POWER STATION PROJECT - THE FACTS

A series of brief articles dealing with key aspects of the project.

The application for planning permission to build a power station on Portland Port land was submitted by Powerfuel some months ago. The application is being guided through the formal consultation process by the Dorset Council Planning Department, and at the end of that process the planners will make their recommendation and the application will be put forward to committee for consideration. 

Since news of the proposed power station was first released there has been a vigorous campaign aimed at blocking the project. Whilst I accept that everyone is entitled to their views a great deal of the information published by the protest group is at best misleading, and often alarmist. I strongly believe that projects such as the power station should be considered on their merits and that judgements should be made on the basis of facts and expert analysis. In referring to facts I consider this to be the expert evidence submitted by the applicant and verified through the scrutiny of the regulatory authorities. I also believe that the public should be made aware of the relevant facts in a clear and unemotional manner. To this end the port will publish a series of brief articles on our social media accounts, aimed at providing key information about the project. Obviously, as CEO of Portland Port, I have a vested interest in this project being approved and so to that extent my views will be biased. However, I have lived and worked on Portland for the past 6 years and thus I also have a vested interest in our environment. 

One of the key claims promoted by the protesters is that the emissions from the power station will pose a serious health risk to residents of `Portland and Weymouth. However, the formal responses provided by Public Health England and the Environment Agency have raised no objections to the project. Their responses are entirely consistent with their previously published statements about facilities that produce electricity by burning waste. Their joint statement, made through DEFRA, records “modern, well-managed incinerators make only a small contribution to local concentrations of air pollutants… while it is possible that such small additions could have an impact on health, such effects, if they exist, are likely to be very small and not detectable”. They also state “well run and regulated modern Municipal Waste Incinerators are not a significant risk to public health”. 

Ports are among the most tightly regulated bodies in the UK and we deal regularly with the Local Authority, Environment Agency, Natural England, the Marine Management Organisation, the Maritime & Coastguard Agency, and many others. These regulatory bodies are charged with setting and maintaining standards that are designed to protect the population and the environment. They are staffed by professionals who take their responsibilities seriously and base their regulations and standards on facts and expert analysis. I prefer to trust their analysis and judgements rather than the accusations made by a small group of activists. 

The power station will bring many benefits to Portland and will do no harm. I believe that the majority of the local population will support the project once they are made aware of the facts. Further articles will follow in order to get the facts into the public domain. 

 

Bill Reeves

Admin: 19th Jan 2021 14:57:00

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