Agenda item



That the contents of the update re[port be noted.


The Leader introduced a report on Walleys Quarry odour issues.  This was the monthly report giving an update on issues at Walley’s Quarry.


The Chief Executive presented the report and confirmed that there was still a downward trend of complaints to the Environment Agency (EA).  October saw 87 complaints compared to 206 for the same month last year. 


There had been the issue of the EA’s calibration of the three MMF machines.  On 19 October, the two MMF’s, on sites one and two had been calibrated.  Gallingale had been done in September so the report now had data from all three monitoring stations.


MMF one was showing that it was recording Hydrogen Sulphide above the annoyance threshold for almost fourteen percent of the time during the last week of October.


Due to the problems encountered with MMF data, the Council had been deploying officers to try and witness the odour and carried out assessments. During October, approximately 54 assessments were done and odours were picked up on some visits. The assessments and using the hand held monitoring devices did not find odours that were above the annoyance threshold.


The EA were continuing to check if the data over the last few years could be corrected so that a truer picture could be seen of what the Hydrogen Sulphide Levels should have been.


The Portfolio Holder for Strategic Planning stated that it was a shame that a lot of the past data had been lost but hoped that the data available now was reliable.  Concerns were raised regarding the MMF 1 site’s large rise in recording instances and the rise in complaints through October. The Chief Executive confirmed that the data was monitored closely and that it did fluctuate with weather conditions. 


The Portfolio Holder for Finance, Town Centre’s and Growth asked if there was any way that Walleys Quarry could be put on notice for this and ask them what their plans were for dealing with it.  The Chief Executive confirmed that the Council had regular dialogue with Walleys Quarry and any complaints were passed through with the Council’s comments.  The Leader asked if there was a possibility, through the agreement with Walleys Quarry and the Abatement Notice process, of sending a warning to them regarding the increasing figures.  The Chief Executive confirmed that Walleys Quarry had been written to in the past raising concerns and would continue to do so as part of the process followed.


The Leader stated that there was still a lot of concern in the community about the EA’s failure on the monitoring and it was hoped that the Council would see retrospective amended data.  Also, at the previous Cabinet meeting the Leader had mentioned that there would be a Staffordshire County Council Health Scrutiny meeting held in Castle House and Newcastle Councillors would be invited to attend.  This would look into health issues associated with the Quarry, which was a main concern for a lot of people and to talk to the health agencies.


It was understood that, at present, the EA had said that they would not be attending but may send in a report.  The Leader asked, through the SCG, that the EA be asked to attend the meeting.


Resolved:    That the contents of the update report be noted.


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