One of the pollutants released by Mossmorran is Benzene. Benzene is a very dangerous chemical if you are exposed to it, it can lead to Leukemia.

The first medical condition directly linked to benzene poisoning, aplastic anemia, was discovered in 1897. Aplastic anemia is an umbrella term for a group of blood-related conditions mostly characterized by the drop in or suspension of the production of blood. Due to the primitive state of medical technology, aplastic anemia caused a very quick and painful death for most people who contracted it. 1

Breathing very high levels of benzene can result in death, while high levels can cause drowsiness, dizziness, rapid heart rate, headaches, tremors, confusion, and unconsciousness.2

The major effect of benzene from long-term (365 days or longer) exposure is on the blood. Benzene causes harmful effects on the bone marrow and can cause a decrease in red blood cells leading to anaemia. It can also cause excessive bleeding and can affect the immune system, increasing the chance for infection. 3

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has determined that benzene causes cancer in humans. Long-term exposure to high levels of benzene in the air can cause leukemia, cancer of the blood-forming organs. 4

The last air monitoring report we have viewed regarding Benzene concentration levels from Mossmorran, is that they are currently at acceptable levels.

You may be wondering what this has to do with Little Raith Wind Farm?

On the original planning application for Little Raith (08/00570/WFULL) and then the secondary planning application to increase the turbine height (04/04266/WEIA), SEPA had raised concerned that the turbulence and air distribution caused from the Wind Turbines could lead to higher concentrations of Benzene in our air and had requested an air monitoring programme condition attached to the original planning application (condition 18) and the second application (condition 17).

Details of a monitoring programme recording the concentration of benzene at agreed monitoring sites using suitable monitoring techniques will require to be agreed with Fife Council as Planning Authority in consultation with SEPA prior to the commencement of construction on-site. Any monitoring programme proposed must be capable of showing compliance with the Air Quality (Scotland) Regulations 2000 and the Air Quality (Scotland) `Amendment Regulations.

The monitoring programme will require to be carried out over a period of no less than 18-months as follows:

Six months ambient monitoring data and six months wind speed and direction data will require to be submitted to the Planning Authority and SEPA for analysis, this period should cover the 6-month period prior to construction work commencing.

A further twelve months ambient monitoring data and wind speed and direction data will require to be submitted to the Planning Authority and SEPA for analysis. This 12-month period should commence on the day that all of the wind turbines become operational.

All ambient monitoring data and wind speed and direction data must be obtained at the same location.

The continued operation of wind turbines on sit will require that the 2010 Air Quality Objective for benzene of 1ppb (3.254 micrograms per cubic metre, expressed as a running annual mean) is consistently achieved at monitoring sites agreed with the planning Authority in consultation with SEPA.

If Little Raith Wind Farm was found to have caused a higher concentration of Benzene in our air, then they would have to cease operations and remove the Industrial Wind Farm.

The developers, West Coast Energy, who are still active on the project (even though press will usually mention Kennedy Renewables), requested these conditions, be removed. They failed to get these conditions removed and so appealed the decision to the Scottish Reporter.

The Scottish Reporter upheld their appeal, on the basis that it wasn’t their responsibility as they do not produce the Benzene directly.

Yet we believe that if concentrations of Benzene could become higher in our air, because of the way the Industrial Wind Farm distributes the air, then they should also be responsible for the potential impact on our air quality, and the health of all the communities that can be infected.

The Little Raith Wind Farm developers keep portraying itself as a positive community project with many local and environmental benefits, but as the RWFGroup points out most of these ‘supposed’ benefits are just a white wash and negligible with no independent peer reviewed scientific research to back up their claims.

Do we really want a development on our door step that has the potential to distribute the carcinogenic Benzene in a higher concentration in our area? Do we really want a developer that claims to be community minded, but actively (and succeeded) stopped a monitoring programme condition that was intended to protect our health and well being?

A revised condition was being requested by Fife Council but this had to be agreed with the applicants (West Coast Energy). We do not know if they agreed to the revised condition, but we will try to find out and get the details of the revised condition. If it was accepted we can guarantee that it would have been a much weaker condition with more leeway for the developers.

The fact that the developer tried to stop (and succeeded) a condition that was intended to protect our health from such a dangerous chemical, shows to us, that they do not care for the community and it is all about the money.

Do you support the Little Raith Wind Farm project?

  • No (89%, 433 Votes)
  • Yes (8%, 41 Votes)
  • Unsure (1%, 6 Votes)
  • No Opinion (1%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 484

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  1. Resource4Leukimia, Benzene and Leukemia, http://www.resource4leukemia.com/topics/benzeneandleukemia.html
  2. Health Reports, Benzene Toxic Chemical, http://www.health-report.co.uk/benzene-toxic-chemical.htm
  3. Health Reports, Benzene Toxic Chemical, http://www.health-report.co.uk/benzene-toxic-chemical.htm
  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Facts about Benzene, http://www.bt.cdc.gov/agent/benzene/basics/facts.asp
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