A week after concerns were raised about the health risks of burning waste tyres for fuel, an enforcement notice has been served on a cement manufacturer.
Lafarge was issued with the notice by the Environment Agency (EA) for breaching its permit at Westbury cement works in Wiltshire.
The move is a result of the company exceeding its limits for emissions of hydrogen chloride and oxides of nitrogen from the two kilns that burn waste tyres for fuel.
Emissions at Lafarge’s plant are regulated and it has to regularly submit monitoring results to the EA as part of its permit conditions. The exceedances were identified as part of this process.
EA officer Jim Flory said: “We have served Lafarge with a very stringent enforcement notice with specific actions and timescales for them to ensure the works meet the conditions of the permit.”
New stricter limits were brought in at the works last December to enable Lafarge to operate as a co-incineration plant under the Waste Incineration Directive (WID). While emissions of hydrogen chloride and oxides of nitrogen have not increased, the WID has imposed stricter limits on the works.
Flory added: “The limits are set well below the environmental thresholds and safety limits so the breaches have not caused any harm and will not affect the environment or people’s health. However, we are very concerned that the works are not meeting their new conditions and this is why we have issued this enforcement notice.”
Lafarge now has six weeks to carry out a comprehensive and detailed review to pinpoint the actions that the company must take to comply with its new permit limits. These actions will then be implemented into a timetable agreed with the EA.