Views sought on New Barnfield incinerator plans

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Hertfordshire residents are being asked for their views on plans for a new waste incinerator in Hatfield.

Veolia Environmental Services have submitted an application to the Environment Agency for a permit to operate an energy-from-waste plant at New Barnfield.

The agency is consulting with the public and partner organisations, such as NHS Hertfordshire, until 18 April.

A separate planning application is being considered by the county council.

Plans for a new waste incinerator were put forward by Hertfordshire county council in 2008 as the county currently sends about 240,000 tonnes of municipal waste to landfill each year.

Alternatives needed

Those behind the scheme said the new facility could save the county's taxpayers millions of pounds by avoiding landfill tax which is due to reach £80 a tonne by 2014-15.

Campaigners are against the idea because of a special needs school next to the site, potential noise and air pollution and lack of infrastructure.

Area environment manager Mark Ormrod said the agency wanted to hear from the public about any concerns or comments they had and added that alternatives to land-filling waste needed to be found.

"We believe there is a role for energy from waste plants as part of an integrated solution to the future management of that waste which cannot be reused or recycled," he said.

"These plants enable the energy released from waste to be used as a resource to produce electricity and provide heating."

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