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Tom Brake

Liberal Democrat MP for Carshalton and Wallington


Brake raises concern over cocktail of hazardous wastes

July 7, 2004 12:00 AM

Local MP Tom Brake has expressed his concern over proposals by the Environment Agency to relax controls over the hazardous wastes that can be burnt in cement factories. Mr Brake is concerned that this could have a detrimental impact to the environment.

The proposals will help to reduce waste at land fill sites but there are concerns over what the implications are for the environment of burning these wastes at cement kilns.

Mr Brake has pledged to raise this important issue in Parliament and has also backed an Early Day Motion.

Tom Brake MP said,

"The environment Agency is proposing that a broader range of highly hazardous wastes could be burnt as fuels at cement factories. Whilst it might be sensible to burn lower hazard wastes to reduce landfill I am concerned that cement and lime kilns were never designed to burn hazardous wastes.

Such hazardous wastes can include contaminated oils, by-products and highly hazardous chemicals, some of which contain heavy metals such as arsenic, lead, mercury, cadmium, nickel, chrome, zinc, tin, and chlorine which together with organic carbon, produces dioxins. There are also explosives, controlled drugs and gases such as halon and CFCs. Some wastes may contain high levels of sulphur, leading to emissions which are one of the major causes of acid rain."

Mr Brake added,

"The level of trials, monitoring of emissions to the environment or, indeed, consultation with democratically elected representatives will be less than would be required for, and achieved by, specially designed, purpose built facilities."