Leeds campaigners bid to halt incinerator over health fears

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Frustrated campaigners have threatened legal action after a permit has been granted to build a waste incinerator in east Leeds, despite an air quality survey already showing high levels of a chemical linked to cancer.

The Environment Agency (EA) recently granted the permit for a recycling and energy recovery plant at the former wholesale market site in Cross Green, Leeds.

The permit was granted in spite of campaigners’ concerns that an air quality survey, carried out by Veolia ES Leeds, showed toxic chromium VI levels were six times higher than the standard level.

David Rudge, a member of Friends of the Earth, Leeds, has been campaigning against the incinerator plans.

He said: “Friends of the Earth are shocked at the Environment Agency’s decision to grant a permit to run the Veolia Incinerator in East Leeds.”

He added: “We are already taking legal advice with a view to challenge this decision, through judicial review.”

The EA said that in determining the permit, it took into account the way that the site will be operated to ensure it will not have a detrimental impact on the local environment or human health.

It also said that as the regulating body, it will continue to monitor Veolia’s operation closely to ensure that the conditions of the permit are met.

Veolia was granted planning permission for the incinerator facility in April by Leeds City Council.

Earlier this year, councillors on the City Plans Panel also approved another plan to build a separate waste incinerator by Biffa at the former Skelton Grange power station – a mile away from the market site.

As previously reported in the YEP, Leeds City Council said it was looking in to the cause of the high levels of chromium VI.

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