Posted: Wed 20th Jan 2021

Updated: Thu 21st Jan

Updated: NRW issues landfill owners with a warning after fire at Johnstown site for people living in or visiting the wrexham area

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) has issued landfill site owners Enovert North Ltd (Enovert) with a warning following a fire at their site in Johnstown in May last year.

It comes following an investigation into the incident at Hafod Quarry Landfill on 27 May, which involved a multi-agency response with the local authority and emergency services.

Following this incident, North Wales Fire and Rescue service have concluded that the fire was “likely the result of spontaneous combustion following a prolonged period of dry weather.”

Since then, NRW as the landfill site’s regulator, has completed its own thorough investigation to establish whether the fire was a result of Enovert failing to comply with their environmental permit conditions.

The investigation found no evidence to suggest that Enovert’s actions caused the fire, say NRW. However, it did identify improvements needed relating to the application of landfill cover materials which led to a non-compliance of the permit.

NRW has issued a warning letter to Enovert notifying them of this breach and has required them to complete a number of corrective actions to secure compliance with the permit.

Julia Frost, NRW’s Industry Regulation Team Leader, said: “This was a serious incident that was effectively managed due to the quick response from all partners.

“Enovert has already carried out a number of the the improvements highlighted in the investigation and we await their corrective actions to ensure the work is correctly documented.

“As regulator of the site, we are committed to the owner comply with the permit and will continue to work with them to ensure that the operator fulfils its permit requirements.”

In a statement, Mark Silvester, CEO of Enovert, said: “I confirm we have received a Warning Letter issued by NRW following the fire that occurred at our Hafod Landfill Site last year.

“The findings of NRW’s investigation concur with those of our own completed in June 2020 following which the Company took immediate steps to implement a series of improvements ensuring continued compliance with its environmental permit.

“We again offer our apologies to the local community impacted at the time and thank the North Wales Fire Service for attending the incident.”

Enovert will now formally respond in writing to NRW confirming the actions the Company has already taken and agreeing timescales for completion of the further actions required following issue of the warning

Cllr David A Bithell Lead Member Environment and Transport met with NRW this morning and was briefed on the outcome and conclusions of their investigation.

He said “I was disappointed only a “warning letter “ was given as the extent of the fire was significant.

“NRW confirmed to me that there had been some procedural and environmental permit breaches. The conclusions of the report make recommendations for further work to be carried out to comply with the permit this includes more compliance visits.”

To report an environmental incident contact NRW’s incident hotline on 0300 065 3000, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Picture: Hafod Quarry – Natural Resources Wales

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