Judicial Review High Court Ruling
Press Release 06/11/18
BACI (Bedfordshire Against Covanta Incinerator) has today [06/11/18] received the judgment from the Courts regarding the Judicial Review Claim against the Environment Agency’s issue of an operating permit for Covanta’s Rookery Pit Incinerator.
It is with great disappointment that we must announce that the Judge has ruled in favour of the Environment Agency and has dismissed our claim to quash the Permit.
In her judgment the Judge conceded that Covanta had made a factual and scientific error in its permit application. The Judge also acknowledged that the Environment Agency had not made any clarification or disclaimer concerning this error – either during the consultation process or in the decision document. She concluded however – that she finds that the Environment Agency did not adopt the error into the permit that was issued.
This campaign has truly been a community effort and has united residents from many different Towns and villages in and around the Marston Vale in a common cause.
If developed the Covanta Incinerator could be operating for up to 40 years and will signal the beginning of re-industrialization of the Marston Vale and the end of regeneration of the area.
In order to give residents the best possible opportunity to continue to fight this – we will be seeking legal advice regarding the viability of an Appeal against the decision. Our initial feelings are that the reasoning and judgment appears somewhat contradictory and there appears to be reliance on precedents set by other claims that need reviewing in the pollution threatened world we find ourselves in at the moment.
We will be going through the judgment in more detail and further information will be available on our website https://bedsagainstincinerator.wordpress.com/ shortly.
Although the current situation is obviously not the best outcome – taking control and taking a statutory regulatory body to court is an achievement in itself – and gives a clear message to both Covanta and the Environment Agency that the public have a voice and will be watching their every move.
BACI (Bedfordshire Against Covanta Incinerator) was formed in 2016 to oppose the Covanta Incinerator at Rookery Pit South and has no political affiliations. For more details – please contact Nicola Ryan-Raine firstname.lastname@example.org
- Full Write Up of the events of the 2 days
- Full Photo Gallery
- Extra information video regarding the basis of the Judicial Review claim and showing current progress in the pit
A massive thank you to everybody who sent good luck messages throughout the 2 days – sorry we were unable to take any photos or videos inside the Court Building itself.
Thank you all for your Continued Support
The Judicial Review Process
Progress so far:
In order to begin proceedings – it was necessary to appoint a firm of Solicitors. With guidance from ELF – BACI appointed one the best-known Environmental Law firm of Solicitors in the country.
– Pre-Action Protocol Letter sent (incl supplementary letter)
– Reply from the EA received
– Responses from the EA analysed by the legal team
– Preparation of papers and lodging with the Courts – 25/04/18
– Serving of claim form and prepared bundle including grounds and expert/witness statements to The Environment Agency (Defendants) and Covanta (Interested Party) 16/05/18
– Acknowledgement of Service stage – AoS replies received from EA and Covanta but due to accelerated timings the bundles were moved forward to the paper permission stage
– Permission Granted by Judge to move forward to a Full 2 Day Substantive Hearing (received 15/06/18)
– Dates for 2 Day Substantive Hearing set for 10th and 11th October
– Reply by BACI Barrister to Detailed Grounds of Resistance incl 2nd Expert Witness Statement
– Skeleton Argument and Trial Bundles prepared by Legal Team and sent to Courts incl 3rd Expert Witness Statement
– Attendance at 2 day substantive Hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice
– Judgement Received 06/11/18
If there are any funds left over at any point – this will be used either in the wider campaign (if this is still existing) for example on air pollution monitoring equipment or another local project.
The Covanta Incinerator – Background
The Covanta Incinerator – Environmental Permitting Process
The Covanta Incinerator – Main Points
Concerns regarding Incineration as a process
Incineration, Recycling and the Circular Economy – Slides