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Industrial Health and Safety: Factories

Volume 459: debated on Tuesday 1 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether there were any (a) incidents involving and (b) prosecutions in which proceedings are not ongoing related to harmful emissions at the Sonae factory in Kirkby in each of the last four years. (133311)

I have been asked to reply.

Knowsley borough council is responsible for regulating emissions to the atmosphere from this factory under part I of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and the Pollution Prevention and Control Regulations 2000.

The council advises that the number of incidents (both complaints and reported incidents) and prosecutions relating to this factory in the last four years are as follows:

Complaints

Reported incidents

Prosecutions

2004

278

49

3

2005

311

152

0

2006

196

24

0

2007

104

8

0

The subject of complaints against Sonae include odour, dust, smoke, fumes, and noise from the Kirby factory. Knowsley borough council advises that a small proportion of the complaints were subsequently found to be unconnected with Sonae. The company has also challenged an unspecified number of complaints.

The number of incidents shown in the above table reflects the formal reports which Sonae has submitted. In accordance with their authorisation requirement, Sonae is required to report incidents likely to have an effect on the community. The three prosecutions in 2004 concerned a failure to monitor emissions, failure to comply with an enforcement notice, and failure to comply with an information notice. In total, these resulted in £13,000 worth of fines.

Factories such as this have the potential to emit various substances including oxides of sulphur and nitrogen, particulate matter, lead, volatile organic compounds, isocyanates, and aldehydes.