With air quality around the Isle being of interest at the moment and with at least 5 sites showing excessive levels of nitrogen di-oxide (NO2), it might be interesting to remember that Thanet was once a location that attracted not only TB patients but also asthmatic children to many small independent schools to breathe our nice clean air. Now we seem to have more asthma cases, lung disorders and lung cancer than anywhere else in Kent.
In December, Tim Garbutt asked the MOD about the fires being burned at Manston by The Defence Fire School. Here is the information he received and please visit www.lovekentloveramsgate.blogspot.com to learn more about lack of air quality and an even greater lack of monitoring:
In 2009 there were 1,009 fires at MOD Manston for firefighter training.About 92,500 litres of foam concentrate was used.Interestingly there was £17k of non-MOD revenue and and a cost of the water of £36k.The water and foam runoff was drained into the sewerage system.Foam wasn't used on any grassed areas and - gulp - monitoring was undertaken by TDC and Amanda Berry.
A member of the 'Strife' team was assigned two weeks ago to 'capture' the effects of the training fires at Manston. The first picture, taken last week, shows the pollution blowing in the normal (SW wind driven) direction over our built up areas and was taken at Tesco car-park in Westwood Cross. The picture below, taken on Tuesday, shows one of two fires sending pollution out in a safer direction driven by an E wind.
Readers need to remember that our prominent winds are from the SW and that the average of 3 fires a day at Manston thus sends pollution over our main urban areas over the Isle on a regular and continuous basis. I am not an expert in these matters but it seems to me that as our Council shows disregard for pollution of our aquifer and pollution in the air, can it really claim to be following sustainable environmental policies? What would an air quality monitor at the main Westwood Cross roundabout reveal about pollutants at 2pm on an average Saturday traffic grid-lock there?