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November 21 2013.

Newhaven MP Norman Baker has written to the Environment Agency to request an urgent response following allegations in Private Eye that potentially carcinogenic particles are being allowed to escape from the Newhaven incinerator.

Concerns have been raised that the filters used at the Newhaven facility are not as effective as official literature claims. The International Agency for Research on Cancer released a study stating that particles smaller than 2.5 microns in diameter are a group 1 carcinogen (definitely carcinogenic to humans), the filters installed at Newhaven are only 5-30% effective at stopping these particles from escaping into the atmosphere. An official Environment Agency leaflet claimed that the same filters were 99% effective.

Norman has asked the Environment Agency to clarify that actual effectiveness and to give assurances that the EA and Veolia are doing everything possible to run the facility in a responsible way that sees the local environment and residents unaffected by the site.

Norman says: “I am asking the Environment Agency to urgently respond to the serious allegations made and to take immediate action if they are true.

"The Incinerator is a blight on Newhaven. I had hoped that they would take every measure possible to make sure no further damage was done to the surroundings and no harm would come to local residents. If these claims are true, those responsible have to be taken to account.

“This looks like another example of poor approach to the construction and management of the site. When it was built the county council failed to negotiate any benefits for the people of Newhaven by way of planning gain bar a few pathetic trees which would struggle to hide the sign to the incinerator, let alone the monstrous building itself. Any half-decent council would have secured millions in compensation, or the re-routing of heat generated to provide cheap heating for the town."