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 - 29 July 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.  

We don’t want the community to continue to live with the distress caused by landfill gas being released from the operations at Walleys Quarry landfill. We are challenging Walleys Quarry Ltd (formerly Red Industries RM Ltd) every step of the way to act to address this and to operate in line with their permits.

News in brief   

  • A multi-agency virtual engagement session is being held for the community on Tuesday 3 August, between 5.30 and 7pm. Senior officers from the Environment Agency, Public Health England, Staffordshire County Council and Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council will be available for 90 minutes, as well as a representative from the North Staffordshire CCG, which represents GPs in the area. Residents will be able to submit questions in advance, or on the night.

    The virtual session is being hosted on the Zoom platform. People can access it by PC, laptop, tablet or smart phone. Click here to join Walleys Quarry community event automatically, or join the event manually by opening up Zoom (click here) in the device browser and entering the following details: Meeting ID: 996 6909 8093 and Passcode: 940976.

    Please send all questions (directed at any of the host organisations) for the 3 August Walleys Quarry engagement event through to the following email address. Please include the following text within the email title, which will flag it for the event team: Walleys Quarry engagement event. Enquiries_Westmids@environment-agency.gov.uk.

     
     
  • Walleys Quarry Ltd were due to start work on covering the steep flanks of the landfill in mid July with new technology not yet used in the UK called Posi-Shell. They have informed us this material has not yet arrived from the USA. They anticipate it will arrive early August and we have asked the operator to deliver a revised plan for these crucial works and timeframes in getting the flanks covered.
     
  • Over the last few months we have been saddened to be on the receiving end of social media abuse. This has been particularly serious recently and has resulted in us reporting some accounts to Twitter. Those posts containing threats of violence or sexual violence will be reported to the Police. Please stick to the principles of our social media policy when engaging with us. Everyone deserves respect.
     
  • An application for a judicial review has been lodged with the High Court involving the regulatory decisions of the Environment Agency in relation to the operational activities of Walleys Quarry Limited. The Environment Agency is currently following the relevant litigation process in relation to this application and is unable to comment on matters that may appear in court. A hearing is scheduled for 18/19 August.
     
  • If you would like to talk to someone about any mental wellbeing issues, there are several sources of help on Staffordshire Council’s website. Anyone experiencing significant mental health issues should see their GP for a referral to primary care mental health services. 
     
  • For the week 19 July to 25 July, 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 16% of the week. During this week we received 645 odour reports from local people. 

Air Quality in the last week 

We are committed to sharing with you the outcome of our monthly monitoring. However, we realise local people want to see more frequent information about recorded hydrogen sulphide levels. We will seek to bring you indicative information every week in this update.  

This data will be compared against the World Health Organisation’s 24-hour average health guideline level. Should the World Health Organisation’s 24-hour average health guideline level be exceeded, Public Health England will be immediately informed as short-term health effects may be experienced by the public such as irritation to the eyes, nose and throat. Individuals with pre-existing respiratory conditions may be more susceptible to these effects. 

The data will also be compared to the World Health Organisation’s 30-minute average odour annoyance guideline level, i.e. above which there are likely to be complaints about odour annoyance.  

The Environment Agency conducts its monitoring and data handling using approved standards and methodologies. As a result, this weekly data is based on raw data that has not yet been subjected to quality assurance checking or calibration. As a result, this data may change significantly once the quality assurance check and calibration has been carried out.  

For the week 19 to 25 July, hydrogen sulphide levels were below the WHO 24-hour average health guideline level to protect against short-term health effects but were above the World Health Organisation’s 30-minute average odour annoyance guideline level for between less than 0% and 16% of the week (although final information is still being collated). 

Data from our monitoring stations for the percentage of the week hydrogen sulphide levels were above the World Health Organisation’s 30-minute average odour annoyance guideline level:  
 

  • MMF1 - Silverdale Cemetery = less than 3.6% 
  • MMF2 - Silverdale Road = 0% 
  • MMF6 - Newcastle-under-Lyme Fire Station = 3.6% 
  • MMF9 - Galingale View = 16%

We are updating the information on this webpage every week.  To receive notifications, email your contact details to: Enquiries_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 this month

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

The next multi-agency virtual engagement session is being held for the community on Tuesday 3 August, between 5.30 and 7pm. Senior officers from the Environment Agency, Public Health England, Staffordshire County Council and Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council will be available for 90 minutes, as well as a representative from the North Staffordshire CCG, which represents GPs in the area. Residents will be able to submit questions in advance, or on the night.

The virtual session is being hosted on the Zoom platform. People can access it by PC, laptop, tablet or smart phone. Click here to join Walleys Quarry community event automatically, or join the event manually by opening up Zoom (click here) in the device browser and entering the following details: Meeting ID: 996 6909 8093 and Passcode: 940976’

Community engagement session -  23 June 2021

Previous sessions

During the weeks of the 24 May and 7 June 2021 we have held virtual engagement sessions with the community, stakeholders and partners. These meetings have been 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.

During the community engagement sessions the community were able to ask questions via the facilitator or by submitting questions on Slido. These responses as well as the transcript and audio of the sessions can be accessed by using the links below:

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) – TBC July 2021

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
  • 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, 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.
 
Public Health England
Public Health England (PHE) 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

Towards the end of February 2021, we installed two specialist mobile monitoring facilities, located at Galingale View and Silverdale pumping station.  These units have been continuously gathering data from the 5 March 2021.

In addition to these units, we 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 additional units that are located at the north east of the site near the fire station, and south west of the site just off Cemetery Road.  This effectively forms a circle around the site, which will remain in place until the end of August 2021. 

Therefore we now have 4 air quality monitoring units in place. The locations of each of these 4 units have been determined after reviewing odour report locations and identifying where we have received a high level of reports. The location of the monitor must also be in a secure location with a dedicated electrical supply, which must be assessed and approved before operation. 

Monitoring and data 

The units monitor parameters related to landfill gas, including methane (CH4), particulates (PM) 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 Public Health England (PHE) 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 

The air quality monitoring (AQM) reports are made available on a monthly basis on this site and can be found using the links below:  

May 2021

Monthly Air Quality Report - May 2021

Silverdale Air Quality Data Set - May 2021

PHE Health Risk Assessment Air Quality Monitoring May 2021

April 2021

Monthly Air Quality Report - April 2021

Silverdale Air Quality Data Set - 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)

Public Health England (PHE) is aware of the ongoing odour situation around Walleys Quarry landfill site. They continue to support multiagency partners in the response to the situation. PHE supports the EA to interpret any monitoring data and identify any potential impact on health. 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