Anaerobic   Digestion

“Anaerobic digestion can be regarded as a chemical process with all the associated risks:  flammable atmospheres, fire and explosion, toxic gases, confined spaces, asphyxiation, pressure systems,   COSHH, etc.  In addition, it also incorporates gas handling and gas storage.”, the official portal for anaerobic digestion. Foodwaste, slurry, poultry manure, maize, grass, waste beer and waste milk (sometimes called Feedstock) would be broken down by micro-organisms in the absence of air.  A mix of the above would be fed into the tanks (digesters) and gas would be released. The gas is combusted to create electricity, some to run the plant and the rest fed into the national grid. Methane becomes explosive when it mixes with oxygen. The lower explosive limit is 5% methane and the upper explosive limit is 15% methane. The residue (digestate) would be split into liquid and dry fibre to be spread on agricultural land or used as soil conditioner.  The EA confirm that digestate cannot be spread onto a field without that field being tested for suitability and a deployment issued by the Agency.
Biogas The   gas released in the   AD process Biogas comprises 60% methane, carbon dioxide with hydrogen  sulphide and can be combusted to make electricity and heat. Hydrogen sulphide [H2S]  is a minor constituent of biogas but an important one for safety as in the human body it has the same toxicity as cyanide.
Bioaerosols Airborne   particles Microscopic, airborne particles including bacteria, fungal spores,   protozoa and organic constituents of microbial and fungal origin.     They can penetrate into the lungs, causing respiratory inflammation, coughs and fever exacerbating respiratory diseases and have been known to cause gastro-intestinal illness, eye irritation and Dermatitis.
EA Environment   Agency The EA’s principal aims are to protect and improve the environment,   and to promote sustainable development and ‘aim to make your community a better place’.  An application of this size needs a bespoke permit from the Environment Agency as well as planning permission from Cheshire East Council.  The CRES application is still being processed but planning permission from Cheshire East must   be in place before the EA would issue a permit.  To date the EA object to the proposal and recommend refusal.
EIA Environment   Impact Assessment An EIA (or Environment Statement) is not an independent report.  An EIA is prepared by the applicant to show the environmental effects of a development project.  It should cover the possible positive or negative impact that a proposed project may have on the environment; the environmental, social and economic aspects.TAG maintain that an EIA should have been submitted at the beginning of this application, Twemlow Parish Council called for one in March 2012, TAG asked for one in Sept 2012.  Cheshire East asked for government advice on whether one is now required and the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles MP, has directed that the application does require an EIA as the development “would be likely to have significant effects on the environment, because of its nature, size and location”.“The Secretary of State has concluded that in the light of the permitted and existing sensitive receptors in close proximity of the site and given the nature of the proposal, that the proposal is likely to give rise to significant environmental effects in relation to the release of noxious substances to air during its operational stage.  In addition the proposal is likely to give rise to significant environmental effects in relation to the potential for accidents during the operational stage of the proposal.”

Cheshire East drafted the scope that Cres’s EIA will have to cover [Scoping Opinion], checking with the statutory consultees, and stalled the application.  There will be a further round of consultation if there are material changes to the application.

NVZ regs Nitrate   Vulnerable Zone regulations Regulations that are designed to reduce pollution from spreading slurry or digestate on fields.  No spreading is allowed in this area between mid Oct-mid Jan (the exact dates vary).
SPB Strategic   Planning Board The SPB determine major planning applications and meets in Crewe or Macclesfield. This application is currently ‘stalled’ so no date is forecast.  The Planning Officer Emma Williams will first review the application and present her findings to the committee.  We will only know the actual date that the AD plant is to be discussed a week beforehand, when the Agenda is published.  We hope that objectors will attend to show their concern.

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