Natural Resources Wales is reviewing Tata Steel’s response to two notices aimed at reducing pollution from the steelworks.
Following complaints in July 2013 Natural Resources Wales launched an investigation with Tata to pinpoint the source of dust problems. This identified the sinter plant and blast furnace stock houses where raw materials are kept and moved into storage silos for the blast furnace as the main cause of the dust.
Natural Resources Wales issued an enforcement notice ordering the company to carry out a series of actions to reduce dust from the site that included reducing the temperature of the production process and finding a dust suppressant with more tolerance to higher temperatures.
The deadline for the first part of the notice has now passed and Natural Resources Wales has been assessing Tata’s response.
Gavin Bown for Natural Resources Wales said:
“We have examined Tata’s submission and we are about to carry out an inspection to verify specific parts of the response.
“While we are broadly satisfied with the actions they have taken so far which have met, and in some cases exceeded, the requirements of the first part of our notice, we must stress that there are still outstanding actions which must be completed by the end of January 2014.”
The second notice asks Tata to explain how it will comply with the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED), which not only limits emissions but also identifies the techniques used to control pollution and ensures continual improvement in pollution prevention.
Natural Resources Wales is now in the process of evaluating Tata’s response to this information notice and is also consulting the public for their opinions. The notice and Tata’s response is available on the Natural Resources Wales website.
Following the consultation Natural Resources Wales will then change the permit held by Tata to include the new limits set by the directive and carry out a further consultation to allow the public to comment on how the directive has been applied.
Mr Bown added:
“Tata have worked with us over the dust issue and we are confident that the company will work with us to ensure they comply with the requirements of the new directive.
“The new rules affect the whole of Europe and we will work with Welsh industries to ensure they can compete in a global market whilst reducing the impact on the environment.
“These changes will ensure the steelworks will operate to the highest standards in order to protect local people and the environment.”