Mor Hafren: Energy Recovery Facility

Received 27 November 2020
From Helena Read


To whom it may concern:

The proposed incinerator in Rumney is ethically indefensible and against the public interest. It would lead to a dramatic decline in both the mental and physical health of local residents. It would almost certainly decrease local life expectancy. Scientifically outdated and environmentally behind the times, it offers no positive ambition or hope for the future of Cardiff. Please see the evidence below.

1) Pollution is a killer. Every school child knows it. Increased HGV use of local roads, on top of the emissions from the incinerator itself, will pollute the air for generations to come. It will be a contributory, even major, factor in cause of deaths in the surrounding area. This at a time when, internationally, leading scientists, environmentalists and politicians are seeking to slow and, with hope, reverse the undeniable, tragic consequences of industrial pollution and climate change. 

2) There are already high levels of poverty and consequent ill-health in the area. These are residents, many of whom rely on food banks and free school meals, whose current standard of living can little afford further deprivation. These are people who desperately need more parks, green spaces, improvement in the quality of air, not the complete opposite. Must these people give up their basic human right to health and safety within their community? Must they put up with it simply because they already endure a poorer standard of living than those in wealthier districts? Do certain people not matter, simply because they are poor?

3) Covid-19 attacks the respiratory system. The pandemic has killed nearly 60,000 people in this country so far, with many thousands more suffering the debilitating effects of 'long term Covid'. We all want to feel, and be, safe. Lessons must be learned from this most difficult of years. Pollution caused by the proposed incinerator will damage the lungs and respiratory system. It will make local people more vulnerable during and following a period of extreme risk to public health. Who will defend planning approval when confronted by the sick and bereaved in years to come? Those found to have been culpably negligent will be held to account.

4) Accidents do happen. This is a densely populated area. Can residents receive an absolute guarantee that there will be no devastating explosion at the plant? Will no toxic waste ever be leaked into the local environment? Would supporters of the proposed incinerator be happy for their elderly parents, their sick child, to live in its shadow? Whose lives are they willing to risk?

5) Toxic waste incineration represents an outdated form of industry. It is now 2020 and we are all being encouraged to reform our energy usage, our transport and our waste disposal in an effort to make our actions more environmentally friendly. To build a plant which will emit noxious gas into the air is behind the times and frankly old fashioned. How out of keeping with all innovative, creative, ambitious, world leading town planning. Surely we can do better than this?

Thank you for reading my objection, submitted in the hope that there is a brighter future for our children.
Yours faithfully,
Helena Read