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Agency finds further permit breaches at Walley’s Quarry

By 27/05/2021News

The Environment Agency said yesterday (26 May) it had found five further permit breaches at the Walley’s Quarry landfill site operated by Red Industries near Newcastle-under-Lyme.

The controversial site in the Staffordshire village of Silverdale has been the subject of protests due to its smell.

The Walley’s Quarry landfill site pictured in November 2016 (picture: Red Industries)

Red Industries had already been found in breach of its permit on several occasions (see story). It has carried out work including capping part of the site in its attempts to comply with its permit.

The most recent permit breaches identified by the Agency take the total number to 10 and took place on 18, 19 and 21 May.

The Agency says the breaches relate to a late surface emissions survey and inadequate related remedial work, failure to review the procedures for managing dust on site, and odours offsite being directly attributed to the site.

Walleys Quarry Ltd, the subsidiary set up by Red Industries to manage the site, was issued with three compliance assessment reports identifying the five breaches and the actions required to reduce odour. Compliance assessment reports form part of the Agency’s formal regulation.

This week, Aaron Bell, Conservative MP for Newcastle-Under-Lyme, said the site’s “stink” was identifiable even inside cinemas in the town.

Red Industries was approached for comment.

‘A matter of urgency’

A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said: “We’re sorry the community are continuing to experience odour from Walleys Quarry. We are doing everything within our powers and within current legislation to bring the operator into compliance.

“We are doing everything within our powers and within current legislation to bring the operator into compliance”

Environment Agency

“This will take time and is not because we are not doing anything or don’t care. It’s because, like anything involving legal processes, we have to ensure it is right and will be successful.

“We have issued Walleys Quarry Ltd with a large number of actions to complete, most in a very short period of time. This work needs to be done as a matter of urgency given the ongoing odours the local community are suffering from.”

The Agency held an online engagement event yesterday, giving Newcastle-under-Lyme residents the opportunity to ask questions.

Local authorities in the area have expressed frustration at the Agency’s handling of the situation, suggesting the regulator has not been hard enough on Red Industries. Simon Tagg, Conservative leader of Newcastle-under-Lyme borough council, wrote to Prime Minister Boris Johnson on 26 March to request an independent investigation into the regulatory performance of the Environment Agency in their handling of site’s permit.


To rectify the permit breaches, the Environment Agency says Red Industries must complete the actions it identified following its surface emissions survey work by 1 June.

It must also repeat a full surface emissions survey by 18 June and report its findings by 25 June to allow the regulator to evaluate the effectiveness of the actions.

Red Industries needs to investigate the integrity of its gas utilisation plant and flares system, submit a detailed report of findings by 4 June and complete a methane flux box survey by 14 June.

Finally, it must also submit a revised dust management plan by 14 June.

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Source: Waste Managment