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Rugby Cement to start burning tyres again

Rugby Cement aims to restart tyre-burning trials at its cement kiln in Rugby by the end of the month. This is despite a continuing High Court battle with local residents who are challenging the Environment Agency's (EA) decision to permit the use of tyres as a part replacement for fossil fuels at the Midlands site.

According to a Rugby Cement spokesman, the company does not expect the continuing High Court proceedings to interfere with its plans. This, he said, means that a five-week baseline test (without tyres) programme will commence at end of August. This will be followed by 5-6 weeks of tyre burning tests and another 5 weeks of baseline tests.

Rugby Cement lost its permit to carry out tyre burning in July 2004 after an equipment failure that caused the plant to briefly exceed legal emission levels. The EA subsequently cleared the company to restart trials after a series of plant investments and improvements to management procedures at the site.

The restart was, however, delayed by the company's takeover by Mexican group Cemex as well as by a High Court challenge by local protesters.

This challenge was rejected in July, but residents recently gained leave to appeal as the EA had failed to declare an air quality report at the initial hearing.

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