Monday, July 20, 2009


(24 JULY 7.00 PM ST OSWALD'S CHURCH RUGBY)We are delighted to welcome renowned international health expert Professor Connett, chemist and toxicologist, to give a presentation on the CEMEX co-incinerator emissions and possible health effects from the plant's pollution. This could not be more timely as the air quality in Rugby is deteriorating , and the Cemex admitted emissions increase greatly in 2007. Then of course there is the great controversy over the 8 tonnes of pulverised fuel that blew all over Rugby in March 2007. That does not appear on any pollution inventory, nor does the KILN FLUSH from the same day, which caused raised levels of particulate, as they battled to shut down the kiln.

was asked by the Environment Agency in May 2009 to write a report about the March 10 2007 pollution incident, and a second one after the 11 May meeting with DR AMANDA GAIR the CEMEX air quality "expert", who seems to be not quite as expert as she would try to make out? BARRY BERLIN acting for the EA and supposedly "prosecuting" seemed more inclined to help Cemex "get away with it", and the Judge remarked that there was indeed undue delay in this case from March 2007. The professor was unable to agree with the GAIR figures, but there was some agreement on four points, including that the coal dust leaving the site boundary was between 1.6 and 3.1 tonnes. But wind direction and speed were not agreed and Cemex did not make its data available so they went on too low a wind speed, at 1.6 metres per second from the RBC low level wind vanes, which were no use in this case, being at the wrong height (too low to ground at 3 metres) and in the wrong locations.

THE TWO AIR QUALITY EXPERTS argument ranged between 9 kilos and 8 tonnes of "dispersed" dust! They could NOT agree how much of the 8.67 tonnes of coal dust had actually travelled across Rugby up to 4 kilometres away leaving black sooty/oily coatings everywhere. Cemex and GAIR had refined it down to 1.6 tonne - but no explanation! NOR what the wind direction and speed was; NOR at what height the emissions were released - at the 46 metres actual silo - or as AG preferred at a random 20 metre height; NOR what the particle size distribution would be; AG estimated and calculated and guesstimated - most unconvincingly. JOHN SIVITER witness said there was "some coal dust left on the floor adjacent to the silo, so not all of the coal dust left the site." AG used the wrong air quality monitors - in Rugby Road , Clifton and in Murray Road, but finally they agreed that the Parkfield Road monitor and Avon Valley School were on the edge of the plume , and showed raised levels.

A PERMITTED KILN FLUSH had occurred earlier in the night and all the workers at Cemex were busy with trying to control the kiln and shut it down - so no ELV emission limits count! FABER MAUNSELL were in there too, and the wind direction from Cemex was claimed to be between 215 and 236 degrees at the time. Short lived peaks were noticed at T7 and T15. The AGENCY threw in some graphs for good measure.

depends critically on the amount of pulverised fuel released into the atmosphere, but no-one was able to say if the estimates were reliable. The analysis of the monitoring data was not considered reliable, as the wind direction had not been taken from the cement works as it should have been at 40 metre high. The dust dispersed was possibly 3.1 tonnes, or possibly 9 kilos, and anywhere in between, and up to 8.67 tonnes. "These estimates depend critically upon the assumed settling distance of the coal dust, which is open to considerable uncertainty which consequently applies to these estimates also." "There was a poor knowledge of the amount of coal dust released and the height at which the PM10 particles separated from the bulk pulverised fuel and commenced their downwind transport."

It was unlikely that the recommended limit of 50 micrograms per cubic metre would have been exceeded. "However had the mass of fuel release been greater than 8 tonnes, then it is very likely that an exceedence of the health based standard would have occurred. It should also be pointed out that ANY EXPOSURE to airborne particulate is believed to be harmful to health and the air quality standards and guidelines are set to limit the magnitude of those adverse effects rather than as a no effects level. Consequently any additional exposure carries a RISK OF HARM, but the smaller the exposure the lower the level of harm."

and did he actually have any evidence to allow him to conclude that there were "no health effects and no health risks" and that is why he would keep it OUT OF THE COUNTY COURT and only at this very local MAGISTRATE level with its maximum fine of £20,000? I think not, not based on the two reports and evidence we have since obtained. There was only UNCERTAINTY and no certainty of anything at all!

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