A new dock will destroy the bank of the River Medina:
Real Ventures proposes to
build a dockdirectly on the Medina Estuary SSSI
to unload and transport the fuel, which will arrive inshiploads down the River Medina. This will probably involve dredging and will clearly have asignificant impact on the protected estuary.
Warm water discharged from the plant threatens fish:
Real Ventures may use water from theRiver Medina to cool the power station from overheating. The water re-released into theocean, depending on the technology used, may be up to 10 degrees warmer than the regular temperatures. Such a sudden dramatic increase in temperature, called
caninstantly kill fish and other aquatic species. Furthermore, cooling water intake can kill fishlarvae and other small marine life.
. Precious natural ecosystems are particularly sensitive to pollution, such asnitrogen and ammonia emitted from the power stations., Levels of
at the site arealready
90% of legal limits for this kind of protected area and additional ammonia which willbe emitted by such a power station thus poses a threat to the plants that live there.
Protected species on the site and surrounding areas
: The site itself contains unique speciesof fauna which include: the
such as whitethroat and lesser whitethroat , and green
common sandpipers. Aspotted Flycatcher
was sighted in 2009. This is at risk of extinction, aslisted on the IUCN red list. The surrounding areas are vitally important feeding grounds for wintering birds such as grey plover, oystercatcher and wigeon.The Isle of Wight Council is under a
legal obligation to protect the sites
. According to EU law,
which the UK is obliged to implement, authorities must ‘avoid, in the special areas of
conservation, thedeterioration of natural habitats and the habitats of species as well as disturbance of the species for
which the areas have been designated.’
Real Ventures indicates that it will ‘take account’ of the fact that these are designated
areas.But the law states that it is not a question of just weighing up economic gain versus ecologicalimperatives: the environment
come first in the case of SACs and SPAs. According to EU law,planning authorities must refuse to grant planning permission if there is any doubt that thedevelopment will have a significant effect on a protected conservation area.
A threat to health
Even biomass power stations which burn 'clean' rather than chemically treated wood only emitaround 75 different pollutants. Those include nitrogen dioxide and small particulates which are linkedto respiratory and heart disease and heavy metals and dioxins linked to cancer and birth defects. For some of those pollutants, such as very small particulates (PM2.5), there are no 'safe levels'. RealVentures state that to mitigate the damage they will consider raising the height of the chimney, or making sure to use the least toxic type of wood available.