Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council have issued a statement this evening - please see the link below for the full wording. I have shared some key paragraphs.
The Council has previously said that, while it needs to work with the EA to hold the operator to account, it is working independently to gather evidence for a nuisance abatement notice on the site.
The Environment Agency is the regulator for both the landfill site and the environmental permitting regime, which takes precedence over the Council’s statutory nuisance powers. The scale of the problem, however, has led to the Council to undertake the process for this action. This would mean acknowledging that the EA have failed to adequately regulate the site and the operator.
Simon Tagg, Leader of the Council, is quoted: “Our environmental teams have been working through the night in recent weeks to respond to calls and visit homes while the odour is affecting families. The smell is even worse at night and insomnia and lack of sleep make everything else worse for everyone.
“I commend our officers’ dedication to supporting our residents, they are working tirelessly. And, I thank the residents who have allowed such intense access to their homes – often late at night. This is helping the Council to gather the required evidence for a nuisance abatement notice against the landfill operator.”
“We had hoped that Red Industries and the EA would have had residents’ health and quality of life as their priority all along. But I agree with residents that they are going too slow and being too ineffective in their actions. They have to stop, once and for all, the very real problems that communities are facing because of the vile stink.”