Draft incinerator permit ‘defies common sense’, says home secretary

The Environment Agency (EA) has issued a draft permit for a major energy-from-waste plant, drawing criticism from home secretary Priti Patel and local groups.

Unusually, the application made by Gent Fairhead & Co Ltd was to tighten, rather than loosen, its emissions limits for its proposed Essex plant, in return for permission to build the shortest stack for such a development in the country. This would limit the degree to which pollutant emissions would be dispersed, though would be consistent with local authority demands.

The regulator’s intention was swiftly condemned by local MP and home secretary Priti Patel and a local councillor, who said it was likely to be challenged in court. The agency will open a four-week consultation on the permit tomorrow.

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