Salford residents have voiced their fears over a planned waste incinerator in Barton at a 300-strong public meeting in Trafford this week.
Peel Energy has proposed to build the Barton Renewable Energy Plant (BREP), a waste wood incinerator, south of the Manchester Ship Canal.
The biggest fear is emissions from the prospective plant will blow into Salford, potentially risking the health of its residents.
Pete Kilvert, Chairman of the Breathe Clean Air campaign said: “If this incinerator gets built, we will be stuck with it for the next 25 years.
“Its pollution will be spread far and wide, and it will likely affect the health of our children and grandchildren.”
He is also concerned that waste wood can also be treated with toxic materials, such as arsenic, which will have much more serious effects.
A former air quality officer for Salford City Council, Mr Kilvert has led the campaign against the plans since their announcement in 2009.
Indeed more than 9,500 people have signed a petition to stop the incinerator.
Salford City Council has also expressed concerns regarding Peel Energy’s ability to meet the high emission standards for harmful nitrous oxides.
A council report, issued to the Environment Agency back in August, states: “There remains high level of uncertainty that the limits will be met.”
Mr Kilvert explained a law requiring the regulation of small ‘particulate matter’ will be in place by 2015, but nothing is planned for the finer particles.
He added: “It’s what you can’t see that’s worse.
“They are so fine they get into the lungs and get straight into the blood, affecting major organs, including the brain.”
The report recommends Peel’s application for an Environment Permit is not granted.
But according to Peel Energy’s planning statement, the site is described as non-sensitive and the potential effects dismissed as negligible.
It stated: “The development’s impact on local air quality, human health and local sensitive habitats arising from the release of emissions during the combustion process will be negligible and within acceptable parameters.”
As a result of this impasse, the next step is a public enquiry.
It will start on November 13 at Old Trafford football ground and run for three weeks, allowing both sides to put forward their case.
Affected residents are also invited to express their views.
Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, has decided he will make the final decision on the approval of the plant, based on evidence from the enquiry.
If you wish to get involved, go to www.breathecleanairgroup.co.uk