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CHASE Press Release - 16-06-09
Expert Estimates Incinerator Health Burden to Cost Community €150m
- Debunks Incinerator Efficiency
- Says Question Mark Hangs Over Bottom Ash Classification

Speaking at this mornings Oral Hearing, Alan Watson, Engineer and Waste Management Consultant debunked Indavers claims to be a 'recovery' operation and highlighted that Indavers EIS fails to assess the external costs associated with emissions of particulates, which he said would form a major contribution to the total air pollution burden in any terms. He estimated that these external costs, which would be born by populations, could amount to €150m for VOC's, SOx and NOx alone.

Mr Watson stated that "The health impact assessment has not properly assessed the direct and indirect health effects of the proposed incinerators, and claims that there would be 'no deleterious effect on human health either in the immediate vicinity or in the wider context' due to the facility are incorrect."

He said that "No bag filter system can be effective at reducing SOx (Sulphur Dioxide), NOx (Nitrous Oxides) and VOC's (Volatile Organic Compounds) particulate levels because they are formed after the filters. Selective Catalytic reduction (SCR) is increasingly common on incinerators around the world, but is not proposed for these facilities."

Mr Watson referred to European Court of Justice rulings which concluded incinerators remain classed as disposal options even when generating electricity, and noted that although December 2008 revisions to the Waste Framework Directive offer the possibility for municipal waste incinerators to be classed as recovery options rather than disposal subject to meeting certain efficiency criteria, Hazardous Waste Incinerator remains classed exclusively as disposal."

Attacking the efficiency-claims of the proposal Mr Watson stated "The proposed incinerators would be particularly inefficient generators of electricity managing less than 22%, compared to more than 60% for modern CCGT's (Gas fired electricity plants)."

Mr Watson told the Inspector that the current classification of Bottom Ash from an incinerator as non-hazardous is subject to a "High degree of uncertainty, and current review with a high degree of priority" by the UK EPA. This is also under review in Europe waste management company Veolia wrote to the Agency saying 'around 40%' of its bottom ash would become ecotoxic under the recent guidance which includes zinc compounds.

"On the basis of the evidence available it is reasonable to conclude that bottom ash should be regulated as hazardous waste." Indaver have failed to assess Ash treatment or disposal as part of their EIS.


Mr Watson is a mechanical Engineer and director of Environmental Consultants "Public Interest Consultants", who formerly worked as a Senior Design and Installation Engineer working on waste and combined heat and power plants. He has been a member of the statutory Environmental Protection Advisory Committee for Environment Agency Wales and the Stockholm Convention Expert Group on Best Available Techniques/Best Available Practices for dioxin and PCB reduction.

Mary O’Leary, 086 8177737, 021 4811952
Mary Hurley, 086 8162448, 021 4803070
Linda FitzPatrick, 087 7410849, 021 4374506


Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment
Bishop's Road, Cobh, Co. Cork
Tel - 021 481 5564      Email -
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