The National Environmental Tribunal yesterday heard the Lamu Coal project ignored effects of air pollution on public health.
An energy expert testifying before the tribunal in Nairobi said the National Environment Management Authority (Nema) ignored the project’s impact in its environment impact assessment study.
Lauri Myllyvirta, an air pollution expert at Green Peace, an organisation based in Asia, testified that the Lamu Coal power project emission limits were lax compared to recommended levels.
This, he said, could expose hundreds of thousands of area residents to elevated pollution levels, which could have severe health implications.
He told the tribunal the project could result in approximately 1,600 premature deaths if the proposed plant goes into operation.
“The Lamu Coal Mine project would emit five to 10 times more air pollution as new coal plants are allowed to emit in China,” said Mr Lauri.
Among the pollutants of concern are Nitrogen Dioxide.