Impact of the Hunutlu Thermal Power Plant on air quality and public health
Adana is breathing very polluted air. The PM10 particulate matter concentration measured in Adana city centre in 2019 by the Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation was two times above Turkey’s national limit value and four times above the limit values specified by the World Health Organisation in order to protect human health. Adana is breathing this pollution throughout the year. According to the measurements of the Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation, a person who lives in the centre of Adana breathed this polluted air on 236 out of 365 days, that is 65 % of the year, in 2019. Whereas, if this pollution had been reduced to bring it below the limit value recommended by the World Health Organisation, the deaths of 2,702 people, that is 1 out of every 5 deaths, could have been prevented in Adana in 2019.
Although this pollution in the city centre comes from more than one source, we can say that the Sugözü and Tufanbeyli Coal-Fired Thermal Power Plants in Adana, Atlas Import Coal-Fired Thermal Power Plant in Hatay, the heavy industry facilities and sub-sectors in Iskenderun Bay are the main sources of this pollution. The air quality measurement dated June 2013 in the environmental impact assessment of the Hunutlu Import Coal-Fired Thermal Power Plant also verifies this finding.
The air pollution measurements made in the area where the power plant will be established are above our applicable / updated legislation. There is no instant data flow concerning air quality in most power plants in Iskenderun Bay and the flue gas measurements of the power plants are not shared instantly or annually. However, in EU member states the pollution data of all the big polluters, including thermal power plants, is shared with the public for each individual plant. Our request to the decision-makers is that Turkey should also share the pollution data in a transparent manner, informing the public and civil society.
While air polluting emissions can be carried hundreds of kilometres away, the air quality modelling of the Hunutlu Import Coal-Fired Thermal Power Plant was made without taking into account the Atlas Coal-Fired Thermal Power Plant, which is located at an air distance of 33 kilometres away from Hunutlu, and many other sources of pollution in Iskenderun Bay. Moreover, we see that the analysis concerning human health was not conducted in a comprehensive manner during the process of the environmental impact assessment of the power plant. For this reason, we want that the “approved EIA report” of the Hunutlu Thermal Power Plant, which is not up-to-date and sufficient, be revoked.