Poisonous gas levels around Trafford are ‘shocking’ and breach EEC legal limits, claim pollution protest group

Nitrogen Dioxide levels in the air around Urmston and Davyhulme are unsafe, according to a Trafford residence group who have been monitoring air pollution in the area.

Trafford’s Breathe Clean Air group began testing the levels of NO2 three months ago and the results so have far have been ‘shocking’, they claim.

According to EEC guidelines, there should be no more than 40 micrograms of NO2 per cubic meter of air but the group have seen results as high as 59.69.

Nitrogen Dioxide levels exceeded EU guidelines in all but two of the areas where the residence group tested, as displayed in the chart below.

Pete Kilvert, Chairman of the Breath Clean Air Group, said: “No wonder Europe wants to prosecute the UK for infringement of air quality.

“We have started monitoring now to get a baseline before the Davyhulme Incinerator is built.

“We also anticipate that the Peel Group’s other proposed developments will attract even more vehicles, producing more nitrogen dioxide pollution at a time when it should be reduced.”

Pollution created will predominately affect the areas around Trafford Park, Urmston and Davyhulme, where many houses, schools, parks and are situated, along with the Trafford Centre.

“Other more dangerous chemical substances will be emitted from the proposed incinerator, which will cause ill health conditions affecting local people, especially children,” Mr Kilvert said.

The Breath Clean Air group will attend a local council meeting on Wednesday March 26 to get an update on two motions put forward by the Conservative and Labour Groups.

Motion one said: “The failure of Peel Energy to take into account the clearly expressed oppositions of Trafford residents and their election representatives.”

After they discovered their appeal against the new biomass incinerator was rejected, Trafford Council lodged a second notion.

It read: “The council recognises that the Environment Agency is not able to protect the air we breath so the Council should extensively measure and monitor air quality throughout the borough to establish how big the problem is.”

MP for Stretford and Urmston, Kate Green, said: “Local people could not have made their opposition to this plant clearer, yet the government and the High Court has completely disregarded their views.

“The Tories make out that they want local people to have more say in planning decisions, but the Government have totally ignored the fact that local people do not want the incinerator here.”

In 2012, Jon England, the Peel Energy Project Manager, defended the biomass incinerator.

He said: “The Environment Agency has reached its decision after consulting widely with the local community, key experts and statutory authorities including the Health Protection Agency and NHS Trafford.

“It adds to the considerable weight of evidence put forward during the planning application process to Trafford Council from air quality experts – including Trafford’s own independent specialists – that BREP will pose no significant threat to public health.”

After planning permission was granted last month, Mr England said Peel Energy were grateful to the Court for considering the issues raised by Trafford Council.

He said: “We now intend to focus our attention on completing the work necessary for the plant to be built so it can start generating renewable electricity for the homes and businesses of Greater Manchester.”

The incinerator is due to be finished in 2016 and will be built opposite the Salford Reds and Sale Sharks Rugby Club.

Image courtesy of  Alfred Palmer, via  WikiCommons, with thanks.

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