By Oliver Farrimond
A SCOTTISH power station has been branded the filthiest in Europe.
The coal-fired plant at Cockenzie belches out pollution that causes acid rain.
A new report by energy watchdog Entec found the East Lothian power generator spews out 50 per-cent more nitrogen oxide than its nearest offender.
Longannet power station near Fife was also named as one of Europe’s worst polluters.
This is despite new technology being introduced to the plant – once Europe’s largest – to reduce emissions in 1999.
Richard Dixon, director of environmental group WWF, said: “NOx emissions add to acid rain problems all over Europe and create local air pollution problems.
“It’s very bad news for those with complaints like asthma or emphysema.”
Nitrogen oxide – or NOx – is a deadly gas that causes breathing difficulties, stunts the growth of crops and can even form smog.
The Institute of Occupational Medicine estimates that air pollution from traffic and industry kills more than 600 Scots every year
Scottish Power insisted that they are investing over £35 million pounds to reduce emissions levels from Scotland’s polluting power stations.
A spokesman for the energy giants said:” We are trying to ensure that harmful emissions do not impact local air quality.
“Scottish Power carries out air quality modeling annually at Cockenzie, using the latest software.
“The station also complies with legislation on emission controls.”
The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency agreed, saying the improvements were underway at both plants to reduce the spread of deadly pollutants.
The UK dominates the environmental hall of shame – the top three of Europe’s worst polluting power stations are based in Great Britain.
Plants in the UK released 385,000 tonnes of NOx between 2004 and 2006, almost 100,000 more than the Spain, the nearest offender.