With local residents firmly against Lithgow being the potential home for a waste incinerator after two western Sydney sites were ruled out, local government and political parties have made their stance clear.
But Deputy premier and Bathurst MP Paul Toole hasn't confirmed or denied whether he approves of the waste incinerator being brought to Lithgow, instead stating that he wants to "ensure we do the right thing by our community."
According to Mr Toole "that means getting a full understanding of what is being proposed, to ensure no impacts on the environment or human health, how traffic concerns would be dealt with and are their significant job creation potential".
"We owe it to our community to make sure we do our homework on all these factors to ensure we are fully informed," he said.
The government has identified West Lithgow Precinct, Parkes Special Activation Precinct, Richmond Valley Regional Jobs Precinct and Southern Goulburn-Mulwaree Precinct as potential locations to host waste-to-energy power stations.
Lithgow Council has come out in opposition of a proposed plan to truck waste from over the mountains to be burned at a facility in Lithgow that would generate electricity.
The plan involves the incineration of residue waste material, with some of the energy stored in the material being recovered for conversion to electricity. Residue waste is not able to be recycled. It is substantially paper, plastics and organic material.
"We have been blindsided by this proposal. There has been no consultation with the council or our community," Mayor Ray Thompson said at the time.
"In a briefing after announcement of this plan, we were told that before January the NSW Government intends to exhibit for just 28 days a regulation that would approve this plan.
"We also heard that Sydney requires four of these facilities by 2040. Under this plan, they will surely be placed in Lithgow and Goulburn because of proximity to Sydney.
"We don't understand why or accept that these activities should be concentrated in Lithgow and yet not allowed in Sydney where the bulk of the waste is created."
Cr Thompson said communities oppose these developments for good reason.
"Even the government's advice acknowledges that food production needs to be limited around these facilities and as technology improves the air emissions will need to be further restricted.
"I know that the Council's decision reflects the opinion of our community. This is a poor plan for Lithgow."
Nature Conservation Council Chief Executive Chris Gambian said the plan is environmentally dangerous.
"Sydney should not merely export its environmental problems to the regions," he said.
"We believe that incineration is environmentally harmful and unsustainable. But if the government is going to proceed this way, these facilities must conform to world's best practice."
Brad Smith from the Nature Conservation Council said the project could bring its own set of issues to the Lithgow area if it went ahead.
He cited a recent air quality survey that was done in the Lithgow and Blue Mountains area showed the area had decent air quality, but warned the tests didn't look for the kinds of pollutants that an incinerator would emit.
The year-long study found the Blue Mountains and Lithgow region enjoys air quality that is generally very good, with air pollutants below health-based Australian air quality standards.
"Some of the pollutants that this project would emit, like sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides haven't been monitored in the AIR. So we don't have any data on that, unfortunately," he said.
Blue Mountains Greens Cr Brent Hoare said having a "toxic" incinerator on the doorstep of the World Heritage-listed national park was a "ludicrous proposal".
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