CARLISLE’S anti-incinerator group has lodged a complaint to the environmental watchdog over the Environment Agency’s decision to permit an incinerator north of the city.

Carlisle Residents Against Incinerator (CRAIN) submitted a complaint for further investigation on September 18 to the Office for Environmental Protection over the decision being given the go-ahead at the Kingmoor Energy waste site back in April. 

David Mudge, spokesperson for CRAIN, said: “Submitting this complaint has been a huge undertaking. 

“We have included hundreds of pages of documents, emails and information requests that we believe show the Environment Agency has failed to protect the environment and our health as required by law.”

The complaint follows a letter sent by legal charity the Environmental Law Foundation on behalf of a local resident – plans that were ultimately abandoned due to a lack of funds.

Despite the decision, residents continue to raise concerns on the back of the Environment Agency admitting an error within the planning process.

The EA admitted a background air quality assessment error, based on monitoring data from Eskdalemuir, a rural location in Scotland about 46km away - 'not representative of the proposed site'.

“Our complaint includes examples of how some of the issues have affected the Environment Agency's assessment of other incinerators, and potentially other large emitters of toxic air pollution too,” Mr Mudge said.

“The examples we have included could be just the tip of the iceberg.  The potential implications are huge.”

The complaint also has the support of other groups including Cumbria Wildlife Trust, Eden Rivers Trust, Sustainable Carlisle, Rockcliffe and District Action Group, Lowry Hill Residents Association and Carlisle and District Green Party.

An Environment Agency spokesperson said: “Following extensive public consultation and the fulfilment of our legal duties, we issued a permit for Kingmoor Energy from Waste in Carlisle in April this year.  

“After a thorough assessment, we are satisfied that the operation of this site will not cause significant harm to human health or the environment and we would like to reassure members of the public that once the site is operational, our regular site inspections will ensure the site will meet its permit conditions and operate in a way that protects the environment.

“Our decision document sets out in detail the reason for our decision to issue a permit, including how we took the views of local residents into account.”