Natural Resources Wales
The Planning Inspectorate
Temple Quay House
2 The Square
Ein cyf / Our ref: SH/2014/117386
Planning Inspectorate ref. EN 010062
Dyddiad/Date: 21 October 2014
Annwyl Syr/Madam / Dear Sir/Madam
PROPOSED PORT TALBOT STEELWORKS (POWER GENERATION ENHANCEMENT) ORDER.
PROJECT REFERENCE: EN 010062
RELEVANT REPRESENTATION FROM THE NATURAL RESOURCES BODY FOR WALES (NRW).
1. Our purpose is to ensure that the environment and natural resources of Wales are sustainably maintained, enhanced and used, now and in the future. Our functions are set out in the Natural Resources Body for Wales (Functions) Order 2012.
2. Our advice and comments to the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) are therefore provided in the context of the above remit.
3. We are a Statutory Party under the Planning Act 2008 and Infrastructure Planning (Interested Parties) Regulations 2010 as amended and an Interested Party under s102 (1) of the Planning Act 2008. The operation of this development gives rise to Combustion Activities under Part A1 (a) of Schedule 1 Part 2 of the Environmental Permit Regulations 2010 and NRW is the determining authority for an Environmental Permit for such activity. The Environmental Permit is determined under distinct and separate legislation and our comments in relation to the DCO application are independent and without prejudice to any comments made in respect of the Environmental Permit application. At this time no application for an Environmental Permit has been made.
4. Our comments are made without prejudice to any comments we may wish to make in relation to this application and examination whether in respect of the Environmental Statement (ES) and subsequent revisions, provisions of the draft DCO and its ‘requirements’, Statements of Common Ground (SoCG) or other documents provided by Tata Steel UK limited (the Developer), the Examining Body or any other party.
5. The following paragraphs comprise our relevant representation in the context of the DCO application, as an Interested Party under the Planning Act 2008 and Infrastructure Planning (Interested Parties) Regulations 2010.
6. We provided pre-application advice to the developer. In particular responses to the scoping report, Preliminary Environmental Impact Report (PEIR) and draft ES. The pre-application stage has been a thorough and extensive process, which has resulted in a number of issues being scoped out and a comprehensive ES submission.
7. We continue to provide advice to the developer through correspondence and meetings on specific issues with the aim of reaching as many positions of agreement and common ground as possible prior to examination. Our relevant representation is based solely on the information provided within the application documents. Any change in position will be reflected in our full written representation and SoCG.
8. As the applicant has submitted two construction schemes within the Environmental Statement, we will make reference to the individual options, where appropriate. Those options comprise:
• Option 1. Full construction in a single phase;
• Option 2. Construction over two phases with only one boiler, one stack and associated turbine sets being constructed at each phase (the first installation known as Phase 1 and the second installation as Phase 2).
9. Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) including aerial emissions in relation to nature conservation interests
I. The ‘No significant effects report’ (Document 5.03) as currently submitted, requires further refinement in relation to its content and conclusions. Based on the information provided in the report, we cannot currently agree with the applicant’s conclusions of no likely significant effect (LSE) from this project in-combination, in relation to Crymlyn Bog SAC. A ‘shadow’ Appropriate Assessment will be required to fully assess in-combination effects between Option 2-Phase 1 of this project and other power stations within the vicinity, in relation to Crymlyn Bog SAC.
II. We advise that the HRA (Habitats Regulations Assessment) must base its conclusions, whether screening or appropriate assessment, on the worst-case scenario for the project.
III. Option 2 will contribute to a temporary increase in aerial emissions in terms of acid/nutrient Nitrogen deposition (and NOx/SOx emissions). Whilst these emissions will amount to no LSE alone (<1% of relevant critical loads/levels for sensitive features), there will nevertheless be residual effects on nearby Natura 2000 sites.
IV. In-combination tests should be carried out based on the residual effects of the plan/project in question, cumulatively/synergistically etc. with other plans and projects, subject to those plans/projects not effectively being completed. When the residual effects from this project are combined with similar residual effects from the aforementioned other power station projects, the data as presented in Document 5.03 suggests an LSE on Crymlyn Bog SAC in-combination, in relation to acid deposition.
10. Flood Consequence Assessment (FCA)
I. We provided advice during the pre-application stage on the potential flood consequences associated with this development and the requirements of a FCA as required by Planning Policy Wales Technical Advice Note 15: Development and Flood Risk.
II. We are satisfied that the risk of flooding to the site has been properly assessed in line with our current recommendations. We accept that the risk can be managed in accordance with the conclusions and recommendations of the FCA and that there is no increased flood risk elsewhere as a result of the development.
III. However, we would draw your attention to Welsh Government’s letter, dated 09 January 2014 which addressed Planning Policy on Flood Risk and Insurance Industry Changes. This letter was directed to all Chief Planning Officers in Wales and clarified flood risk assessment requirements, including the need to take account of climate change over the lifetime of development including a flood event which has a 0.1% (or 1 in 1000 chance) probability of occurrence.
IV. Climate Change has not been considered for the 1 in 1000 annual probability flood for either fluvial or tidal. However, we understand that where the preparation of a FCA commenced prior to the publication of the above letter, the requirement to include an allowance for climate change on the 0.1% event may not be required. However, we would recommend you, as the Examining Authority seek further clarification from Welsh Government on this matter.
11. Local Air Quality Management
I. The completed development (Option 1) proposes to have a benefit to Air Quality in that it would appear to reduce flaring emissions, provide a more efficient power generation infrastructure and cleaner stack emissions.
However, we still require assurances that overall air emissions from the steel works will not increase if all of the current (older) power generating equipment remains online following completion of Phase 1 of Option 2.
II. An Environmental Permit would be required from NRW to operate the proposed development. Air quality impacts would be considered in further detail during the determination of that permission. No application has been made at this time and we are therefore not in a position to provide detailed advice at this time.
I. The exclusion of technical data relating to the design specification of the proposed plant prevents full analysis of operational noise. Best Available Techniques should be employed in the design of the installation to ensure that sound levels are reduced where appropriate, to a minimum of 10dB below the measured background levels.
II. We will however be examining thoroughly the noise aspects of operational activity during the course of a permit application. We would need to be satisfied that the public and the environment are protected from Noise and vibration from the development before granting a permit.
13. Groundwater and Contaminated Land
I. The proposed site lies within the existing EPR installation boundary, which is potentially contaminated from previous industrial use. We are aware that Site Investigations are being carried out to determine the extent of contamination and await the results of these investigations before commenting further on proposed remediation.
Please contact Louise Edwards ([email protected]cymru.gov.uk) should you require further advice or information regarding this representation.
Yn gywir / Yours faithfully,
Rheolwr Cynllunio Ecosystemau a Phartneriaethau De Cymru / Ecosystems Planning & Partnerships Manager South
Cyfoeth Naturiol Cymru / Natural Resources Wales
Ffon / Tel 02920 772400
Symudol / Mobile 07718 358656
Ebost / E-mail [email protected]
Gwefan / Website www.naturalresourcerswales.gov.uk
Ein diben yw sicrhau bod adnoddau naturiol Cymru yn cael eu cynnal, eu gwella a’u defnyddio yn gynaliadwy, yn awr ac yn y dyfodol.
Our purpose is to ensure that the natural resources of Wales are sustainably maintained, enhanced and used, now and in the future.
Rwy'n siarad Cymraeg