There have been many questions surrounding the air quality impact from Generation Park Norwich’s Community Energy Centre. A detailed Environmental Impact Assessment, several hundreds of pages long, has been submitted as part of the planning application and we have produced the video linked below for further information also.
Impacts on air quality from the Community Energy Centre would be negligible and any emissions would be regulated by planning and the Environment Agency, with a continuous programme of monitoring. The independent consultants report included in the planning application finds that impacts on air quality from the Community Energy Centre would be negligible and emissions will not cause a breach of any Air Quality Objective or Environmental Assessment Level.
There will be modern clean-up technology in the Community Energy Centre. The remaining pollution which is emitted will be released into a part of the atmosphere which is much more dispersive than at ground level. Eventually the district heating network will replace thousands of existing old, inefficient boilers (and will obviate the need for the installation of many new ones) which release pollution at or close to the ground at a level where we breathe, but in the assessment of air pollution from the Community Energy Centre no attempt has been made to account for this reduction in ground level emissions.
The planning submission for the Community Energy Centre includes analysis of the dispersion of any emissions to demonstrate that there would be no negative impact on Norwich and the wider environment. There are regulations governing the design of the exhaust filtering systems and the height of the flue of the energy centre; this would be specified to ensure that not only are the emissions minimised but that they are also controlled in a manner that does not impact in any way on residents, near or far.
There would be a continuous programme of both statutory and independent monitoring to ensure compliance with air quality standards and the protection of the local environment, including both the Local Authorities and Environment Agency as regulatory bodies.