Fears for marine life over incinerator
22nd March 2011 - the following article is reproduced by kind permission of Lynn News
OPPONENTS of the proposed Lynn incinerator have urged council leaders to be cautious amid fears the development could impact on marine life off the Norfolk coast.
The plea came as it emerged fisheries regulators had warned Norfolk County Council of their concerns over the impact the Saddlebow development may have on shellfish beds in the Wash and urged them to seek further advice from government environmental advisors.
The warning was revealed the day before the latest examination of the decision to press ahead with the planned scheme was due to take place.
Concern over the possible impact on sea life in the region was raised by opposition Liberal Democrat and Green county councillors in their request for further probing of the county council cabinet’s decision to press ahead with awarding the contract for the development to Cory Wheelabrator earlier this month.
In their call-in to the county council’s cabinet scrutiny committee, which meets in Norwich today, they said: “The award of the contract and the Cabinet papers do not include significant details regarding the potential impact upon marine life in the Wash of a fully operating incinerator.
“We therefore believe that the precautionary principle should be applied here especially when the decision has the potential to impact the health of Norfolk residents.”
Meanwhile, it has also emerged that officials from the Eastern Sea Fisheries joint committee, the body charged with protecting fish stocks in the region, have called on the county council to evaluate the potential effects of emissions, including aerial deposits, on the shellfish population in the Wash and North Norfolk coast special area of conservation.
In a letter released to the Lynn News yesterday, marine environment officer Judith Stoutt said: “Representatives of the local fishery have brought to the attention of the joint committee concerns over the effects of compounds potentially released from waste incinerators on the marine environment.”
She said the Wash fell within the 10 kilometre radius of the site that European directives state assessments of the impact should be carried out within.
She added: “The joint committee would suggest that shellfish beds in the Wash be considered as ‘sensitive ecological receptors’ in this context.”
The committee also called for the council to seek further advice on the issue from Natural England, the independent body which advises the government on environmental issues.