Two public engagement sessions will be held in Trewern and Middletown following the commission of a Health Impact Assessment (HIA) on the proposed Buttington Energy Recovery Facility.

The sessions have been arranged for Wednesday, July 10 and Thursday, July 11, and will be run by Environmental Compliance Limited (ECL).

The first session will take place at Middletown Village Hall on Wednesday from 10am to 6pm and the second at Trewern Community Centre on Thursday from 8pm to 10pm, to ensure everyone has a chance to attend.

ECL, as informed by Wales Health Impact Assessment Support Unit (WHIASU), is the only non-public sector organisation in Wales with employees that have HIA-certificated training issued by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health Wales.

A spokesperson for ECL commented: "The HIA seeks to gather information and knowledge from relevant stakeholders and those potentially affected by the project to help inform the project delivery.

"This is achieved by assessing, in an objective and systematic process, both potential positive and negative impacts of a proposal on health and wellbeing.

"The assessment process views health in its broadest sense and utilises the framework that has developed around the concept of the wider determinants of health."

The proposed energy recovery facility (ERF) at Buttington will use state-of-the-art technology, provided by Hitachi Zosen Inova (HZI), which has a significant track record in building such facilities. It will be capable of processing up to 150,000 tonnes of non-recyclable waste transformed into low-carbon electricity capable of providing electricity to more than 20,000 homes.

The operation of an ERF plant has a number of potential impacts, such as odour, dust, noise, air quality impacts (not just emissions from the plant but vehicle movements associated with it), waste bottom ash disposal, potential impact on ecology and pollution of sensitive sites. These impacts require addressing and either eliminating or mitigating to an acceptable degree.

In order to understand the significance of the proposed development on local health and the environment, and with cross reference to existing health data, a greater understanding is required of the local area and those that live there. Consequently, participation and collaboration with stakeholders, and access to local knowledge, is a critical part of the HIA process.

Alistair Hilditch-Brown, Chief Executive of the Broad Energy Group, believes his proposal is a positive step in helping the region deliver strong employment and cheaper renewable energy. It will also assist the county of Powys in dealing with its waste without transporting it significant distances or landfilling it.

He said: "We have been extremely open when it comes to listening and encouraging the views of others. These public engagement sessions are the latest step in this process and we have tried to ensure everyone can attend by holding them both in the day and in the evening.

"Of course, we cannot escape the fact that waste which can't be recycled ends up in a landfill site, or worse. By taking waste and turning it into low-carbon electricity and heating, this project will help Wales take a giant step towards its target of achieving zero waste by 2050."

If you would like further information, or have any questions, email or telephone 0800 130 3353.