Battle lines will be drawn in Parliament today as an MP launches an attack against a controversial incinerator proposal.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

In a debate Henry Bellingham MP will set out the case against the incinerator which Norfolk County Council wants to build at Saddlebow, near King’s Lynn.

Citing figures gained under Freedom of Information law the North West Norfolk MP will say the proposal, now subject to a planning inquiry, would cost taxpayers £46m more than a rejected option.

Meanwhile the MP will highlight environmental violations allegedly committed by Wheelabrator, one half of the consortium behind the planned facility.

He said: “I’m going to be setting the scene for the evidence that I will give when I go to the inquiry.

“I’m going to be very concise, I’m going to be giving specific examples of the behaviour of the parties involved in this; it is going to be a gallop round the course.”

The incinerator was approved by the county council in June. But some 65,000 people voted against it in a poll organised by King’s Lynn and West Norfolk District Council, which also opposes the plans.

In today’s debate Mr Bellingham will say figures he has suggest the cost to the taxpayer of the 25-year private finance contract underpinning the incinerator will be £597m, adding that this is £46m more expensive than a competing bid the county rejected.

But Norfolk’s cabinet member for environment and waste Bill Borrett said: “Henry Bellingham well knows that value for money is about far more than price.

“It takes account of many factors, including quality of service, performance, guarantees and, with this project, recycling levels. And when all of these were taken account of, Cory Wheelabrator’s bid came out on top.”

He said Mr Bellingham’s figures were out of date and did not represent the final contract cost, something he could not reveal due to “commercial confidentiality” only indicating that it was “lower” than the MP’s figures.

Mr Borrett argued the incinerator would actually save the council £8m a year compared with using landfill to dispose of waste.

However, Mr Bellingham will also highlight specific incidents in which Wheelabrator allegedly breached environmental regulation in America.

In 2011 the firm made a $7.5m payment to resolve allegations it emitted ash through from facilities in Massachusetts.

The payment also related to allegations the firm failed to properly treat and dispose of ash and repeatedly dumped waste water into a surrounding wetland.

In the same year Wheelabrator agreed to pay $77,500 after one of its US facilities in Maryland allegedly emitted above the legal limit of mercury into the atmosphere.

Meanwhile, in December 2007 Wheelabrator received two notices of “past violation” from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services , before getting a third in 2010.

The final one related to carbon monoxide emissions that allegedly broke legal limits, on four occasions by more than 25pc.

Wheelabrator UK’s Director, Business Developer, Paul Green, argued that Wheelabrator had maintained a proven track record of “operating excellence”.

He said: “Our facilities have maintained their permits in good standing since the inception of operation and no Wheelabrator facility has ever had its operating permit retracted or suspended due to an environmental breach.”

He added: “On the rare occasion when an environmental compliance instance could occur, we self-report this to the appropriate regulatory organisation and work closely with them to resolve immediately.

“The proposed [facility] has been exhaustively evaluated by the Environment Agency, other independent experts and has been granted an environment permit.”

23 comments

  • If we are to believe Wheelabrators UK Director and Business Developer, Paul Green, when he states that "Wheelabrator have maintained a proven track record of “operating excellence” how come you only have to google Wheelabrator USA to find items like the ones below which tell a totally different story? http:www.fredericknewspost.comsectionsnewsdisplay.htm?StoryID=140375#.UEzFHbJlQbJ Tuesday, January 4, 2011 AG investigating Wheelabrator Saugus By Jenna Russell THE BOSTON GLOBE Thursday, January 22, 2009 Baltimore Center City Incinerator Should Be Closed.

    Report this comment

    Sandy.L

    Wednesday, January 16, 2013

  • Our waste management should be cyclical, not linear. I expect Mr. Bellingham to ask the Government for a comprehensive plan to establish a cyclical resource economy, creating apprenticeships, jobs and modern expertise in highly valuable resource recovery. Mr. Borett would do well in exploring a plan B, look into the benefits of enhanced landfill mining and other recycling methods. Germany derives some EUR 6-10 billion per annum from these modern methods, it is recycling 13% of all its raw material needs from what Mr. Borett wants to burn. I hope many will watch the debate this afternoon, Britain needs an escalating scale for the uptake of recycled resources by industry, incentives for business to use recycled materials. It needs an open mind to recycle vital resources such as rare earth elements, vital because they are needed for alternative energy generation and more efficient energy transfers.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Wednesday, January 16, 2013

  • Electra, do you know he will be wearing his under pants on the outside of his trousers soon as he believes he is superman, unlike DM who just thinks he is a god.

    Report this comment

    Sweet cheeks

    Wednesday, January 16, 2013

  • I am at a loss here. Is the word whistleblower a synonym of self-report?

    Report this comment

    Kadmos

    Wednesday, January 16, 2013

  • So true Ingo! and all I did was post a few sites which I sugggested readers look at in connection with Wheelabrator. Why do they not want the truth published?

    Report this comment

    Sandy.L

    Wednesday, January 16, 2013

  • Why oh why oh why do the EDP continue to allow Borratt to spout his disinformation about landfill. They and he have been corrected so many times. It is not an alternative between incineration and landfill. You wont be able to landfill any more Borratt and even if you cannot hold more than one fact under your riding hat make sure that it is the fact you do hold. Perhaps you could have a County Council minion walk behind you whispering into your ear "No landfill allowed" like some latter day roman emperor, since you seem to think you are as important as one. I prefer leaders who have leadership qualities and who get their facts right. You and your chum for whom you are standing in have neither. Looking forward to your replacement in Elmham.

    Report this comment

    Electra

    Wednesday, January 16, 2013

  • Once again the EDP is censoring comments, even if they are positive suggestions, despicable.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Wednesday, January 16, 2013

  • If NCC are confident that no harm will come to residents breathing in dioxins why not alleviate their fears by implementing independent 24 hour air quality monitoring system. 24 hour air quality monitoring stopped incinerators being built in the USA since 1995. Europe has now caught on and the UK is just a soft touch with gullible inexperienced councils. Bill Borrett suggests the savings will be over £8 million to burn but surely NCC could fund 24 hour air quality monitoring paid to an independent company with no ties with the incineration business. The truth is the incinerator would be on shut down permanently while monitoring was in force. One other major problem would be Cory Wheelabrator would blame the emissions from the new Kings Lynn B power station and Palm Paper.

    Report this comment

    Choice

    Wednesday, January 16, 2013

  • So if Borratt is Superbatman will his sidekick be Robbing? Because it is beginning to sound like that is exactly what happened to the coffers of the people of Norfolk to the tune of £46 million.

    Report this comment

    Electra

    Wednesday, January 16, 2013

  • Parliamentary Privilege - Don't you love it? £46 million cheaper eh? Talk your way out of that one Borrett.

    Report this comment

    Electra

    Wednesday, January 16, 2013

  • So true Christine and Ingo, I also posted linksreferences to the huge fines, but no...

    Report this comment

    d, west lynn

    Wednesday, January 16, 2013

  • Is Mr Bellingham Esq trying to shut his stable door after his horse has bolted, or just simply trying to save his seat ?

    Report this comment

    Bruce87

    Thursday, January 17, 2013

  • Paul Green speaks with a forked tongue - this self-reporting would only happen if a breach was detected during the few hours every year that they actually monitor the pollution levels. (And there's nothing to stop them pre-sorting the waste beforehand to make sure that nothing nasty goes up the chimney during this time either!)

    Report this comment

    User Removed

    Wednesday, January 16, 2013

  • Mr Borrett - are you saying that the public are not privy to the actual figures due to "commercial confidentiality". More and more it strikes of dodgy deals done behind closed deals. I'm not surprised the permits have not been withdrawn. Once any facility is operating it more damaging to stop it than continue with porr performance. Lets have the facts and proper debate. No-one wants this white elephant apart from a few in the corridors of power at County Hall.

    Report this comment

    norfolkngood

    Wednesday, January 16, 2013

  • In answer to the last post, Union Carbide has been owned by Dow Chemicals since 2001 according to Wikipedia. They have nothing to so with Cory as far as I can see. Also try looking up Wheelabrator on Wikipedia for starters. Scary!!

    Report this comment

    andy

    Thursday, January 17, 2013

  • Electra they remind me more of fools and horses, they are all dodgy and act like fools but horses are more trust worthy and intelligent.

    Report this comment

    Sweet cheeks

    Wednesday, January 16, 2013

  • Very good point you make Choice. It has been mentioned before that authorities prefer to build polluting plants near areas of heavy traffic and similar types of industry to mask the true extent of pollution. What has alarmed the public is Kings Lynn’s AMQ receptors show critical for air quality and NCC has dealings with a company with a long history of fraud and pollution. This has caused untold stress and anxiety to residents. You mention 24 hour air independent air quality monitoring system and will be mandatory soon with EU law so why make a costly mistake. With accumulated pollutants could close down established polluting industry in Kings Lynn.

    Report this comment

    Alan Allan

    Wednesday, January 16, 2013

  • On second thoughts, I think there is a subtle difference between employees whistleblowing to the authorities and a company voluntarily reporting environmental compliance issues. Of course we learnt from the banks how reliable self-regulation is.

    Report this comment

    Kadmos

    Wednesday, January 16, 2013

  • Mr Bellingham's slot is 4 to 4.30 pm in Westminster Hall today. Should be interesting viewing and listening.

    Report this comment

    bedoomed

    Wednesday, January 16, 2013

  • So true Christine and Ingo, I also posted linksreferences to the huge fines, but no...

    Report this comment

    d, west lynn

    Wednesday, January 16, 2013

  • Electra, do you know he will be wearing his under pants on the outside of his trousers soon as he believes he is superman, unlike DM who just thinks he is a god.

    Report this comment

    Sweet cheeks

    Wednesday, January 16, 2013

  • Well done Mr Bellingham, at last someone is going to speak and NNC has to shut up and listen. Why do we need to burn everything when we should be recycling more. Now im not a tree hugger but was it mentioned that Kings Lynns option should or could get to 90% recycling?. If thats the claim should we at least be looking at it or are there no back handers for county cabinet?.

    Report this comment

    Sweet cheeks

    Wednesday, January 16, 2013

  • Excellent to see some facts published at last about Cory and their dreadful track record. I hope those contributors who I've seen knocking the anti lobby as nimbys take the time to read THE FACTS. Is it right that Cory used to be called Union Carbide?

    Report this comment

    Police Commissioner ???

    Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Norfolk Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 21°C

min temp: 16°C

Five-day forecast

loading...

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT