Subject: London Southend Airport: Environmental Permit Application – Ref EPR/HB3790ND/A001
I write to object in the strongest terms to Environment Permit Application EPR/HB3790ND/A001 submitted to the Environment Agency by London Southend Airport. Granting this application will permit the airport to discharge up to 360 cubic metres of deicing chemicals into local watercourses each day.
I understand from the application documents that the chemical to be used is potassium acetate. According to the Environment Agency’s own “Pollution Prevention Technical Information note” (a copy of which is at https://wordpress.bigred.design/seefoe/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2014/05/PPTI_De_Icer1.pdf), potassium acetate has a low toxicity, but degrades in water causing low oxygen levels “which kills fish and causes water quality problems.”
Eastwood Brook runs through the western side of the airport and Prittle Brook is just to the east. It is unacceptable for the airport to be allowed to pollute these streams, which both feed into the River Roach and the Crouch beyond that. The local fishing industry relies on these rivers and polluting them would impact the human food chain.
I note that separate provision is being made by the airport to capture and dispose of de-icers used on aircraft. They should be made to similarly capture and treat all run-off from the runway and taxiways. It is unacceptable for the airport to be allowed to put anything other than clean water into the local water courses and, indeed, the ground. I appreciate that it is likely to cost more money for the airport to manage its waste water properly, but that is no excuse for not doing so.
Drainage at Southend Airport is currently inadequate. I attach a couple of photos taken at the airport boundary by St Laurence Church during a rainstorm since the runway was extended. I believe they were taken on 3rd January 2012. These show substantial volumes of water gushing from airport land into the public highway. It is clear that the airport is not managing surface water properly and sufficient drainage provision must be made, ensuring that any water that may be contaminated with de-icing or other industrial chemicals is captured, treated and disposed of safely.
Please reject the Environmental Permit Application and work with the airport to ensure that in future, they handle chemical waste responsibly and resolve the lack of proper drainage.
South East Essex is threatened with a large number of housing schemes that will destroy rich wildlife habitat. There are some extremely important areas of habitat in Benfleet, Rayleigh, Rochford and elsewhere, that are home to some of the wildlife species that are in decline.
Scientists warn us that a quarter of UK mammals are now facing extinction. In addition, the World Health Organisation and other scientists warn that our destructive relationship with nature is making the outbreak of new pandemics, like Covid 19, ever more likely. To stop novel viruses jumping between wildlife and humans it is absolutely essential that we stop the destruction of habitat both abroad and here in the UK.
However, as the UK population continues to grow, we also need to provide enough homes to meet our needs. Instead of building homes in areas that can only be accessed by cars, we provide here the solutions, that not only save precious countryside, but put the homes needed on brownfield sites that make it easier for people to live free of the expense of car ownership.
By building around the public transport hubs and along the public transport corridors we can make it easy for people to get around on bikes, buses and rail, greatly reducing fuel use and helping to tackle the climate crisis. And by building up, typically 5 or 6 floors above a ground floor shop, on a public transport corridor, we can revitalise traditional independent shops and build more inclusive communities.
We can solve the housing crisis, we can save the greenbelt and wildlife habitat, and we can tackle the climate and ecological emergency. We just need to stop doing all the wrong things and make the simple changes that are needed. At the next local elections ever more people will be looking for politicians who will rise to the challenge and stop the destruction of the natural world.26856