Friday, January 30, 2009

A Little Bird Told Me


Ability of Environment Agency and planners queried on 20 January, as there is much confusion about:
* Which actual site they are permitting - co-ordinates?
* What is hazardous waste bypass dust?
* Why it has no PPC operating permit?
* What, if any, Waste Management License exists?
* Why Stratford on Avon has inadequate Agency copy files?
* Why the planning inspectorate says the " PPC appeal is in abeyance from 2004 refusal, and 2006 appeal?"

TEMPORARY EXTENSION (NOT CHANGE OF USE!!) 4 March 2008 - "No waste other than Cement Kiln Dust, spillage materials, road sweepings, laboratory test samples. and kiln bricks arising from the Rugby Cement works Lawford Road shall be imported to the site" TO 31/12/08.
Various grids 420.633 and 418.631.

HAZARDOUS WASTE to be labelled on the HGVs, and also an emergency telephone number, or not? Officers report 4.6 claims "an interchangeability of the terms CKD and BPD." ERR NO! Another question "this is not a one-off UK's only cement plant so how do others transport and dump the BPD?" Answer: Cement HAZARDOUS WASTE LANDFILLS are usually on site "in house" in RURAL areas where the raw material is NORMALLY dug out, not in town centres as in Rugby! Rugby Parkfield Road landfill was refused IPPC Permit, and application withdrawn in 2006.
It is a closed landfill as too dangerous near residents - cumulative impact! Does hazardous dust escape from lorries in the town and along the route?

Cemex say "NO!" RBC EHO express concern, and request monitoring to protect residents.

BUO244IE: BVI666IX: NIM641 granted 14/07/08 for one year only; AJO106 granted 21/07/08 for one year only?? No EU Waste Codes; description of the BPD; analysis of the dust; and also no explanation of the difference between CKD and BPD. Is it an "irritant and corrosive" see H4 and H8 substances which through immediate, prolonged, or repeated contact with the skin or mucous membranes can cause inflammation, burns and worse.

As you are aware we have been dumping bypass dust for 8 years - you gave a permission in March 2008 for a new cell 4. This cell 3 is a fully engineered landfill (for CKD??) and subject to monitoring by the EA. We thought it was OK just to carry on. There is a degree of confusion and lack of info between the difference between the CKD and BPD - there is uncertainty - they are similar, only different because taken out of different parts of the plant. BBD is only classified as hazardous because it is high in calcium oxide and is an irritant. We re-cycle it back into the process. (in cement mills) We re-use as much of it as we can and only dump what we have to. It is nodulised so as not to be spread by the wind, and sheeted clay lorries bring it here. You have given a planning permission for hazardous BPD in cell 4 and that is not built yet. We want to fill this cell with 30,000t more and landscape it. We have given comprehensive ES on this with so much detail.

I am under the impression that since 2000 that it had a previous permission for CKD so what has been happening here - over a lengthy period of years - an unauthorised operation has been taking place.

We had given a planning permission for CKD but there were no planning conditions attached to it to say only CKD - if I remember - and then BPD got re-classified as hazardous waste. We overlooked the EIA and gave a series of temporary permissions for CKD. It seem they are valid unless the High Court strikes them down. It is a very grey area. Planning permission may well have been granted (for non-hazardous waste) but we failed to realise an EIA was necessary - as a result of BPD being dumped instead of CKD, and the BPD being given a "new classification" as hazardous waste.

A Hazardous Waste Management License is monitoring it regularly and it is subject to regulations. It is an irritant - I am not a medical expert but it is classed as an irritant. We use returning clay lorries. To prevent it from becoming airborne we nodulise it and sheet it. No records of it ever coming out of lorries. Bypass Dust did escape from the cement plant on November 16/17 and it fell on people but the EA are taking no further action (Obviously CAN NOT as emitted on a "shut down" with no Emission Limits in place!! Rugby residents are furious - but they can get their cars cleaned free - with receipt!)

I am sure she said dust sometimes came from the lorries?
Hazardous waste is transported on many lorries and tankers on the motorways you see them with signs - but you say it is categorised recently as hazardous waste - what level of hazard is it? Dust and powder are bad for asthmatics - so are garden products - dust causes asthma.. there must be a hierarchy's of hazards about it? Where does it come in table of hazards - mid way? We need technical knowledge about it and we should defer for more information. But we have permission for cell 4 last year and we have been badly let down by the EA or WCC or both! A deliberate cloud has been placed over it to get these grants of PP. For 8 years stuff has been put in the ground and we did not know it - transported at risk to people - exposed for 8 years with no planning permission. We have a Duty of Care to stop it going on any more.

But the EA have been monitoring it and they are in a transition stage between Waste Management License and PPC permit. BUT said a councillor the EA NEVER came back and told us what we asked - NEVER - and we have asked. WCC officer: I cannot remember what we approved CKD or BPD.

They DEFERRED voting six for, and five against. For more information: history of site; EA response; what is nature of dust, and health impact; can they just make it a Change of Use from non-hazardous to hazardous, and overlook the 8 years 140,000 tonnes and allow another 30,000 tonnes until the new cell 4 is ready? Next exciting instalment WCC Regulatory Committee 17 February. (see WCC web for committee papers and long history of the site.)

Photograph entitled 'Whisper' by Brian Scott

Tuesday, January 20, 2009




Their beleaguered Regulatory Committee have now got to face up tomorrow to the challenge of nodding through yet another in the long line of Rugby Cement/ Cemex applications for a yet another RETROSPECTIVE permission. This time for a "mere" CHANGE of USE for the unlawful use of the SOUTHAM landfill non-hazardous waste, which has been used for eight years for the dumping of 140,000 tonnes of hazardous waste BYPASS DUST from the Cemex Rugby Co-incinerating Cement plant. You will recall Hazardous Bypass dust was dumped on Lawford on 16/17 November - but the EA say they can do nothing about it - no emission limits count when things go wrong!

"In recent years the description and classification of the waste disposed of (without the mandatory EU waste code!!) has not accorded with the planning permission in place, and with the authorised use of the site. The permission allowed the deposit of non-hazardous Cement Kiln Dust and not the hazardous waste BYPASS DUST." "It must be recognised that this planning application seeks retrospective planning permission to regularise what is in affect a LARGE LONG STANDING and ON GOING breach of planning control - the deposit of 140,000 tonnes bypass dust!" "In theory it would be possible to refuse the application and seek the removal of the BPD which has already been deposited. But the PPG 18 on planning enforcement advises : 'while it is clearly unsatisfactory for anyone to carry out development without first obtaining the required planning permission an enforcement notice should not be issued solely to 'regularise' developments which is acceptable on its planning merits but for which permission has not been sought.'

140,000 tonnes hazardous waste - errr sorry! WCC omit to say that they have readily and repeatedly given "unlawful extensions to the planning permission for non-hazardous waste" all the time knowing this to be unlawful. I have personally informed them on several occasions! As for the Environment Agency - they seem unsure if it has any permission at all, or even needs any permission, and simply say they have "no objection." The EA are probably still trying to find out what, if any, operating permit supposedly ontrols the Cemex Rugby co-incinerator - so what matter is 140,000 tonnes hazardous waste in Southam to them?

The disposal of waste in a landfill requires an environmental permit and will be subject to the provisions of the Landfill Directive and the Integrated Pollution prevention and Control (IPPC) Directive as well. Landfills are categorised into three types - hazardous, non-hazardous and inert for the purposes of determining the applicability of the requirements of the Landfill Directive.

The recovery of waste in or on land (not landfill) is also subject either to the requirement for an environmental permit, or an exemption from the need for a permit. The exemptions are prescribed in the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2007. There are currently exemptions for some land reclamation operations and the use of waste for construction. Defra has recently consulted on a review of the current exemptions from environmental permitting with a view to tightening up on large-scale exemptions involving the deposit of waste on land.

Whether for disposal or recovery an environmental permit may be granted by the Environment Agency, in cases were planning permission is required, only where relevant planning is in place.

Top picture used courtacy of Skampy

Wednesday, January 14, 2009




"IPPC OPERATING PERMIT BL7248 granted August 2003 to Rugby Cement, now CEMEX Rugby, has been subject to many additions, variations and derogations over the last SIX years. Would we be correct in assuming that the EA have a simple aide-memoire detailing the current permitted operations which cross refer to formal decision documents that have authorised the changes? It would be helpful for the RUGBY CEMEX COMMUNITY CEMENT FORUM if we could have a copy - particularly as we are now being consulted on yet another APPLICATION (closes 31/01/09) to VARY the "said/invisible" Permit? We have a meeting scheduled for 4th February and perhaps you could let us have that schedule with your updated report?"

"We don't have such a document I'm afraid. However, I agree it needs to be "clearer" , so we will either produce such an informal document, or review the legal document to consolidate it all. I was proposing to do that as part of our "information sharing" proposals that the Environment Council is working with us on. However, it's not a trivial task so I won't be able to give you anything final by 4th Feb I'm afraid. I hope to be able to update you later this week on what we are doing." Clear as mud!

"We have checked on the national review programme and now understand that all cement works permits will be reviewed from April to September. That will produce a NEW consolidated Permit, but in a different format and likely to review some permit conditions in line with current good practice." Great public consultation procedure that - is that really GOOD PRACTICE or INSULTATION and SHAM yet again?

UP THE CREEK WITHOUT A PADDLE : is how the RUGBY RESIDENTS and the RCCF now find themselves. How can we consulted on an application to VARY a PERMIT IF and AS we have NO copy of a PERMIT to VARY?

QUESTION: WHY IS DATA from the (dubious/much debated) continuous particulate cement mill monitors NOT made available to the public or even to the EA - since Cemex say they were fitted in 2004, and the EA say they were fitted in 2006?

QUESTION : WHY STOP BURNING WASTE and why revert to COAL ONLY during instability, start-ups and shut-downs to 80% capacity - 200 tph hour raw meal feed, and what PICs (products of incomplete combustion) come from the emissions during waste burning and cause concern, but not from coal?
ANSWER: "It is not for us to explain why the European WASTE INCINERATOR DIRECTIVE requires what it does. I suggest she goes and bothers Brussels. And actually the products of incomplete combustion from coal are likely to be AT LEAST AS BAD AS THOSE FROM NON-HAZARDOUS WASTE, IF NOT WORSE! Ask anyone who's had to clean up the site of an old gas or tar works."

Wednesday, January 07, 2009



THE ENVIRONMENT AGENCY, CEMEX, and RUGBY BOROUGH COUNCIL still licking their wounds from the pasting they got in the local press over their failure to come clean and admit the truth about the November 16/17 hazardous bypass dust pollution incident, are having a temporary respite during the annual maintenance shut-down. Unfortunately the cleaning of the plant has previously shown high levels of pollution on the local particulate monitors, but no such obvious problem will be revealed this time - as RBC removed most of the ambient air monitors in June 2007, and CEMEX/EA have none to monitor such particulate pollution.

THE ENVIRONMENT COUNCIL is finally organising, in January, the much-delayed meeting of the Working Group (the three funders EA; CEMEX; RBC could not/WOULD not agree any budget from September 2008), to make recommendations to the EA, CEMEX, RBC, and the larger full group in an attempt to determine "agreed ways forward for engagement around the Rugby Cement Plant." The working group will meet first and consider the purpose and scope of future engagement, and clarify what is actually "UP FOR GRABS", who will be regularly engaged, how, where, and when, and how these outcomes will be communicated to the public - in fact exactly what the Rugby Cement Community Forum does/attempts to do. Meanwhile there are independent activities, that cost nothing, and which could all be undertaken to ensure continual progression and to re-establish momentum - IF ONLY the "big three" were willing and able?

CEMEX; EA; RBC to (re?)state and publish publicly their respective legal roles and responsibilities in relation to the MONITORING, REPORTING, and OPERATION of the Rugby Cement Plant, and to state their respective objectives and purpose for engaging with the public.

A CENTRAL REPOSITORY to be created by CEMEX mapping out, in a TRANSPARENT and PROACTIVE manner all their current, and forthcoming consultations, and applications, and planning applications, where all essential information can be accessed free of charge, and containing all the relevant background information. The EA and RBC are to do the same. cross-referencing where there is duplication in engagement and information in order to provide TRANSPARENCY and CLARITY of COMMUNICATION.

SHARED RESPONSIBILITY between all stakeholders for establishing and building respectful, clearer, more transparent communications. This needs to begin with EXPLICIT and HONEST discussion of COMMON OBJECTIVES as an agreed starting point. It should also be supported by an agreed communications protocol.

ENVIRONMENT AGENCY REFUSE ACCESS TO PERMIT and is as always the complete opposite of OPEN and TRANSPARENT. The Permit is not available on the Public Register, although CEMEX have now applied for yet another "simple" VARIATION to this INVISIBLE permit! It is a mystery how the public are to be consulted on this new application when they are refused access to the Permit? CEMEX apply to burn more contaminated RDF, along with 10 tph tyres, and during instability, and without any Emission Limit Values for longer periods etc etc. In response to the request for a copy of the permit for the RCCF the EA placed a note on the Public Register at RBC 25 November 2008:
WA/PPC/SP3735GK "Please find enclosed a NOTICE varying conditions of a Permit of 8 October 2003." This "note" consists of a list of 4 odd pages containing the conditions to be amended on page 2, and then some odd pages iii and iv with a list of variations FROM 2001 TO 2008, but seemingly they have forgotten the new EP Regulations, and there is no mention of that new permit issued by the EA in April 2008. WHO IS CONFUSED? WHAT permit is supposed to be in use at Cemex Rugby - any ideas anyone?

NOVEMBER INCIDENT TYPICAL OF THIS KILN: facts finally emerge: "a lump fell into the kiln restrictors which did not clear initially using blasters, and passed through the bypass ducting causing a safely interlock on the bypass ESP to activate and to "trip" emitting unabated course particulates for ONLY 4 minutes from the main stack." CEMEX do NOT fill in the mandatory section on how many kilos/tonnes of particulate were emitted, and the chemical analysis is NOT on the Public Register - but CEMEX claims analysis shows that "this dust is a material similar to partially weathered bypass dust," and was not dispersed. but was dumped on Lawford "due to the relatively calm weather conditions - a wind in a north westerly direction, at a speed of less than 10 mph." (no accurate record then? ) "Build-ups such as this are characteristic of a pre-heater system, and are effectively managed by routine checking and clearing. CEMEX has fitted new blaster systems, and in the combustion chamber, all of which go beyond the normal design requirements - as a result kiln flushes are very rare." (oh??) "This process is fully automated and occurs within minutes to minimise release of particulates. It would unfortunately appear that on this occasion unabated particulates resulted in a LIMITED DUST NUISANCE for a small area of local residents. It is not possible to guarantee that a fall of this nature will not happen in the future. No environmental damage occurred (?) - Cemex offer reimbursement for car cleaning."


* On 4 December 2008 in Case C-247/07 the Commission found that the UK has FAILED to FULFILL its obligations under the 26 May 2003 Directive "providing for public participation in respect of the drawing up of certain plans and programmes relating to the environment and amending with regard to PUBLIC PARTICIPATION and ACCESS to JUSTICE Council Directives 85/337/EEC and 96/61/EC." The Directive was not transposed into national law within the prescribed period and so the Commission brought infringement proceedings and issued a REASONED OPINION on 18 October 2006, giving the UK two months, but the situation still remained unsatisfactory and the Commission took action. The UK admitted it had not adopted the Directive and that the action brought by the Commission was well-founded.

UK ENVIRONMENTAL LAW ASSOCIATION 25 March 2008 advised the UK government that the Aarhus Convention had not been transposed into UK Law, and that there are significant barriers to public funding for environmental cases. There are no "rights" of redress over planning matters, and planning conditions are rarely enforced by the authorities, and there is no scope for access to environmental justice. The court cases are not FAIR, and EQUITABLE and are PROHIBITIVELY EXPENSIVE! They are not equally matched as the claimant has to fund all the case himself out of his own funds, which is PROHIBITIVELY EXPENSIVE, while the government uses unlimited public money, and also claims that there is "INSUFFICIENT PUBLIC INTEREST" even when it is obvious to all that there is a very wide public interest, in order to claim COSTS against the appellants. The only path open to the public who are being wronged is to complain to the Regulator (EA at Rugby), and they then usually fail to prosecute or to take any action - as at Rugby! Unlike court fees, which run into a few hundred pounds only, the overall costs of a civil action runs to hundreds of thousands of pounds: LORD JUSTICE CARNWATH 1999, in the context of environmental litigation, and with enduring relevance said: "Litigation through the Courts is prohibitively expensive for most people unless they are either poor enough to qualify for legal aid or rich enough to be able to undertake an open-ended commitment to expenditure running into tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds!" Also the pursuit of justice remains hampered by a systemic lack of specialist understanding within the judiciary. They frequently fail to produce results that adequately protect the environment, or serve the public interest, because of insufficient understanding of the technical context, and perceive the failings to be "little more than administrative breaches"
That perfectly describes the RUGBY CASE!