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MALTATODAY 18 October 2020

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12 maltatoday | SUNDAY • 18 OCTOBER 2020 NEWS JAMES DEBONO THE proposed incinerator at Magħtab will emit dangerous chemicals such as harmful nitrogen oxide and sulphur di- oxide, but the amounts released in the atmosphere will be kept within EU limits through "best available technology" and the export of hazardous residues. A separate treatment facility will be re- quired for the incinerator's bottom ash, and consequently more land to accom- modate it. The emissions released into the air will consist of carbon dioxide, oxygen, water vapour and small amounts of chemicals including NOx, SO2, ammonia, organic carbon dioxins and dust. Emissions will also include metals like cadmium, mer- cury, arsenic and small amounts of lead. EU deposition limits for arsenic are four micrograms (4 μg) per square metre every day. Air dispersion models foresee a maximum daily concentration of 3.2 μg/sq.m per day. A model study fore- sees a maximum daily concentration of 1.9 μg/m2 per day for cadmium, which is limited to 2 μg at EU law. Dioxins and furans will be limited to 1.08 μg/sq.m per day, well below the 4 μg limits. The study does not consider the "can- yon effect" that occurs in cities with densely packed buildings, which aggra- vate the impact of chemicals on human populations. Instead, the areas affected by atmospheric fallout in Malta are char- acterized by agricultural areas "where the existence of a canyon effect cannot be assumed". The air dispersion is estimated will not exceed a 6km radius from the incinera- tor chimney. The facility will however lead to a re- duction in landfill gases, limiting further the country's generation of greenhouse gas emissions from landfilling. How the plant will keep emissions with- in the law The incinerator and its abatement equipment has been designed to ensure that gaseous emissions released during operation remain below the limits of both the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) and the EU bureau for the Inter- governmental Panel on Climate Change. The treatment of flue gas will generate air pollution control residues (APCr), a hazardous waste which currently can- not be treated in Malta. This waste will be transported from the flue gas treat- ment facility to a dedicated silo, until its removal offsite to be shipped abroad for treatment and disposal. An EIA is short on detail on how this toxic waste will be transported, but it will be "intensively treated" before its re- lease into the atmosphere. The incinerator's chimney will have a continuous emissions monitoring sys- tem (CEMS) to measure exhaust gases before release into the atmosphere. The plant will also produce a residue left over from the incineration of the waste, known as incinerator bottom ash (IBA). IBA will be transported by con- veyer belt from the furnace to a storage area located underneath a grate. It will be left in storage to mature and dry out, for the removal of its chlorides and sul- phates. Once dried, the IBA is treated in a facility, where any metals that can be recovered will be re-used in the con- struction industry. Unburned residue will be returned for incineration. The IBA will require another 12 weeks in storage for its carbonisation, which is where the residue will meet its end-of- waste criteria. It is only then that it can be reused as aggregate material for con- struction. The large storage area required for IBA is being proposed on a 3,000sq.m area on the Zwejra engineered landfill. The facil- ity's plans are yet to be presented, since the Zwejra area has to be appropriately capped. Incinerator's harmful emissions to be kept within legal limits MATTHEW AGIUS THE Green Party chairperson will lead the new formation of Alternattiva Demokratika and the Partit Demokratiku, now fused as one party with the sim- ple appellation, AD+PD. Chairman Carmel Cacopardo said the new political party was over a year in the making, as he addressed the party's first Gen- eral Meeting. "We have been discussing it for over a year. We cooperated together in elections and over the past few months spoke with one voice in anticipation of to- day," said the veteran Green politician, with reference to the merger. Speaking at the virtual meeting this afternoon, Cacopardo said although the party would always give the environment priority, this did not mean that it was only interested in the environ- ment. "We always put the environ- ment at the centre of our poli- tics, but it doesn't mean that we only speak about the environ- ment. It is the medium to gauge the quality of life, the more of one the more of the other, he said." The party would be exploring the possibility of online broad- casts, he said, because the public broadcaster rationed the party's airtime and the other party TV and radio stations "only give us access when it suits them." On the issue of illegal immi- gration, Cacopardo said: "We can never say our country is full up, not because we don't feel the weight of immigration, but because of our geographical location," he said. Cacopardo pointed out that EU countries sometimes helped absorb mi- grants, but said a long-term agreement was required to ad- dress this problem. As Greens, AD had done a lot of work on the Dublin accord, he said, add- ing that often it is governments which hold progress back. He noted with satisfaction that proposals for LGBTIQ rights, which his party had been the lone champion of in 2013, had later been adopted. Cacopardo said that the issue was now be- ing used for political point-scor- 'We speak with one voice', says Cacopardo of new AD+PD formation

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