Modern energy plants have very low emissions into the atmosphere as flue gases are filtered and pollutants captured by technology at the plant in order to conform to stringent European emissions regulations.
The air quality assessment has considered the following:
- Investigation of baseline conditions
- The potential impact of dust during the construction, operation and eventual decommissioning of the plant
- The potential impact on human health due to emissions from road vehicles travelling to and from the plant during the construction and operational phases
- The emission and dispersion of a range of substances from the combustion of biomass during the operation of the plant and the likely effects on human health
- The potential effects of acid and nitrogen deposition at designated habitat sites during the operation of the plant
- The frequency of visible moisture plumes from the stack.
Dust emissions during construction, operation and decommissioning would be controlled through the implementation of a range of mitigation measures that can be incorporated into the plant design or through site monitoring.
The initial screening assessment determined that emissions from traffic accessing the plant was considered to be insignificant and did not require further assessment.
The potential effects of emissions of the proposed plant during the operational phase were assessed using computer based atmospheric dispersion modelling techniques. In view of the process and emission controls integral to the design and operation of the facility, the studies show that all relevant air quality standards and guidelines would be achieved.
The residual impact on air quality due to the construction, operation and decommissioning of the plant has therefore been assessed as not significant.