Walleys Quarry Landfill Site - Latest Update

Closes 1 Mar 2022

Opened 3 Feb 2020

Overview

What this Citizen Space site contains

To help everyone access information in the easiest way possible, from June 2021 we have two webpages: a latest update page and a community information page

This page shares our latest updates in relation to the Walleys Quarry Landfill Site, located at Cemetery Road, Silverdale, Newcastle under Lyme

This page contains only the most up to date information, key messages and community events about the site.

Please Note: We are working hard to ensure all reports and complaints in relation to Walleys Quarry are responded to as quickly as possible, and understand the distress felt by the local community. However, we will not tolerate inappropriate behaviour to our staff that is either threatening, abusive or violent.

Please see our Unacceptable Customer Behaviour – Position Statement which sets out what customers can expect from us. In return we ask that customers respect our staff.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/552592/LIT_10503.pdf

You have our assurance that we are doing our best to deal with every enquiry.

Community information page

You can find our previous updates and historical information on Walleys Quarry on our Community information page here. This page provides all the background and contains our previous updates about the site, historical information and related technical documents.

Contents:

1. Latest news this month on our regulatory work

2. Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

3. Community engagement

4. How we are working with others to regulate the site

5. Air Quality Monitoring update

6. Health update

7. How to contact us

 

1. Latest news this month on our regulatory work

This week's news - 15 October 2021

We have developed this weekly update to help keep the community of Newcastle under Lyme, and wider area, up-to-date with developments around our regulation of Walleys Quarry landfill.  

Walleys Quarry Ltd are responsible for the hydrogen sulphide emissions escaping from their site. As regulator we are committed to making sure the operator tackles the problems at Walleys Quarry, to improve things for everyone, as quickly as possible. Our team of regulators continues to put pressure on the operator to take the necessary measures to resolve the hydrogen sulphide issues.

News in brief

  • Reducing hydrogen sulphide emissions from Walleys Quarry

We have published our plan to reduce hydrogen sulphide emissions at Walleys Quarry. 

We’ve re-evaluated our regulatory approach following the outcome of the Judicial Review, taking into account the impact of the measures that we have already required Walleys Quarry Ltd to undertake. This plan builds on this extensive regulatory action taken to date and outlines the latest measures we’ve designed and applied, which Walleys Quarry Ltd is required to implement in the coming months to further improve control of hydrogen sulphide emissions.

Walleys Quarry Ltd to are required to act in three key areas to manage landfill gas and hydrogen sulphide emissions outside the site boundary: contain the gas, capture the gas, destroy the gas. Our actions have and will continue to focus these measures aimed at controlling hydrogen sulphide.

Walleys Quarry Ltd is responsible for the hydrogen sulphide emissions escaping from its site. This plan shows our continuing work to rigorously require the operator to resolve the issue of unacceptable levels of those emissions.

Read our plan and press release.

  • Future Legal Proceedings

The Environment Agency has applied for permission to appeal the Judgment in relation to the appropriate role of the Court when considering judicial review and remedies involving regulatory decisions. The Environment Agency is responding to the requirements in the judgement and is doing all it can to get the operator to resolve the issues at the landfill as quickly as possible – and with the timescales in the Judgment firmly in mind.

  • Face to face multi-agency engagement sessions

We were really pleased to see many of you at the multi-agency drop in event that happened on Tuesday. All organisations valued the opportunity to have face to face conversations, to be able to hear from you, the concerns and experiences you have had and for us to be able to explain what we are continuing to do in dealing with this situation. 

We’ve now had virtual sessions and face to face sessions, and multi-agency partners are now planning how best talk to as many people as possible about how Walleys Quarry Landfill impacts you and how all organisations are working together to improve the situation.

  • Feedback from social media

We have received several questions via social media this week and have provided answers below:

On closing the site

Suspending the operator’s permit would not prevent hydrogen sulphide escaping from the site.

The Environment Agency does not have grounds to suspend the permit and stop waste coming onto the site. This is because the hydrogen sulphide escaping the site is coming from waste already in the landfill that is now decomposing. The Environment Agency does not believe high levels of hydrogen sulphide off site are being caused by waste deposited since Walleys Quarry Ltd made changes to their waste acceptance procedures. A permit can only be suspended where the activity is the cause of the problem. Should fresh evidence indicate that there is a problem associated with current waste being deposited at the site, we will immediately review these measures once again.

Drums that are visible on the site

Walleys Quarry Ltd can accept drums (can be known as Intermediate Bulk Containers or IBCs) for disposal at the landfill as long as they were used for non-hazardous materials or have been correctly decontaminated prior to disposal. These should be empty and preferably washed out. The drums are crushed on site before being incorporated into the waste.

At recent site visits, we have checked drums (IBCs) on site and, as part of our regulatory work checking waste coming into the site, have requested the waste transfer details of where they have come from. Through our checks we do not have reason to suspect any inappropriate waste has been used in these drums.

As part of our regulatory duties we routinely check drums on the site and the waste transfer information to make sure waste has been correctly described and disposed of, this also involves checking the site where the waste came from.

  • Online reporting

Between the 25 August and 14 September 2021 we identified that 248 reports made on our online reporting system had been assigned with the incorrect date and time of when the incident was reported to us.

We’re sorry this happened, this error was due to a part of the automated system adding an incorrect date and time for when the report was added into our National Incident Recording System. We have re-entered all 248 reports with the correct date and time of when they were reported to us. We’ve investigated thoroughly into what caused this error and have corrected the issue so that this does not happen again.

  • Latest hydrogen sulphide levels

For the week from 3-10 October, hydrogen sulphide levels were below the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) 24-hour average health guideline level to protect against short-term health effects but were above the WHO 30-minute average odour annoyance guideline level between 0% and 5% of the week. During this week we received 164 reports from local people. 

    • MMF1 - Silverdale Cemetery = 0%
    • MMF2 - Silverdale Road = 0%
    • MMF6 - Newcastle-under-Lyme Fire Station = 0.3%
    • MMF9 - Galingale View = 5%

We have instructed Walleys Quarry Ltd to make substantial improvements to reduce hydrogen sulphide levels to those assessed to be save by Public Health England. We are seeing lower levels of hydrogen sulphide escaping from the site, and whilst this is good news, we know the problem remains. You have our commitment on continuing to use our regulatory powers, as allowed by Government, to require Walleys Quarry Ltd to bring hydrogen sulphide emissions under control.

We are updating the information on this webpage every week.  To receive notifications, email your contact details to: Engagement_WestMids@environment-agency.gov.uk and we will add you to our mailing list. 

See Staffordshire County Council website for information on public health impacts of odours in the Silverdale and wider Newcastle under Lyme area. 

Walleys Quarry website:  https://walleysquarry.co.uk/ 

 

Previous news

15 October 2021

7 October 2021

30 September 2021

23 September 2021

15 September 2021

9 September 2021

2 September 2021

26 August 2021 

19 August 2021

12 August 2021

5 August 2021

29 July 2021

22 July 2021

15 July 2021

8 July 2021

1 July 2021

24 June 2021

17 June 2021

10 June 2021

 

2. Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

We understand that you may have questions regarding landfills and how they work as well as more specific questions concerning this site.

We have put together a document that includes FAQs from your community concerning Walleys Quarry and generic landfill information that covers a wider range of questions from odour to pests. We hope this will be able to reassure and answer any questions that you may have about the site. The document can be viewed here.

To complement the FAQs we have also developed a timeline. This shows the site’s history and our regulation so that you can understand our actions to date. You can view the timeline here.

If after referring to these documents you would still like to ask a question please attend one of our community engagement events or email us Enquiries_Westmids@environment-agency.gov.uk to let us know.

3.Community engagement

We are holding community engagement events to ensure you understand what action we are taking and to have an opportunity to ask questions.

For information on engagement by multi agency partners please see Section 4 of this page.

Community engagement session - 3 August 2021

A second multi-agency virtual engagement session was held on Tuesday 3 August, with representatives from the Environment Agency, Public Health England (now UK Health Security Agency), Staffordshire County Council and Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council and the North Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (who represent GPs in the area) on hand to answer your questions. The recording is available here. A transcript is available here.

Community engagement session -  23 June 2021

Previous sessions

These virtual meetings were an opportunity for the community to hear an update on Environment Agency actions and next steps first hand as well as having the opportunity to ask us questions which might include our regulation, the work we have told Walleys Quarry Ltd to carry out, etc.

Community engagement session - 9 June 2021

Community engagement session - 26 May 2021

Future sessions

We are holding community engagement events to ensure you understand what action we are taking and to have an opportunity to ask questions. Our next sessions are: 

Community engagement session (virtual) – 

Specific dial in details will be added here and released in the our latest update

Community engagement session (face to face)

More details will be announced on this page, as these sessions will be dependent on COVID restrictions and guidance.

4. How we are working with others to regulating the site

Multi agency response

Over a number of years, we have been working with partners to address local community concerns about Walleys Quarry Landfill. We have put in place and are supporting a multi-agency response to deal with the current odour issues. This includes working with the Local Resilience Forum that also help coordinate regulatory, engagement and communication responses. This ensures different issues are tackled in coordinated way across multiple partners, each with different responsibilities. They include:

  • The Environment Agency
  • Staffordshire County Council
  • Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council
  • UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA - formerly Public Health England)

Engagement by multi agency partners

For media statements and community engagement events held by multi agency partners please see informationa and links below:

Tuesday 6 July from 5.30pm to 7.00pm

The Strategic Coordinating Group (SCG) of Staffordshire Resilience Forum agencies will be holding a virtual community engagement event on Tuesday 6 July from 5.30pm to 7.00pm. Representatives from the Environment Agency, Public Health England (now UKHSA), the NHS, and officers from Staffordshire County Council and Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council will be taking part. An update on the situation, the impact on health, and progress on actions being taken to reduce the air pollution will be given, followed by an opportunity for people to ask questions. People can log on at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8137051666089376524 

Walleys Quarry Liaison Meetings

We also attend regular community liaison meetings that are facilitated by the operator Walleys Quarry Ltd. and are part of their planning permission issued by Staffordshire County Council.

More Information

- Red Industries - Staffordshire County Council - Councillors of Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council - Offices of Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council - Silverdale Parish Council - Environment Agency - Knutton representative - Thistleberry Residents Association - Local Resident - Poolfields Residents Association

More Information

Environment Agency
We regulate the two environmental permits held by the operator for the landfill. The permit covers on-site activities with the aim of minimising the impact on the local environment in terms of air quality, noise, odour, dust, leachate and impacts to groundwater. We enforce that permit through monitoring and undertaking site visits (both announced and unannounced) and where needed we take enforcement action to address compliance issues. Should you have concerns with regards to odour outside of the site boundaries, pests or any other pollution matters relating to the sites please see the ‘How to contact us section’
 
Staffordshire County Council
Staffordshire County Council is responsible for determining planning permission across the area. Our comments on planning applications. The Council also has responsibilities for traffic movement. This is part of planning permission for the site and is not included in our permit conditions.
 
Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council
Newcastle under Lyme Borough Council is responsible for regularly monitoring air quality across the area, to ensure that it does not impact human health. The council is also responsible for statutory nuisance, and assessing odour in property.
 
UK Health Security Agency UKHSA (formerly Public Health England)
UKHSA is an executive agency of the Department of Health and Social Care, and a distinct organisation with operational autonomy. They provide government, local government, the NHS, Parliament, industry and the public with evidence-based professional, scientific expertise and support. They have no statutory powers in relation to odorous sites and therefore work with multi-agency partners to ensure public health is protected. If residents have health concerns then they should contact their local GP in the first instance or ring the NHS helpline 111.

Further information

If you would like to find out more about these meetings including the meeting notes please follow the link below: https://www.redindustries.co.uk/walleys-landfill-community/

If any further residents are interested in joining these meetings to represent the community or would like to ask Walleys Quarry Ltd any questions please email: enquiries@redindustries.co.uk

 

5. Air Quality Monitoring

Picture 4: Galingale View- Air Quality monitoring specialist mobile monitoring

Picture 1: Galingale View- Air Quality monitoring specialist mobile monitoring

We are committed to regularly sharing the results from our air quality monitoring that we have underway around the site.

Towards the end of February 2021, we installed two specialist mobile monitoring facilities, located at Galingale View and Silverdale pumping station.

We also agreed with partners to install a further two, to support our multi-agency response to the issues at Walleys Landfill.  On Friday 23 April 2021, we installed these ust off Cemetery Road.

The mobile monitoring facilities are purposely placed in areas where we observe landfill gas, taking account of local geography, and available power supplies. They are funded by the Environment Agency to support our regulatory work but as they can also be used to provide information to health professionals to make health assessments, two are partly funded by Newcastle under Lyme Borough Council and Staffordshire County Council. The mobile monitoring facilities began collecting data at the beginning of March 2021 and we expect to continue till March 2022 or further if required.

Monitoring and data 

The units monitor parameters related to landfill gas, including methane (CH4), particulates (PM), sulphur dioxide (SO2) and hydrogen sulphide (H2S) - this is the one that smells like rotten eggs.  The units also have the capacity to collect weather data, which is important in determining how gases and odours travel and disperse in the environment.   

Data from the units have been collated into monthly reports which we share with UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA - formerly Public Health England) to provide expert opinion on any human health impacts.

The data has been used to assess the type, time and nature of the emissions from the site.  We have also shared this information with Staffordshire County Council and Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, which is vital for us to tackle the issues of odour coming from the operations of the Landfill. 

Air quality monitoring reports 

We provide various reports and sets of data that is publicly available and we want to clearly explain how and when these will be produced.  

Exceedance Report

If the levels of hydrogen sulphide exceed the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) guideline level for health impacts (this is recorded over a 24hr average) we will inform all partners immediately and produce report within 48hrs. Public Health England will be immediately informed so advice can be issued from our public health partners Staffordshire County Council. We call this an Exceedance Report. We have not had to issue one of these since the very high levels of hydrogen sulphide were recorded in March.

Weekly Summary Report

We produce Weekly Summary Reports that sets out the percentage of time each monitoring station has spent above:

  • The WHO guideline level for health impacts for hydrogen sulphide (this is recorded over a 24hr average)  
  • The WHO’s guideline level for odour annoyance for hydrogen sulphide (30 minute average).

This is shared with UK Health Security Agency (formerly Public Health England) and we publish these on these web pages.  

Monthly Air Quality Report

We produce a Monthly Air Quality Report which provides information on the data recorded. This is also published on these webpages along with the UKHSA report: UKHSA Health Risk Assessment Air Quality Monitoring.

Final Report

At some point (to be detetmined by partners and what is happening at the landfill), we will produce a Final Report which will provide a detailed assessment.

Task Specific Analysis

We are also using the data to identify trends, correlate the data with weather patterns, look at the time and day of increases (and decreases), weather analysis and if certain activities on the site or in the local area, contribute to the issues. This is ongoing internal work and used to inform our regulatory activities. These will be included in our Final Report if appropriate.

The Environment Agency conducts all its monitoring and data handling using approved standards and methodologies and is externally audited. As a result, the data we use in our reports is called ‘rectified data’. This is data that is has had calibrations applied and some basic quality assurance checking carried out but it is still likely to change once calibrations are applied to the full data set at the end of the study. This is a standard approach that needs to be taken when conducting highly sensitive air quality monitoring.

August 2021

UKHSA (formerly PHE) Health Risk Assessment Air Quality Monitoring report - August 2021

Monthly Air Quality Report - August 2021

Silverdale Air Quality Data Set; please note this covers March-August 2021

July 2021

Monthly Air Quality Report - July 2021

PHE Health Risk Assessment Air Quality Monitoring July 2021 

June 2021

Monthly Air Quality Report - June 2021

PHE Health Risk Assessment Air Quality Monitoring June 2021

May 2021

Monthly Air Quality Report - May 2021

PHE Health Risk Assessment Air Quality Monitoring May 2021

April 2021

Monthly Air Quality Report - April 2021

PHE Health Risk Assessment Air Quality Monitoring April 2021

 

Previous Air Quality Monitoring (2017-19)

We have previously installed specialist air quality monitoring equipment in 2018 and 2019 to enable us to further understand the potential impact on air quality from Walleys Quarry landfill site.

This equipment was installed on:

6 July 2017 - 14 February 2018 on the pumping station off Silverdale Road

15 January 2019 - 25 June 2019 near the northern boundary of the site, on the grounds of Garner’s Garden Centre
 Summaries of the previous air quality monitoring reports are available to view below and full reports can be provided on request.

Walleys quarry report summary 2019

Walleys quarry report summary 2017-2018

The Public Health England (PHE) response to the Air Quality Monitoring carried out in 2017-2019 is linked here.

6. Health update

It is important to note, that it is not our role and we are not qualified to give health advice to the public.  If residents have health concerns our advice is to speak to their local GP.  The local authority’s Environmental Health Department and Public Health England will be able to provide appropriate advice to local GP’s.  Both organisations are represented on the Walley’s Quarry local liaison group.

More Information

We recognise that odour is a nuisance which can cause stress and anxiety, and some people may experience symptoms such as nausea, headaches or dizziness even when a substance that causes the smells is not harmful to health at the concentrations present. If people have any health concerns, they should contact their local GP or ring the NHS helpline 111.

More Information

Staffordshire county council are asking people who live near to Walleys Quarry, to share valuable information to help better understand and monitor the impact that Walleys Quarry is having on residents’ health. They are asking residents to complete a simple questionnaire, on a daily basis, to inform them of the symptoms residents are experiencing, as a result of Walleys Quarry https://www.staffordshire.gov.uk/Care-for-all-ages/Publichealth/Walleys-Quarry/Smell-and-symptom-tracker.aspx

More Information

If you would like to talk to someone about any mental wellbeing issues there are a number of sources of help, listed here: https://www.staffordshire.gov.uk/Advice-support-and-care-for-adults/Keeping-well-and-staying-healthy/Mental-health.aspx Anyone experiencing significant mental health issues should see their GP for a referral to Primary Care Mental health services.

More Information (incl PHE's review of AQM data)

UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA - formerly Public Health England) is aware of the ongoing odour situation around Walleys Quarry landfill site. They continue to support multiagency partners in the response to the situation. UKHSA supports the EA to interpret any monitoring data and identify any potential impact on health. UKHSA's / PHEs review of the April air quality monitoring data can be seen here.

7. How to contact us

More Information

Please use our online reporting form. All reports are logged and a unique reference number is generated for each report. This unique reference number will be shared with you using the contact details provided. The report will be sent to the relevant team for investigation. If you are unable to use the online form, please report your odour issues to us via 0800 80 70 60. Due to the high volume of reports about this site if you would like feedback on your report please email Enquiries_WestMids@environment-agency.gov.uk to be added to our mailing list to receive our updates directly.

 

Please also see the Accessibility Statement, Cookies Policy and Privacy Notice in relation to the online reporting form.

More Information

If you wish to log a complaint (a complaint is any expression of dissatisfaction made against us, a member of our staff or anyone working on our behalf), please email Enquiries_WestMids@environment-agency.gov.uk

More Information

If you wish to submit a general enquiry or Freedom of Information/Environmental Information Regulations request: Please contact our Enquiries Team via Enquiries_WestMids@environment-agency.gov.uk . This email address should not be used for reporting odour issues with the site as this may delay the logging of your report instead please email us here. This link will open a template email for you to complete and send to our Incident Communications Service (ICS).

More Information

Our staff being present on site and in the local area is a critical part of our response. It is something we have always prioritised and that we have stepped up since the beginning of this year. We plan to continue with this. Unfortunately we have recently had inappropriate behaviour and threats directed towards our staff from a minority of people. We know you are frustrated and angry and our staff will be professional and fair when they deal with members of the community. In return we ask the community to respect our staff whether this is in person or over the phone. We will not tolerate any abuse of our staff and will report any incidents to Staffordshire Police attributed to the site.

If you have any feedback about this page or use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of any document in a more accessible format, please email Engagement_WestMids@environment-agency.gov.uk Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.

Audiences

  • Businesses
  • Members of the public
  • Elected representatives, including MPs
  • Local councils
  • Environment Agency customers
  • Environment Agency colleagues

Interests

  • Business and industry
  • Waste
  • Permits
  • Environmental permitting
  • Installation