Secretary of State for Defra, Local MPs
United Kingdom

Update April 2018
Please help us raise the necessary funds to challenge the Environmental Permit for the Covanta Incinerator in Bedfordshire via the Judicial Review Process. https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/bedfordshireagainstcovantaincinerator/?

Despite thousands of residents and interested parties submitting considered and relevant environmental concerns and over 8,000 signatures on two separate petitions – the Environment Agency choose to issue Covanta with an Environmental Permit to operate a massive Incinerator at Rookery Pit South on 26th January 2018.

Since the announcement the BACI committee has been putting together evidence towards the only option left open to us of a Judicial Review against the Environment Agency. This evidence was categorised under the following three headings:

 Illegality
 Serious procedural defects in the decision making
 Irrationality

With the help of the Environmental Law Foundation (ELF) we sought the guidance of a Barrister with environment and planning background - to establish if there was enough evidence that would be suitable for grounds for a Judicial Review.

The Barrister appraised the evidence and spoke with experts and highlighted 4 areas that were suitable at this stage.

BACI instructed a law firm with environmental law credentials and the services of the Barrister to begin the first stage towards Judicial Review which is a Pre-Action Protocol Letter.

The letter was sent to the EA on 3rd April and they have 14 days to reply. Please see the BACI website for more details www.bedsagainstincinerator.wordpress.com

Update September 2017
Despite an unprecedented number of objections to the 1st Consultation of nearly 2,000 the Environment Agency still wants to blight Marston Vale & beyond with this environmental disaster to be located adjacent to the Millennium Country Park/Forest Centre.

BACI learned that previously only consultations involving fracking had come anywhere near this number of submissions.

The Environment Agency has confirmed that anyone who responded to the 1st consultation – either via online or email – should have received an email detailing the 2nd consultation.
Please note –

* you do not have to have responded to the 1st consultation in order to submit comments to the 2nd consultation.
* if you responded to the 1st consultation you will still need to respond to the 2nd consultation in order for your comments to be considered by the Environment Agency.

The Environment Agency stated that unlike the 1st Consultation – that was advertised in local papers – this 2nd Consultation will not be advertised by the Environment Agency

The draft permit and decision document have only just been made available for BACI to consider. We would suggest to residents at this point to hold off any official submissions until we have had time to look through and first of all check all residents concerns have been addressed, that answers given are adequate and then collect any new evidence.

The Draft Permit and Decision Documents can be found at the bottom of the following link - https://consult.environment-agency.gov.uk/psc/mk43-9ly-covanta-energy-limited-1/

Please still continue with the following- to keep up to date and inform others:

* Keep up-to-date with new Posts by using the Follow Button on the website at www.bedsagainstincinerator.wordpress.com
* Join the Facebook Group - search for 'bedfordshire against covanta incinerator'
* Show support by changing your facebook profile - visit https://www.isupportcause.com/campaign/bedfordshire-against-covanta-incinerator
* Follow BACI on twitter @BedsACI and use the hashtag #nocovantaincinerator on your own tweets
* Spread the word to family, friends and work colleagues

Background Updated July 2016 -

The process for establishing an Incinerator is two stages. The Planning Permission stage in order to build the Incinerator and the Environmental Permitting stage in order to operate the building as an Incinerator. Sometimes these stages are done at the same time but it is not technically necessary to apply for an Environmental Permit until the building is completed. Due to the expense of building an Incinerator most Companies will want to be assured that they will receive an Environmental Permit before investing too much money.

In 2013 - following a lengthy battle by local/parish councils, Marston Moreteyne Action Group (MMAG) and local residents the Covanta Incinerator received planning permission and the resulting Development Consent Order (DCO )dictates the build that is allowed.

Later in 2013 - Covanta announced that it was looking for a buyer for its UK operations and did not pursue the DCO obtained. Note - the DCO allowed for 5 years after planning had been approved in order to build.

In May 2016 - Covanta released a press release stating that they had partnered with Veolia in order to renew their interest in building and operating an Incinerator in Rookery Pit.

As it stands at the moment - Covanta still need to apply for an Environmental Permit and groups and residents will be able to object to the Environment Agency.

Now the DCO has been granted and Covanta have no interest in changing any details and therefore reapplying - the following details are set:-

Capacity ________________________________________
Covanta have stated a slightly reduced amount of capacity at 480,000 tonnes a year as opposed to the originally quoted 585,000 tonnes. However the DCO allows for the higher tonnage and the build will reflect that.

Size ________________________________________
At 43 meters tall -the Main Building would be nearly the height of the Cardington Hangers.
At a minimum of 105 meters tall - the Chimney Stack would be considerably higher than the remaining Stewartby Brickwork Chimneys
The Visual Impact of the Incinerator would be great. It would be the dominating feature from all parts of the Marston Vale, Millbrook, Ampthill Park and the Greensand Ridge

The Building would be right up against the railway line at the edge of the Millennium Country Park
The loss, forever, of a rural landscape currently a haven to wildlife.
The permanent loss of night sky with severe light pollution from a site operating 24/7
The permanent loss of uniquely quiet area with site operating 24/7
Due to the Vale location there is a concern regarding proper dispersion of emissions

There is a lack of clarity about what will come out of an incinerators chimney(s) and its long term health implications
Concern regarding Vale location and proper dispersion of emissions
Covanta has a long documented history of repeatedly being fined over toxic emissions
Incinerators generate a TOXIC waste called Fly Ash. Together with Bottom Ash this accounts for approximately 25% of the original mass incinerated. What will happen to this ash? Will this then be moved off site to licensed landfill sites for such waste? By road through local villages? Or further down the line - is there to be a second development as part of Rookery Pit South - a licensed site for landfill of hazardous waste- which then takes in hazardous waste from other locations, by road, through our

Planning permission granted in 2013 allows vehicle movements of 700+ a day - that’s nearly 300 lorries
Vehicles would be arriving and departing between
7am and 11pm - 6 days a week
The new A421 was designed to cope with existing traffic problems and some elements of growth in Bedford Borough. The volume of lorry and associated traffic for a large scale industrial area will be beyond the capacity of the road
Despite tokenistic comments of a rail connection to the site the use of rail has been abandoned as too costly. All transportation on / off site will be by lorry

Unclear where the waste will be coming from
Covanta's only confirmed customer as of 2013 was Windsor and Maidenhead. However this Council has since signed a 15 year contract with a competitor - Viridor
Incinerators need feeding to be economically viable. This has the potential to damage the push for increased recycling
Are more Incinerators needed with increased recycling targets? Consultancy Eunomia said this May the 104.2 million tonnes per year of treatment capacity across Northern Europe will exceed the 90.4 million tonnes of residual waste expected to be produced in 2030.

We the undersigned object to the proposal by Covanta to put an Energy from Waste plant in Rookery Pit South, Bedfordshire.

GoPetition respects your privacy.

The Stop Covanta building an EfW Incinerator plant at Rookery Pit South petition to Secretary of State for Defra, Local MPs was written by Nicola Ryan-Raine and is in the category Environment at GoPetition.