Thursday, 24 September 2009

Airport noise pollution and Steve Ladyman, is he missing the main point?

I see that our MP Steve Ladyman has entered the local internet Kent International Airport debate with an online survey click on the link to take part you have to scroll down the page a bit to find the survey.

I must admit to wondering if he is asking the right questions here with the Stour estuary coming up on the BBC news website as one of the most polluted in Europe see the map above comes from the article.

An interesting point on internet copyright here as I haven’t copied the map but just pointed the blog to show it from where it is hosted on the BBC website, does this constitute an infringement of their copyright?

When people do this to me without asking I am inclined to change the image to The Lacedaemonian Ambasadors, although obviously a very rude Illustration it was done by Aubrey Beardsley for the 1896 edition of Lysistrata by Aristophanes so it is a bit difficult to criticise.

Sorry I digress, the latest figures from the Environment Agency show the River Stour to be one of the most polluted in Europe this is one source for our drinking and agricultural water needs and it flows into the internationally acclaimed wetland Pegwell Bay.

Kent International Airport is on top of another of our drinking water sources, the underground aquifer and drainage, that doesn’t comply with the most basic safety standards, from the airport flows into Pegwell Bay.

The problem here is that the airport doesn’t comply with the Environment Agency’s water pollution requirements click on the links for a few documents that confirm what I am saying here.

My concern here is that we are meandering into a situation where badly regulated airport expansion combined with the multitude of other pollution problems here in Thanet could lead to an incident that could both put a considerable strain on out drinking water supply and make local agriculture including Thanet Earth a thing of the past.

Perhaps the question we should all be addressing is; should airport operation be allowed at all, until the airport conforms with basic environmental safeguards that the Environment Agency have been asking for, for a number of years.

Now I know noise at night is a serious concern although since the changes in the licensing of pubs and takeaways I can’t see that things could be much worse for us poor devils that have to live in the town centres. If you need any confirmation that our environment is now pretty much uninhabitable at night wander down Queen Street in Ramsgate, where you will see about 10 broken shop windows caused yet another bout of noisy and antisocial behaviour in the early hours of the morning.

Surely though the most important issue here is sustainable agriculture, fisheries and water supply, this issue should be our foremost priority when considering the airport and other commercial activities.

I find it hard to believe that the large and serious businesses that we so desperately need to invest in Thanet would even look at us twice while basic safety issues in the area have such a low priority.

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