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Coal Dust will be a problem if Minorca goes ahead say Protestors

Steve Leary | 27.09.2010 15:20 | Climate Chaos | Ecology | Energy Crisis | Birmingham | Sheffield

This Press Release describes why the Minorca Opencast Protest Group (MOPG) believe that visible black coal dust will affect the daily life of local people as MOPG publish its 3rd objection.

PR 81 27/9/10


If the Minorca Application goes ahead local residents can expect ‘nuisance dust’ to affect their daily lives. This is the conclusion from a professional assessment of both submissions by Wardle Armstrong / UK Coal on their application for an opencast mine on the Minorca site between Swepstone and Measham.
In the third objection to the plan published by the Minorca Opencast Protest Group (MOPG) today which deals with Air Quality and Dust, MOPG state

“The general quality of the addendum (UK Coal’s July 2010 submission) is highly disappointing”

“In the supplementary report there has been no change to the initial concerns raised about dust and air quality. No further monitoring has taken place.”
In the first set of papers submitted in July 2009 Wardle Armstrong admitted that

‘short term daily levels (of visible dust emissions) could be experienced ‘.

Our Professional’s Assessment is that

“As the distances between the site boundary and the eight nearest receptors (houses) identified in the assessment is between 14 and 190 metres this impact is a realistic supposition”.

Much is made in UK Coal’s submission of how the Air Quality and Dust issues have been handled at the recent Long Moor site by UK Coal and that this therefore provides a yardstick on which to base predictions about the affect of working the Minorca site. We consider, in the light of the evidence presented to MOPG by our Professional Assessor, that such data is misleading for two reasons. The monitoring done to assess the impact of dust generated by working the Long Moor site was undertaken at 100m and 200m away from the site because no houses were closer to the site than 200m. At Minorca eight houses are within 200m. Secondly our Assessor maintains that there is a degree of confusion over where the actual Air Monitoring took place at Long Moor with Wardle Armstrong’s documentation stating that it occurred West of the Long Moor site and other evidence suggesting that it occurred East and North East of the site. If the latter is correct then our Professional Assessor passes this judgement on the quality of the submissions

“If this is the case then the statement remains incorrect and further undermines the poor quality of the technical information presented”

In conclusion, on the issues to do with Air and Dust Quality MOPG state

“……it is our opinion that the dust and air quality impacts have been assessed very poorly. The contrast of the material, likely deposition rates, incorrect information regarding PM10 monitoring locations, and therefore inconclusive impacts on sensitive receptors mean that the application should be refused until a period of at least 3 months of PM10 monitoring has been undertaken at an operative site similar to Minorca with receptors similar to those at Minorca, before any sensible conclusions can be drawn.”

Steve Leary speaking for the Minorca Opencast Protest Group said

“This all sounds highly technical stuff, which it is, but it contains important information on how this plan to mine coal will, in our opinion, affect the daily lives of too many local residents. According to this Professional Assessment, the likelihood is that local people will have to deal with deposits of visible black coal dust – that this is a ‘realistic supposition’. In practice this means that local people will have to make a judgements on possibly a daily basis based on the strength of the wind and the wind direction whether it will be safe to put the washing out, do outside painting or enjoy a Bar B Q. In addition, car washing and cleaning windscreens will be a regular occurrence. This would be an intolerable imposition on peoples’ normal quality of life.

Much is made of the Long Moor experience, but Minorca and Long Moor are not comparable sites as we MOPG has already explained “

(See our Press Release “It will have twice the impact at half the distance” (PR 13, 2/6/09 and the full article in Issue 16 of the Minorca Protest News both available from

“There the nearest house Long Moor Farm was 200m away from the site and we believe that as this property was owned by UK Coal it was left vacant whilst the work was underway. Here the situation is entirely different with numerous house owners living close to the site boundary. Because of the risk of Nuisance Dust being so great, this application should be rejected on these grounds alone.“
This is the third of MOPG’s objections published so far. You can read the rest at:

The Minorca Surface Mine Application is due to be heard at a meeting of Leicestershire County Council’s Development Control and Regulatory Board on Friday October 15th .



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