Campaigners want South Holland District Council to put an air pollution monitor on its industrial site at Wingland to safeguard residents.
Former district and parish councillor Jenny Rowe says the power station often emits a “yellow plume” and there’s added urgency for the council to act with a new power station twice its size due to be built alongside.
It’s the PM2.5s that get into the lungs and cause cancer and breathing problemsFormer councillor Jenny Rowe
Mrs Rowe says the existing monitor is on the ground, tucked away behind a shed at Sutton Bridge primary school – it’s too far away from Wingland and doesn’t measure particulates, like PM10s put out by lorries or the smaller, more dangerous PM2.5s.
“It’s the PM2.5s that get into the lungs and cause cancer and breathing problems,” she said.
Mrs Rowe belongs to The Wash and Sutton Bridge Protection Group and South Lincs Environmental Group, and was active in the successful fight to stop a wood-burning, biomass power station being built at Wingland.
She said: “DEFRA, (the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) have recently said that the PM2.5 particulates will soon have to be monitored. We should not have to wait until this Government say so as other countries are already doing it. We need them to be measured now before the new plant is built as we believe that the limits are already being exceeded.
“The yellow plume emitted from the power station is an indicator that emissions do not always travel across the river to Westmere school.”
The council has admitted that the monitoring of emissions as they come out of the power station stacks is conducted by the power station company itself and regulated under an Environment Agency (EA) permit, but Mrs Rowe would like to see independent monitoring of emissions from the whole industrial site.
A council spokesman said: “The air quality unit was originally installed by the developing energy company as a requirement of their original planning consent pre-development. It is positioned within the community to monitor levels of nitrogen oxides in the area and there are no plans to move it. Responsibility for monitoring emissions from the power station rests with the Environment Agency. We take air quality monitoring seriously and will work with the Environment Agency to monitor PM2.5 particles as and when it becomes necessary to do so.”
• The council says air pollution levels can be monitored at: http://shollandair.aeat.com/