Newhaven incinerator ‘within’ air quality limits

Environment Agency study published this week finds levels of particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide to be within limits at site of waste incinerator

A waste incinerator in East Sussex is meeting air quality objectives for several pollutants, according to an Environment Agency report.

The report, ‘Study of Ambient Air Quality in Newhaven 2013’, was published this week (October 28) and assesses the potential impact of waste firm Veolia Environmental Services’ waste plant on air quality in the area.

Veolia's Newhaven incinerator

Veolia’s Newhaven incinerator

The air quality monitoring centred around the Newhaven Energy Recovery Facility, operated by Veolia under a 30-year contract with East Sussex county council and Brighton & Hove city council.

The facility processes around 210,000 tonnes of waste per year collected by the councils from households in the county, which is converted into energy for the National Grid — enough to supply 25,000 homes.

The Newhaven incinerator officially opened in July 2012, despite some opposition from local residents about the potential negative impact on the landscape and air quality. Liberal Democrat MP for Lewes boycotted the opening at the time in protest at the facility.

Protest groups such as Defenders of the Ouse Valley and Estuary (DOVE) as well as Friends of the Earth also opposed the plant — with the latter mounting a failed legal attempt for a formal Judicial Review of the project in 2008.


However, the Agency study this week concluded that levels of pollutants including particulate matter, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, nitrogen dioxide and benzene were likely to meet their respective UK objectives in the area.

The national objective for nitrogen dioxide is 40mg3 (micrograms per cubic metre), but the Agency team found measurements at Newhaven to be 16.9mg3.

Meanwhile, PM10 was measured at 22.1mg3 and PM2.5 at 15.2mg3 in Newhaven. The national objectives or both pollutants is 40mg3 and 25mg3 per cubic metre.

And, sulphur dioxide levels were also found to be well within limits at the site, with measurements of 1.94mg3 against the national objective of 20mg3.

Monitoring was carried out by the Agency’s Ambient Air Monitoring Team between August 23 and March 13 2012 (203 days) and the results are compared to UK air quality objectives where applicable.


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10 years ago

Complete and utter Tosh. WHERE ARE THE STUDIES FOR LEVELS OF PCB’S AND DIOXINS THEN??? They are not safe, and it should not have been built. It is a total blot on the landscape, and a lingering shadow in the back of my mind as a Newhaven resident that I may be exposed on a daily basis to the most harmful pollutants known to man such as PCBs and Dioxins. and Brighton council, instead of turning endless disused brown space in Brighton into a huge recyclng depot and involving the very many jobless and homeless people there into constructive and satisfying recycling work, instead it was built by French company Veiola. French rubbish does indeed get burnt there on the sly. Of course it does. These things apparently cannot be re-lit once out..? And I sincerely hope that the rubbish runs out for greedy Brighton Council. I have absolutely zero respect for them, or for Brighton as a place, and never will have again. I am and always was deeply angered by this. They couldn’t even have the decency to offer Newhaven residents who have to live with this brute some cheaper electricity.

10 years ago

Good to know (I suppose) – but isn’t there another way to dispose of this rubbish rather than burning it? I heard that some of the rubbish s brought over by boat from France …. can’t it be disposed of there? About money no doubt – the company is getting paid, after all. And who owns the company, I wonder? When on of these huge incinerators was set up in a country where we lived for 10 years, the reported rates of asthma and other airways related illnesses went up and there was a definite burnt smell lingering in the air most days. I wonder how it is in Newhaven and surrounding areas?

Can someone please tell me what is meant by a “national objective”? I think they mean a threshold above which the level of measured PM10 or whatever is NOT supposed to go? (what happens if it is ever exceeded?) in which case the word “objective” is wrong – that implies it is something we are working towards – as though MORE pollution is the aim! Oops.

I must say the building looks nice – I’ve actually seen it – but I shall have to go again to sniff the air before I can give it MY approval! (I have COPD and MCS – so I’m a good person to check the air quality at such places – if I dare ….). I see the protestors didn’t win – and I wonder why – when there is so much talk these days about improving the air we breathe, why should any County Council etc. opt for this kind of establishment? As my grandmother used to say “where’s there’s “rubbish” (“muck” was her term, and here it is referred to as “household waste”), there’s money … and, I see, lots of electricity, so ………

Can’t make up my mind about this one …… I feel combusiton should be avoided as much as possible, but what other solutions are there???? Make less “household waste” for a start ….. I think there is so much unnecessary packaging for a start, and, and …. but people (and companies) have got into the habit of using more and more materials now …. we need to cut back, very seriously, but who is going to get this going?

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