It has been very disturbing to see the news that there have been 4 further breaches of the permit at Walley's Quarry landfill, 3 of the most serious category [C1] for the first time in the history of the site.
This means that Walley's Quarry Ltd are now in Band F for compliance, the lowest of the Environment Agency bands, which comes with financial penalties to the company.
And to quote from the guidance: "Sites in compliance bands E and F must significantly improve in order to achieve permit compliance. These sites are more likely to have their permit revoked unless there is substantial evidence that they are working towards achieving compliance in a timely manner."
Given the further breaches in January, when they were already in Band E, I do not believe that Walley's Quarry can be said to be "working towards achieving compliance in a timely manner". It is surely time for their permit to be revoked.
Considering the last year and half of campaigning, regulation and attention on this site, it is a disgrace that Walley's Quarry Ltd are currently performing worse than ever, and I have raised this matter immediately with the Secretary of State George Eustice MP and the Waste Minister Jo Churchill MP.
Jo agrees with me that this is a totally unacceptable position to be in and she has demanded a meeting with the Environment Agency to ask them to explain what action they intend to take to resolve this situation as soon as possible.
Given the ongoing odour, it is clear that the EA's strategy is totally failing residents of the Borough. They must now explain how they are going to change their approach to bring about the changes we need to see on site. I understand that they cannot give a running commentary on the investigation into alleged criminal activity, but I hope this will be brought to a head soon.
I also met this morning with members of the Borough Council Cabinet to update them on the situation, where this issue and others was raised. I understand that the Leaders and Chief Executives of the Borough and County Councils are meeting this afternoon to discuss Walley's.
The Borough Council have also provided an update on their legal case against the landfill, which can be read here.