Toxic waste back on the agenda

In what is a very unusual move, the local Draycott in the Moors Parish Council has decided to start its next meeting thirty minutes early – to allow a full discussion of a very thorny topic.
The subject is  one that has been bubbling under ever since the saga of the Cresswell power station back in 2009:  is there or isn’t there a problem from old toxic waste landfill sites in Cresswell?
One member of the parish council told us that it was hoped that this meeting would help “to settle this matter once and for all”.

To help explain the situation – and listen to residents’ concerns – a guest expert has been invited along. Dr Daniel McCrory is the Pollution Officer in Staffordshire Moorlands District Council’s Environmental Health Department and he will be there from 7pm onwards.

The meeting starts at 7pm on Monday 19th November – for details, click here. All are welcome.

Waste

There seems no doubt that, during the times that the Blythe Colours Works factory operated in Cresswell, it was allowed – quite legally – to bury toxic waste.
Blythe Colours wound down, for the most part, in 1992, and its old site is now the Blythe Business Park.

On the Government’s Environment Agency website, the landfill spots around here are marked quite clearly – see EA’s Historic Landfill in Cresswell map.  The landfill sites are listed on here as ‘closed off’.

Another of the EA’s maps, the Local Pollution Map, records incidents of industrial pollution round here. This map indicates that ‘compliance’ – that is, sorting out the pollution when it has occurred – has been carried out properly in this area.

So – what then are the outstanding issues that the Parish Council wants to se discussed?

Concerns

Ever since its campaign to halt the planned power station, the local residents’ group VVSM, has had concerns about the waste-landfill sites in this area.
Members of the group say they have spoken to former workers at the Colours factory about the way landfill was carried out, and they are in fact continuing to this day to interview former employees.
(A questionnaire has been circulated by VVSM for people who used to work at Blythe Colours – if you have not seen it, and would like a copy, email VVSM or phone 07982862654).
They say that what they have found out gives them cause for concern.  In fact, earlier this year, VVSM submitted a twenty-five page document to the Staffordshire Moorlands District Council outlining their researches.

So, among other questions, VVSM still wish to ask a few in particular.
They want to know…   Are there other unmarked, waste landfill sites in Cresswell?  How were the sites sealed?  Would they be considered safely-sealed by today’s standards?  What would happen if the chemicals from these sites began to seep out?

It is these questions, and others, that the Parish Council would hope to see resolved on Monday.   Cresswell residents, especially, may want to be present…

Related links
Staffordshire Moorlands District Council’s Policy on Contaminated Land
Contaminated Land – a national resources on the web

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