The full scale of environmental concerns in Europe about the £1bn power station in Pembrokeshire were revealed today. A leaked document from the European Commission says there has been a 'history of failures' in applying European environmental rules over the Pembroke plant.
The damming criticism could mean costly changes at the plant, although the site's owners say their operations have been thoroughly scrutinised. Our West Wales Reporter Kevin Ashford explains.
The European Commission's letter, seen by ITV Wales, criticises the UK government for failing to examine the environmental impacts of Pembroke power station. It says Milford Haven waterway has already 'suffered deterioration and significant disturbance.'
'Substantial impacts [of the scheme] were disregarded' by the UK government
There has been a 'history of failures' to correctly apply European environmental rules
Milford Haven waterway has 'suffered deterioration and significant disturbance from past activities'
There has been a 'failure by your [UK] government to halt damaging trends'
On Tuesday 24 October, the European Commission issued a formal notice of infringement for the Pembroke CCGT power station. The Government has two months to respond and we are currently considering our response.
– Department of Energy and Climate Change spokesman
The Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change granted consent for the construction of the new Pembroke Power Station in February 2009 after a thorough and robust determination process, which included consultation with the Environment Agency regarding operational aspects of the project.
In November 2011, the Environment Agency granted an Environmental Permit for the operation of the power station having fully considered its potential impacts and concluding that it will have no significant impact on the local environment.
Since then, no legal action has been brought against RWE npower or Pembroke Power Station and we are continuing to operate the plant in accordance with the strict conditions set out in our Environmental Permit.
RWE npower invested more than £1 billion in building the new Pembroke Power Station which produces enough energy to supply around three and a half million homes and plays a vital role in keeping supplies secure, reliable and affordable.
The European Commission has confirmed it sent a letter of 'formal notice of infringement' to the UK Government five weeks ago over the environmental impact of the new Pembroke power station, which officially opened in September.