to monitor and model the particulate from the plant. Letters of concern are being sent to Defra.

    Further to the Forum of 24th February, when neither you nor Mr Millard managed to answer these technical questions, please help us now to clarify these issues that arose. The Forum and the Public are anxious to understand the issues, and to move forward.

    1. You said that the (massive, and often falling in chunks onto the town), plume that we can see consists "mostly" of water vapour - what, in percentage terms, is the water vapour present in the plume?

    2. How many cubic metres of gas are normally emitted each second? Does this vary - and if so why, and how?

    3. You do not accept - apparently - any complaints about "black smoke" from the public. You suggest we equip ourselves with Ringelmann's Charts. How much do these cost and where can the public buy them from, or will the EA/RMC provide them to us?

    4. What are the Clean Air Regulations appertaining to a cement plant and black smoke (public nuisance) in a smokeless urban area?

    5. Are there any exemptions to the rules, which relate the Clean air Act Regs and to the cement plant?

    6. Is it the EA's or RBC's responsibility to take action against industries that put out black smoke in towns?

    7. What is the total in terms of kilograms when there is an ESP trip? How is this calculated?

    8. If the plant subsequently starts up, what is the combined total for the day of the trip emissions and the "normal" emissions?

    8. With reference to the Technical Questions from the Forum August 16th 2004. It is noted that it took over SIX months to get the replies to what should be, for specialists, simple questions.

    Page 1: there is a typo in line 3 - it should read 864 kilos a day.

    The question refers to the emission rate for Particulate and relates to the release rate for July and August both of which were in excess of 50mg/M3 for particulate with 265 hours (?) Exceedence of the limits. With many hours up to (and over?) 83 mg/M3.

    Taking the permit level of 55 mg/M3 how many kilos of particulate would be emitted each 24 hours at that rate? It is noted that you permit 22 hours at 55 mg/M3, and 2 hours at 83 mg/M3 each 24 hour day. Of course no limits apply at all during shutdowns and during start ups - until a feed rate of 200 tonnes an hour is reached.

    Your answer has somehow got muddled up with a "mean rate". Where did this "mean rate" come from - how have you arrived at it?

    The last paragraph shows your result of 596 kilos a day at 55 mg/M3. How many cubic metres each second have you used to arrive at the figure of 596 kilos each day.

    9. In the Decision Document is refers to there being no increase in "trips" - there being only 3 each year. Why has the number of trips increased by so much?

    10 Regarding question 10 - the dumping of CKD and bypass dust at Southam, you say that the Permit issued by the EA is a Waste Management Licence, but it my understanding that this does not cover the classification of class one hazardous waste as specified under the EU Waste Catalogue? Surely without the IPPC Permit, and without the lawful planning permission - that WCC have appeared to indicate is not valid for this useage - then this dumping is unauthorised and unlawful?

    I look forward to your response, and trust it will not take SIX months this time.

    Thank you.






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  • Just alot of hot air?

    In reply to a complaint to the Environment Agency hotline, (24 hour telephone number 0800807060) about the plume grounding I observed, I received this reply. With the individual NIRS reference number : 362907.

    Anyone complaining should ask for a reference number and then they will get a reply in writing.

    -----Original Message-----
    From: Neil Gallagher [mailto:neil.gallagher@environment-agency.gov.uk]
    Sent: Tuesday, November 29, 2005 5:18 PM
    Subject: NIRS Reference No. 362907

    Dear Mrs P

    With reference to your report yesterday of the visible plume from Rugby cement works I can report the following.

    The dust emissions from the main stack were in compliance throughout the day, the hourly averages being in the mid-20's. The limit is 55 milligrams per metre cubed with two hourly averages each day being permitted to rise to 83.

    I accept that the plume may have been "breaking up" from time to time and some of its contents (whether it is "breaking up" or not) will come to ground in residential areas depending upon the wind direction and other meteorological factors. However the overriding fact is that the emission limits together with the height of the stack ensure a proper degree of protection for the local population. This has been demonstrated by the dispersion modelling work carried out and the ground level monitoring that has been and still is in progress. As you are aware the conclusions from this are that the emissions of dust from the cement works stack do not present a significant hazard.

    Yours sincerely

    Neil Gallagher
    Regulatory Officer
    Process Industries and Radioactive Substances Upper Trent Area

    Thursday, February 16, 2006

    Yet MORE questions from the public

    RIP, New Bilton Against Tyre Burning, Sustainable Rugby, are ONLY A FEW of the groups and individuals asking questions.

    Another set of questions from concerned Rugby residents has been sent to Jeremy Wright MP; Karen Stone RBC EHO; Helen King Director Rugby Primary Care Trust; Carlos Uruchurtu, Manager Cemex plant Rugby; Rugby Advertiser; as follows:

    ON reading the Article "I'm impressed says MP at cement plant" in the Advertiser 15th December 2005, the following questions and comments spring to mind:

    1. We note that the plant in Staffordshire has been burning tyres for ten years (as a substitute for coal). Does this mean that the Rugby plant will follow suit? Or is the 40% mixture as has been suggested a non-runner?

    2. The headline suggests that Jeremy Wright MP was impressed with the plant
    near the village of Cauldon. We would like to know what the prevailing wind is in the area? Also how often is its plume directed towards Cauldon?

    3. The nitrous oxide level is mentioned and we are told the amounts have not caused problems. However, what about toxic particulates? Further, have questions been asked about respiratory diseases that have occurred over te ten years at Cauldon?

    4. It mentions the fact that there is no direct comparison between the two plants, but obviously the environment is of great importance. If it is a rural district around the Cauldon plant, are the crops and animals being affected by the discharge?

    5. Other substitute fuels have been used at the Staffordshire plant. Are similar experiments being carried out at Rugby?

    6. What will happen when the supply of high-grade tyres runs out? It seems that there must be other methods of disposing of the tyre mountain!

    7. We realise that the companies are in business to make profits, but why has it to be to the detriment of the health of the Rugby and the surrounding area's population?

    We await replies. Will keep you posted.

    Wednesday, February 15, 2006

    Smoking Ban

    Delight in Rugby as smoking ban brought in, with local residents requesting an extension to include a ban on smoking by the Rugby Cement chimney stack.

    How many compulsory cigarettes worth a day is that to the 90,000 passive smokers in Rugby? Is there a cement kiln in any other smoke-control zone? Come on, let's petition new MP Jeremy Wright, to get the smoking ban extended to make Rugby truly smoke-free!

    It is an ideal opportunity for him to make his mark, and to stand up for our health and our human rights!

    Plumeing fool?!!

    "Leading Environment Agency lawyer, purporting to be an expert, and claiming tyre burning is good for Rugby residents, is befuddled about dispersion and air quality ..."

    More proof has emerged that the Rugby residents are right to question every aspect of the Agency's Decision in the Rugby Cement case:
    Observers of the action in the High Court this week, before the Court of Appeal, were stunned to hear the  Environment  Agency's Counsel (Mr Elvin ) in one of his many reasons why Rugby people should not succeed in their claim against the Agency, which withheld vital air quality data relating to air quality and dispersion modelling,  come out with this little gem:  
    "Although it was suggested in A 's (the appellant's)   submissions that one of the areas of debate could be whether the LLPS heights (as opposed to the stack height) could have been increased/different, this is a completely new point. The suggestion that this would reduce the environmental impact of emissions from the LLPS is unsupported by any evidence - the LLPS are by definition low point sources and it is highly questionable whether the height issue would make any difference." !!!

    The following comment was received from a leading air quality expert in answer to the question: "Is this unbelievable, coming from the Agency?"

     " You're right - if it hasn't been said before it's because it's bleeding obvious!!!!!!!!!!!  It is the business of the EA to make sure stacks are high enough, emissions hot enough and fast enough (they often use a minimum velocity of 15m/s), emission concentrations low enough to satisfy Air  Quality  objectives!!!!!!!!!
    This would be laughed "out of court" if it were quoted at an air quality meeting. 
    LLPSs are stacks too.   LLPS have their own "stack" or emission heights.   At Rugby they  are  at about  15 m high , and some more.  Even if the release is from a vent at 20m the emission height can be raised.   (It may not be simple but that's not my problem that  is  Rugby's problem). 
    If the stack height is Z.  The maximum ground level concentration is roughly proportional to 1/(Z*Z) i.e. a doubling of the stack height reduces the maximum ground level concentration by a factor of 4.  The maths is the evidence.  This should not be a debating point.
    What does it take???? "

    Doctors Report

    This Doctors Report does not look helpful to kiln operators:

    10. Cement Kilns

    Although this report is primarily about incinerators it is useful to compare incinerators with cement kilns. Both produce toxic emissions of a similar type and much of the report is relevant to both. Cement kilns convert ground limestone, shale or clay into cement. They require large quantities of fuel to produce the high temperatures needed and this lends itself to the use of non-traditional fuels such as tyres, refuse-derived fuel and industrial and hazardous wastes variously called Cemfuel, secondary liquid fuel (SLF) and recycled liquid fuel (RLF).

    However, pollution and planning controls are significantly weaker than those for hazardous waste incinerators. Cement kilns produce a number of toxic emissions including mercury, manganese, barium, lead, sulphuric acid, styrenes, dioxins and 1,3 butadiene. Thermal treatment of hazardous waste is always a highly dangerous activity and the very best available technology needs to be used.

    Cement kilns are effectively being used to burn hazardous waste on the cheap. Sadly hazardous waste typically finds its way to the least regulated and cheapest disposal methods, in practise those that create the most health risks and the most environmental damage. Cement kiln technology has remained virtually unchanged since the turn of the twentieth century. They can only be refitted or retrofitted to a minimal degree to improve efficiency and toxic waste destruction.

    The limit set for the weight of particulates emitted by incinerators is 10mg/m3. However cement kilns are allowed to emit up to 50mg/m3. This would be excessive by itself but the volumes of emissions from cement kilns can be up to five times greater than incinerators.

    Therefore some cement kilns can produce emissions of particulates and other toxic substances which are in excess of 20 times that of incinerators. Worse still they have poorer abatement equipment and usually lack the activated charcoal needed to reduce emissions of metals and dioxins.

    They are therefore capable of extremely serious health consequences. Incredibly some of these cement kilns have been sited in the middle of towns where they would be expected to have a major effect on the health of the local population.

    The fact that they are allowed at all is astonishing, for the maximum impact will inevitably be on the most vulnerable members of society, and in particular the unborn child.

    The report looks like a helpful contribution to the debate.

    Tuesday, February 14, 2006

    A few facts:

    Rugby Cement burns more "total material" in a year than all the incinerators in England.

    Warwickshire County Council want to build an incinerator see "Rugby Advertiser February 9th: Council officers defend £100m incinerator plans." At the meeting to discuss this "waste strategey" we learned that the total of all Warwickshire's household waste to be collected and disposed of in the next TEN years weighs the same as the maerials burnt in the Rugby Cement plant EACH year - three million tonnes (depending on how many break-downs they have!) You wonder why they just do not burn it in the cement kiln, after all it is only about 300,000 tonnes a year, only about a month's worth!

    How many incinerators do you think it takes to equate to the emissions of the Rugby Cement Co-incinerator plant? Rugby is the town where the Environment Agency say that the burning of waste and tyres is good for us - well perhaps not exactly good for us, but an "improvement on the coal burning emissions" that is going on currently. Why are all these doctors worried about incineration - look at Rugby. No dead bodies in the street, so if a massive cement kiln the equivalent of let's say the capacity of all the incinerators in England is not bad for we tough Rugby residents, then why are they making all that FUSS? They must have been listening to the wrong people ? Doctors eh, what do they know about health? They must ask the real experts, they should ask the Environment Agency and Rugby Borough Council Environmental Health Officers and they will put them straight - tell them how wonderfully good waste burning is for the public health! What is wrong with these northern wimps? Bring on a few more thousand tonnes of waste, Rugby residents are tough, and we are not dead yet!

    World expert considers Rugby's case:

    I requested an opinion from world wide expert Dr Neil Carmen, who knows about the Rugby case as it was discussed at an International conference in Nice last year. I am concerned about the fivefold increase in the permitted VOC emissions from the main stack the Environment Agency has just allowed - as a Variation to the Permit. They "claim" that it is only methane from the "grinding of Welsh coal that is very high in methane" that is causing this increase in TOC from 50 tonnes a year to about 250 tonnes a year. They have already been burning Welsh coal for 8 hours a day for a long time, so why this sudden increase? But after consideration of the data from other waste burning cement kilns where TOCs had increased, I decided to consult the world expert. (The Health Impact Assessment was carried out using a 1mg/m3 emission limit and now they have permitted 50 to 75 times that.. that means there are 50- 75 milligrams in each cubic metre of gas emitted - being about 280 cubic metres every second.)

    I was also mindful of the fact that RMC itself was worried about the TOC from wastes, having put in its own application (Non-technical Summary May 2002): "The size of the pieces of tyres is of very great importance from the point of view of the environment, cost and operation. The cost of chopping tyres increases substantially as the shred size is reduced. From this point of view these is therefore an incentive to use the largest practicable shred size. On the other hand a very large shred size may lead to unreliability or jamming in the mechanical handling system. Whilst unlikely, it might in an extreme case lead to an increase in the TOC level in the exhaust gas or to accelerate the rate at which accretions form (sic) the plant.

    From: Neil Carman
    Sent: Monday, January 23, 2006


    Today is a problem since I am very shortly flying out to a national EPA hearing on cement kilns today in North Carolina to speak Tuesday on mercury emissions and the need for controls.

    There are a few cement kilns in small towns and on the perimeters of small cities which suffer. I think all of them are bad situations but yours seems particularly dangerous to the community whenever the plume comes to the ground and even then you will significant fallout of PM and gases as the pollutants cool and descend to the ground. Especially at night when it's cooler atmospheric conditions cool the plume more quickly and winter time when the same phenomenon happens.

    I am concerned that the plant is so large that they are going to experience more and more operating problems because everything is so large and will suffer more and more equipment breakdowns.

    Are the fuels in the new combustion chamber 40% tyres or is the fuel the same as in the cement kiln? I suspect they will have lots and lots of problems burning such a high percent of tyres because the tyres will be sticky and clog up their tyre loading & transfer system.

    Depending upon the stack emissions, I think several pollutants will be major problems including mercury and others.




    Is this a death sentence to the Rugby community? Potentially yes.

    Acid gases of SO2, SO3, H2SO3, H2SO4, NOx, HNO2, HNO3, HCl and HF plus acidic PM/PM2.5/PM1.0 particles will be exceptionally bad for health impacts and the plume is going to be extremely acidic and may kill people if it's bad enough when it descends to ground level.

    SO2 = Sulfur dioxide

    SO3 = Sulfur trioxide

    H2SO3 = Sulfurous acid

    H2SO4 = Sulfuric acid

    NOx = Nitrogen oxides,

    HNO2 =Nitrous acid

    HNO3 = Nitric acid

    HCl = Hydrochloric acid and

    HF = Hydrofluoric acid

    Acidic PM/PM2.5/PM1.0 + ultrafines. will be carrying all these acidic compounds and metals/metal compounds plus dioxins, furans, and other organic chemicals/PICs.


    This was in reply to my request for help of the same day:

    On 1/23/06,


    How are you?
    Sorry to bother you, but things are dire here. They now admit that the plume, whether visible or invisible, will ground on the Rugby residents, but that it is not a "significant hazard". How much dioxin, metals, particulate, and mercury etc are good for Rugby people? All they can come up with is that tyres are "no worse for Rugby people than the burning of coal".. But now they have set even loser limits as they say that the emissions are "only" from the raw materials, and not from the fuel.

    There are about 30 tonnes of fuel an hour, coal now being replaced by up to 40% tyres but they have not got beyond about 3 tonne an hour yet. They intend to burn al wastes and petcoke.

    You have seen the photo of the plant. I can email it again. Do you know of any plants in a town like this? It is semi-wet and has a huge plume day and night that falls in chunks often. There are NO emission limits on shut down or start up - till 200 tonnes an hour throughput raw meal.

    They have added a new combustion chamber - they say to make the plant run better and to homogenise it?

    1. The kiln where they say 30-40% of "heat input through the burners will go" (no wastes go in there)

    2. The calciner (original ) where they say 10-25% heat will go

    3. New combustion chamber where 40-55% of heat will go.

    Doctors urge halt to waste incineration


    Doctors urge halt to waste incineration

    Fallout `harming people and wildlife'

    Chris Benfield

    WASTE incinerators are dangerous and no more should be built, say doctors - just as the Government is encouraging councils to increase their numbers.

    The warning comes as Ministers today unveil a draft waste disposal strategy promoting incineration as the answer to England's waste crisis.

    A junior Minister in the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs, Ben Bradshaw, will launch the document which says incineration must be part of the solution.

    However, a new report from a British doctors' group, which puts them on the side of "green"campaigners,says incinerators are a health hazard that can cause higher rates of adult and childhood cancer and also birth defects around municipal waste incinerators.

    The British Society for Ecological Medicine (BSEM), a professional body for specialists in allergies, poisons and other environmental health factors, says it has been convinced that the fallout is harming people, animals and fish. Incinerators should go to the bottom of the list of options for dealing with waste and not one more should be built, the report says.

    Instead it recommends more modern ways of dealing with waste, such as recycling.

    The authors also argue that incineration is contrary to international law giving people the right to a healthyenvironment.

    The report was written by two BSEM members - Jeremy Thompson, a GP in retired expert on allergies and statistics, Honor Anthony, who formerly worked at Airedale Hospital, Keighley and still lives in Leeds.

    The president of the BSEM, Damien Downing, said yesterday that planners were declaring incinerators safe on the basis of out-of- date information and computerised predictions which were no better than tossing acoin.

    He added: "We recommend the introduction of a stricter and more comprehensive system for the monitoring of all waste burning plants."

    The BSEM report says it is no longer safe to ignore research, largely from America, which strongly suggests that invisible and unstoppable micro-particles of metals, radioactive materials and medicines are dangerous by-products of incinerators. They get deep into people's lungs and set up reactions which cause birth defects, heart disease and possibly even psychiatric illness, as well as respiratory problems.

    Environmental pressure group Friends of the Earth has predicted 22 new incinerators will be built Hull and East Yorkshire councils propose to build one in East Hull, after failing with a similar plan in the 1990s. Leeds also wants one and York and North Yorkshire are considering the possibility. Sheffield and Huddersfield already have them.

    Sheffield's is at the heart of a city-centre heating system while Kirklees Council is considering a similar proposal for Huddersfield. Leeds is also proposing to use the energy from incineration in some way, because it is a popular solution with voters.

    Memory Lapse... AGAIN!!

    Can the belowing plume of Rugby Cement really wash across the minds of our paid advisors and cleanse their synapses of uncomfortable memories..Time and again when asked really important questions we are faced with excuses showing traces of convenient amnesia...

    Karen Stone our 'Director Of Environmental Health' said:

    "I understand from David Burrows that you have already looked through the relevant files. Information over 5 years old can be subject to culling in accordance with the Council's file management protocol. I am afraid I cannot recall the consultation process 7 years ago.

    Karen Stone"

    and again..

    "I am afraid I cannot recall. As I told you the other day we couldn't find a record of being consulted.
    Karen Stone"

    My full opinion on this matter is HERE

    Monday, February 13, 2006

    IPPC application 2001 and IPC 1999

    Yet another unanswered letter from Director of Environmental Health and Leader of the Council. I wonder why they cannot answer such straightforward questions?

    A Gift voucher will be forwarded to the best suggestion within two weeks of posting, answering the question:

    "Why will Rugby Borough Council not answer these questions?" Suggestions sent into this blog please.

    Sent: Monday, January 16, 2006
    To: 'Karen Stone'; 'craig.humphrey@rugby.gov.uk'
    Cc: 'all.councillors@rugby.gov.uk';
    Subject: IPPC application 2001 and IPC 1999

    Dear Mrs Stone and Mr Humphies,

    It seems that this Council and the public have been totally mislead, whether deliberately or not, by RBC officers and the EA. I think the people of Rugby deserve some answers. I would like to know the following please:

    1. Why did you present the 2001 IPPC application as being "only a Tyre Burning application"?

    2. Why did you commission an AEAT report into "tyre burning only"?

    3. Why did the PCT commission an HIA into tyre burning only? "Is it better for the people of Rugby to breathe coal dust or tyre fumes?" Cook and Kemm.

    4. Why did you totally misinform the public and all the Rugby Councillors about the nature of IPPC consultations, and what needed to be considered, and that the "whole IPPC permit was open to question and scrutiny?"

    5. Why did you not tell the public that the information given out was incomplete, and that that information being given out was related to the "tyre burning" aspect only: see Rugby Group Limited, Rugby Works, Application under IPPC to allow burning of tyres. Incidentally that application did not include any mention of particulates at all though it listed pages of all the other main emissions from the plant, and the public consistently expressed concern about particulates and dust from the plant as a whole. The Councillors and public were not aware that the whole application was on the Public Register, and that the whole operation of the plant was to be taken into account?

    6. At the Indian Club 2001 Roger Wade said, at the opening of the meeting, that "this application is like IPC, and is now called IPPC, and so there is no difference. It has IPC, so let's get on with the tyre burning." What
    was the RBC response to the IPC application in 1999, and the public response to it? What public meetings did RBC call in 1999 to discuss the IPC application? Where is the Public Register containing this IPC information?

    7. How did you brief councillors, such as the Environment panel, and also the Community Leadership Panel, that lead to the March 2002 "marathon meeting"? What was the objective of such a meeting?

    8. What guidance did you use to advise you, on what the roll of RBC was at statutory consultee, and what guidance did you use also on how to advise the councillors and the public?

    9. Why are the Minutes, Agendas and attachments, of the RCCF and the Rugby Cement Liaison meeting not available to councillors and the public at RBC offices?

    10. What action is RBC prepared to take against the Environment Agency for its part in this deceit?

    11. Please send an email copy of the Minutes of the meeting RBC held with the EA on 13th September 2001 as a pre-meeting in preparation for the Indian Club meeting of September 20th 2001.

    12. What was the role of the Rugby Cement Liaison Committee in all this? What was the RBC's role in that Committee? Why were no Rugby Cement Liaison Committee meetings held from March 2002 until 23rd October 2002, during the crucial part of the IPPC application, until when it "evolved" into the RCCF?

    13. What is the RBC role in the RCCF? (Rugby Cement Community Forum)

    14. What is the RBC role in the TBRG? (Tyre Burning Review Group)

    Thank you.

    (Their initial reply is in the comments section...)

    Saturday, February 11, 2006

    Picture Submissions

    Thankyou for taking the time to send in art work...

    This is a little abstract but I think we get the message.

    Friday, February 10, 2006

    Public to have no Say in Council business

    Mayor must be obeyed, and spectators told to "shut up!"

    The Public, or Spectators, as the 90,000 Rugby residents are described, are to have no input into Council decision making process, and the truth must not be told under any circumstances.

    The Mayor of Rugby wrote the following, when referring to an incident in which Lilian attempted to assist and inform the
    Council, and to correct misinformation being given out at the Full Council meeting (October 2005). The Councillors and public were being misinformed, and mislead, about the failure to have an Environmental Impact Assessment in the Rugby Cement planning application, about the subsequent intensification, and change of use to co-incinerator, but Lilian was told to "shut up!"

    Apparently the truth must not be heard?

    "The Standing Orders of Rugby Borough Council do not allow "spectators" to address the meeting as you well know. I, as Chairman, am there to ensure that Standing Orders are obeyed. If you attempt to interrupt any Council meeting whilst I am Mayor, you can expect the same treatment as before. If you wish to have a meaningful input into Council decision making then get yourself elected, although I suspect you are quite aware that you are probably unelectable".

    Does anyone know of a Code of Conduct for Councillors and Officers, and an obligation to use factually correct information, or can they just "play it by ear"?

    A propensity for telling the truth makes one unelectable, apparently.

    Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. ~Aldous Huxley

    Thursday, February 09, 2006

    Cement plant could be forced to close

    As printed in the Rugby Advertiser today...

    A £200 million cement works in Rugby could be forced to close down - at least temporarily - if environmental campaigners succeed in an Appeal Court test case.
    Residents are challenging the Environment Agency's August 2003 decision to grant a Pollution Prevention and Control Certificate enabling the Lawford Road plant to operate.

    If the objectors win their case and Appeal Court judges 'quash' the certificate, the plant's owners, Rugby Ltd, say that could mean closing the factory - which cost £200 million to build - at least until a fresh application for a certificate can be made.

    Even if total closure could be avoided, the factory would face having to cease using shredded tyres as fuel for its furnaces until the required authorisation was in place, said the company's counsel, Mr. Nigel Pleming QC.

    Campaigners hit out when the Environment Agency granted the PPC Certificate which enabled the plant to continue operating and gave the go-ahead for a 'trial' of waste-tyre burning, which Rugby Ltd hopes could eventually cater for 40 per cent of the plant's fuel needs.

    With their case spear-headed by local man David Edwards objectors had their judicial review challenge to the Certificate dismissed by a judge in April last year, but are now battling on in the Appeal Court in a case which could have widespread ramifications.

    Mr. Edwards' counsel, Mr. David Wolfe, has told Lord Justice Auld, Lord Justice Rix and Lord Justice Maurice Kay that, even before the tyre-burning plans were mooted, local people were concerned about 'dust fallouts' and 'dust-like snow' emanating from the plant.

    Anxiety was focused on tiny particles which are said to be linked to reductions in lung function, respiratory problems and increased risks to those with heart disease.

    Mr. Pleming said the factory is a modern facility which was granted planning permission by Warwickshire County Council as long ago as 1996 when a full Environmental Impact Assessment was carried out before it began operating in early 2000.

    He said the reality was that the judicial review challenge was being brought by local campaign group, Rugby In Plume (RIP), and they, not Mr. Edwards, are the 'real claimants'.

    It was some measure of the implaccable opposition to the tyre-burning plans that the EA took almost two years to issue the PPC Certificate after a comprehensive consultation exercise.

    Mr. Pleming argued it was unfair that, since launching his case, Mr. Edwards' lawyers had 'entirely shifted their focus' so as to challenge not only the tyre-burning proposals but the entire basis of the Certificate, thus threatening the plant with possible, temporary closure.

    David Elvin QC, for the Environment Agency, accused campaigners of making 'unsupported contentions about the environmental impact of the cement works that are contradicted by the most recent evidence before the court.'

    Urging the judges to dismiss Mr. Edwards' appeal, the barrister said his case had 'shifted fundamentally' since it was launched.

    He added: "The Agency went to very considerable efforts to consult on Rugby Ltd's application, to inform the public and to answer the genuine concerns raised at the time."
    Judges are expected to reserve their decision until a later date.
    09 February 2006

    Wednesday, February 08, 2006

    Freedom of Information

    A warning to Rugby residents that the Freedom of Information Act does not apply in Rugby - at least not the "free", (but the dumb may still apply), as far as air quality and industrial pollution are concerned.

    On Saturday two residents were told information they had requested, that is normally provided free in other Boroughs, cost £50,000 in Rugby. Worse was to come as on Monday one of the two amazed residents received a further epistle stating that she has used up another £50,000 of Council money since Saturday, which is an awful lot of photocopies! Residents have asked for a breakdown of the costs as they have been startled by the rumour that these were largely attributed to personnel taking slow boats to China in order to avoid answering any leading questions.

    Tyre burning saves lives

    Rugby residents were faced yesterday in the High Court with the possibility of lives being lost if tyre burning was not allowed to continue. Confronted by the dreadful possibility that tyre burning might stop, (shock, horror) the Environment Agency were very afraid for Rugby residents, who have only recently started enjoying "the benefit" of having 50 tonnes of tyres burnt as a partial replacement for coal at the cement works, out of the 8,000 tonnes of material burnt daily.

    RBC responded to the crisis immediately by calling an emergency meeting of the air quality monitoring group to sell off the monitors as quickly as possible before air quality gets worse.

    There has been a rush at the shops for used tyres as word got out, and rumour has it that in order to help Rugby residents who are imminently facing this deprivation, all solid fuel Agas and Rayburns are to be converted to tyre burning. It is calculated that even 10,000 Agas would not make up the "pollution benefit" from one tyre burning cement plant, so an emergency motion is to be put to the RBC cabinet to force all Rugby residents to apply for IPPC Permits, and to buy solid/chipped tyre fuel Agas/Rayburns to clean up Rugby air. Some households may be eligible for free tyre-burners and should contact RBC direct and ask for Mr Dawson.