Landfilling of waste has been put on temporary hold at the Clayton Hall landfill site from 7 February.
The decision follows a meeting between the Environment Agency and Quercia Ltd’s Chief Executive and Managing Director on Monday 5 February.
At the meeting, Environment Agency officers made clear that the initial engineering works required of the company as a consequence of the Section 36 Enforcement Notice served on 26 January had not led to improvements and that further enforcement action would now be forthcoming.
Environment Agency Manager, John Neville said: “We understand that landfill odours have been and continue to be extremely distressing for residents in the area. Our priority has been to ensure the operator of Clayton Hall Landfill Site, Quercia Ltd, resolves the odour problem as soon as possible.
“We have been very clear with the operator that they need to take all necessary steps to address this as an absolute priority and we served an enforcement notice to reinforce that message.
“However, it is clear that the first stage of those works, which involved the installation of seven additional gas wells, have not had led to the required improvements and that people are still experiencing persistent landfill odours.
“This is unacceptable and further action is now required without delay. All the resources of the site should now be focussed towards delivering a solution. We have served an additional enforcement notice to suspend waste acceptance into the landfill with steps needed to more quickly cover areas of the landfill where gas is being released to the air.
“We have also requested that the operator takes steps to better inform local residents of progress on site.”
Persistent landfill odours have been detected by Environment Agency officers over the last few weeks in over 1,000 individual air monitoring samples taken at locations where residents have reported the smell is the strongest.
Public Health England would not expect there to be any long-term health consequences from the exposure that the monitoring to date has shown. However, the levels detected may cause discomfort and some mild short-term health effects including possible eye irritation. People who would like help dealing with symptoms should contact their GP or call NHS 111.”
If you are experiencing landfill odours, we would urge you to report it to our incident hotline on 0800 80 70 60. Our officers continue to conduct air monitoring in response to calls from the public. We are also installing a monitoring station Spring Meadow Community Centre to monitor air quality 24/7. This is expected to provide a clearer picture of the levels of hydrogen sulphide in the air.
Further information is available online at: https://consult.environment-agency.gov.uk/cumbria-and-lancashire/clayton-hall-landfill-site-whittle-le-woods-lancs