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Brofiscin Quarry: Hazardous Substances

Volume 472: debated on Tuesday 4 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what plans on what timetable have been agreed by his Department and the Environment Agency Wales for the removal of toxic waste from Brofiscin quarry; what estimate he has made of the associated costs; and who is liable to meet such costs. (190073)

The Environment Agency is currently conducting an appraisal of remedial treatment solutions and the associated costs for Brofiscin Quarry. It is also investigating who should be responsible for the cost of remediation. In doing so, the Environment Agency must act in accordance with the relevant legislation and statutory guidance. The contaminated land regime does not prescribe a timetable for these processes.

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what recent research he has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the effects of (i) Agent Orange derivatives, (ii) polychlorinated biphenyls and (iii) dioxins on (A) current and (B) future residents in areas around Brofiscin quarry; and if he will make a statement. (190074)

It is the responsibility of Rhondda Cynon Taf county borough council to investigate and respond to public health-related matters such as exposure of local residents to any airborne vapours, gases or dusts.

All investigations to date have indicated that there is no identifiable harm or immediate danger to human health from the quarry. The local authority has obtained funding from the Welsh Assembly Government for a study to investigate the presence or absence of vapours from the quarry site which will evaluate any potential risk to human health. The investigation is scheduled to start in March and to last 12 months.

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what plans he has to act against those responsible for the illegal dumping of toxic waste at Brofiscin quarry. (190075)

The Environment Agency is currently investigating who should be responsible for the cost of remediating Brofiscin quarry. Once its investigation is complete and a determination made, the Environment Agency will consult with these ‘appropriate persons' on remediation options and costs. The ‘appropriate persons' may remediate the land voluntarily, or, alternatively, the Environment Agency may serve a Remediation Notice detailing what work needs to be done. In certain circumstances, the Environment Agency may carry out the work itself and seek to recover costs from the ‘appropriate persons'.