Knot3Hedge

Stop the Gailey Freight Hub

THE ENVIRONMENT


  
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AIR POLLUTION
Air pollution comes from many sources including wind borne dust from the sahara. However most pollution in UK is from vehicles, residential heating and industrial processes. A large and dangerous increase has been from the proliferation of diesel engined vehicles (originally promoted by the government).
Size matters, and HGVs and loco traction  produces 20% of greenhouse gas emissions here. Whereas it would seem more efficient to transfer goods by rail, this is only the case if long distances are travelled and electrification used. Short distances between multiple nodes causes a huge concentration of inefficient journeys at each node.

Diesel freight trains (such as are proposed here) are often older, larger and more polluting than their HGV competitors and many are exempt from regulation. They produce high levels of local pollution in shunting situations like those proposed. The human cost of all this comes in the form of lung, heart & brain health problems from the exhaust byproducts.
Air pollution is usually recorded in terms of an Air Quality Index based on 5 pollutants (2 sizes of particles and 3 gases).

Particulates: Particles up to 10 micrometers diameter (10μm or PM10) which includes fine dust, pollen and mold particles. Much smaller particles below 2.5μm diameter known as PM2.5 which mainly come from engine exhaust and smoke, and their reactions with atmospheric gases. Such tiny particles can penetrate deep into the lungs, delivering harmful chemicals as they do and being difficult or impossible for the body to eliminate. Mainly blamed for exacerbating heart and lung disease 6% of deaths in Birmingham blamed on such particles. New research has linked iron oxides, especially from diesel exhaust with Alzheimers disease. See the relative smallness of PM2.5's below.

Image result for PM2.5

Gases: Nitrogen Dioxide (NOx), Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) and Ozone (O3) from exhaust gases, industrial pollution and secondary reactions with atmospheric gases. Creating smog and irritants promoting lung disease. Carbon Monoxide is often measured as it reduces uptake of oxygen into the blood.

Industrial Pollution tends to be better monitored than other local forms of pollution. Some of the older processes have been phased out. The brand new waste incineration plant at Four Ashes is state of the art. Residual gases are continuously monitored and combustion adjusted to keep within environmental guidelines at point of exit. One couldn't help but wonder what happened to the exhaust plume as it exited the stack within legal limits only to meet with un-monitored M6 & A5 traffic generated pollution a few hundred metres away - where testing doesn't occur.

The Stop the Gailey Freight Hub group will be measuring air quality levels at key points around the site.

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ECOLOGY (Flora & Fauna)


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