Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Lignite - environmental triple whammy for Glenavy!

As some of you may be aware the community around Glenavy and Crumlin is now trying to juggle with three environmental hot potatoes.

-  Firstly there is the existing UFBP plant with its horrendous track record for water and odor pollution.  It has racked up close to 1000 complaints for nuisance odor over the last five years and numerous prosecutions for water pollution.
-  Then there is the proposed Moy Park Incinerator, the primary focus for CALNI.
-  Finally over the last few months the issue of open cast lignite mining has come back to the fore.

There are strong suspicions that all three projects are linked.  UFBP is owned by Glenfam who are Moy Park's partner in the incinerator project.  Glenfarm also have an investment in a local mining technology company.  The underlying technology in poultry litter incinerators was originally designed to burn lignite.  Oh yes, and the proposed incinerator site is only a few hundred meters from the original open cast lignite mine!! ...

The Antrim Coal Company is presenting to the Antrim Council planning committee tomorrow afternoon to take them through their plan to re-open the mine.  A delegation from CALNI will be attending.

A friend was doing some research into the ownership of Antrim Coal, some of which can be traced back to Peabody Coal, a listed US company.  He emailed me through details of their environmental record (below).  Based on the Newsweek results they have the worst record of all 500 public companies included in the 2009 & 2010 studies, scoring "1" out of a possible "100"!

It really begs the question of whether Glenavy and Crumlin will soon be Northern Ireland's Sellafield.  We already have the worst odor pollution in the province.  If Moy Park have their way we'll have a large scale incinerator.  If we're lucky we'll also have a Peabody Coal venture up and running before the decade is out!

All fifteen miles from Belfast City Centre as the crow flies, not to mention adjacent to the drinking water supply for hundreds of thousands of people.



Environmental track record
Peabody Energy has been tagged as a major offender of environmental degradation en route to becoming the worldwide leader in low cost energy. It has a long history of opposing efforts to mitigate the negative environmental effects of coal production and combustion. It was an active opponent of efforts to enact a strong Clean Air Act in 1970, of acid rain provisions in the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments, and throughout the current efforts to significantly strengthen mercury provisions.[12] In a recent report from the National Coal Council, headed by many major executives of Peabody Energy, they called for more than doubling U.S. coal consumption by 2025.[13] Although Peabody Energy’s production has shown negative impacts on the environment, they are taking steps to restore the American Chestnut tree population in Kentucky impacted by formercoal mines. They have been recognized for innovative approaches to stewardship that aim at restoring rangeland, wildlife preserves, wetlands, and hardwood forests.[14] InNewsweek's 2009 Green Rankings, Peabody Energy was ranked #500 out of the top 500 largest US companies based on their environmental impact - they received a environmental impact score a score of 1 out of a possible 100.[15]
And the Newsweek results from 2010, top 500 US companies - bottom 2 0  (ie from 481 - 500)
481Tyson Foods»Food and Beverage51.564.5639.0427.56
482Ralcorp Holdings»Food and Beverage51.438.9223.4513.71
483J. M. Smucker»Food and Beverage51.076.3530.2914.67
484Edison International»Utilities50.973.1838.9051.11
485Smithfield Foods»Food and Beverage50.443.3834.9748.84
486Duke Energy»Utilities49.672.3953.7452.84
487Vulcan Materials»General Industrials48.557.539.3548.28
491Cliffs Natural Resources»Basic Materials43.232.9829.1335.42
492NRG Energy»Utilities37.762.7822.0340.65
493Archer-Daniels-Midland»Food and Beverage33.982.5819.5121.54
495American Electric Power»Utilities30.291.4037.8948.32
496CONSOL Energy»Basic Materials28.782.193.1951.01
497Monsanto»Food and Beverage28.191.997.5546.47
499Bunge»Food and Beverage18.821.2019.4920.10
500Peabody Energy»Basic Materials1.001.0028.4654.46

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