Connect with us
Advertisement
Advertisement

News

Calls for map of toxic sites across Wales to inform public of dangers

Published

on

A MAP of toxic sites across Wales should be established to better inform the public of the dangers in their communities, the Senedd heard.

Peredur Owen Griffiths called for a register during first minister’s questions as he argued people have a right to know the location of historic toxic sites.

He pointed to the example set by newly published maps of category C and D coal tips on the Welsh Government’s website.

The Plaid Cymru MS, who represents South Wales East, urged ministers to set up a taskforce to pull together the relevant agencies pursuing polluters.

‘Dumping’

Mr Owen Griffiths warned: “Unfortunately, there are many toxic sites throughout our country as a result of our industrial heritage and multinational corporations using us as a dumping ground for all sorts of nasty chemicals.

“These corporations may have long since disappeared from our communities, but the legacy of their work lingers on with polluted watercourses.”

Mark Drakeford agreed that the landscape of Wales is scattered with examples of the legacy of events that happened many years ago.

He said the disused mines bill, which will be brought forward this year, is being designed with the possibility of extending its scope to other forms of industrial legacy beyond coaltips.

However, the first minister warned that there will not be a swift route to such a register.

‘Fallout’

Laura Anne Jones raised concerns about the Tŷ Llwyd quarry in Ynysddu, near Caerphilly, warning that toxic chemicals have leaked into a woodland used by children and dog walkers.

The Conservative MS, who represents South Wales East, said Monsanto – a now-defunct chemical manufacturer – agreed to clean up the quarry in 2011.

“Yet 13 years later, my constituents are still having to deal with that fallout,” she said.

Ms Jones told the chamber that the drainage system is inadequate and contaminated water remains a health-and-safety risk.

Prof Drakeford stressed that regulators do not consider Tŷ Llwyd to be a risk to public health.

He pointed out that it was Caerphilly County Borough Council that identified the quarry as a cause of concern in the 1990s.

The first minister explained that the council has commissioned Arcadis to look into options for managing the site in future.

‘Severe’

He said: “An era of climate change … severe weather events, including concentrated rainfall, has rendered the challenge at that site more significant than it would have been in the past.”

Prof Drakeford said consultants have narrowed the scope of their work to four options and a report has been presented to the council.

He added that a monitoring programme being carried out by Natural Resources Wales this winter will look into ground and surface water, helping to further refine the options.

He told MSs: “When those options are refined, I imagine it will lead to the council needing to apply for an environmental permit for the way in which the site is managed in future.

“I would anticipate there will be stringent conditions attached to that permit to make sure local residents can have confidence that there isn’t leachate from that site which would cause environmental and public health damage.”

‘Untruths’

Caerphilly MS Hefin David focused on proposals to reclaim Bedwas tips, saying a company is interested in remediating the tips at no cost to the public purse.

“When you’re talking of upwards of £30m, that’s a significant offer to be considered,” said the Labour backbencher.

“There has been, unfortunately, some opposition councillors spreading, through leaflets, some direct untruths about the project.

“I think we need to keep an open mind about what the project will entail.

“We need to make sure proper processes are followed to ensure the public have their say.”

Prof Drakeford said the proposals are at a pre-planning application phase as he welcomed public exhibitions being held in Bedwas and Cwmfelinfach.

He told the meeting on Tuesday February 20 that people will be able to voice any concerns for consideration when a full planning application is made.

Continue Reading

News

Cornerstone 4G phone mast unconditionally backed

Published

on

A NEAR 70-foot-high 4G telecommunications tower scheme in north Pembrokeshire has been unconditionally backed by county planners.

Applicant Cornerstone sought what – in planning terms – is called prior approval for the installation of a 21-metre lattice tower supporting three antennas and associated works on land at Castle Farm Villa, Llanreithan, Hayscastle.

A report for planners says the radio base station “would allow a shared rural network in this rural area of Hayscastle for two of the main operators, to provide 4G connection, which would provide a reliable and fast communications services; to facilitate significantly improved connectivity for residents, businesses and visitors to locality.”

The application was supported by local community council Brawdy.

Cornerstone, in a supporting statement, says: “To keep up with growing demand from mobile phone users we need to upgrade existing base stations or build new base stations. An upgrade can be done in a number of ways, often by redeveloping the site to enable an increase in the number of technologies, or increasing the number or height of the antennas. However, even after these upgrades, in some busy areas the demand for services can still exceed the capability of the local base stations.”

It adds: “We recognise that the growth in mobile communication has led, in some cases, to public concern about perceived health effects of mobile technology, in particular about siting masts close to local communities.

“Quite naturally, the public seeks reassurance that masts are not in any way harmful or dangerous.   We are committed to providing the latest independent peer-reviewed research findings, information, advice and guidance from national and international agencies on radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic fields.

“Cornerstone ensure that our radio base stations are designed and built so that the public are not exposed to radio frequency fields above the guidelines set by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).  In fact, radio base stations operate at low power and emit levels of radiofrequency fields many times lower than the ICNIRP general public guidelines.”

An officer report says a site visit was carried out to assess the impact of the proposed development, considering that the siting and design of the mast and associated structures would be acceptable.

“As such, the prior approval of the local planning authority is not required,” the report concluded.

Recent plans by Cornerstone for a 20-metre-high, timber-clad telecoms tower on land opposite the National Trust car park at Trehilyn West, Trefasser, near Goodwick, were turned down by Pembrokeshire Coast National Park planners.

Continue Reading

News

Pembrokeshire stands against Israeli apartheid and Genocide

Published

on

PALESTINE solidarity groups in Pembrokeshire and West Wales are mobilising for a powerful protest in Haverfordwest, Castle Square, this Saturday 20th April at 2pm. They aim to vehemently condemn the relentless Israeli onslaught on Gaza and send a clear message to the UK government and local MPs Simon Hart and Stephen Crabb: End the complicity now! We demand an immediate ceasefire and an end to arms sales that fuel this brutal oppression.

The Nakba, or ‘catastrophe’ in Arabic, refers to the ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestine by Israeli forces, following the forcible displacement of 750,000 Palestinians (almost half the population) in 1947-49 in order to establish the state of Israel. Israel’s current assault on Gaza is an escalation of the ongoing Nakba and threatens to be the largest mass expulsion of Palestinians since 1948. The international community has an immediate responsibility to intervene to stop Israel’s ethnic cleansing today. Any delay in implementing practical measures constitutes complicity and/or participation in the ongoing Nakba.

This rally is a collective outcry against the crimes perpetrated by Israel and a rallying cry for the boycott of Israeli products.

“It’s sickeningly hypocritical that Israel strikes nations and communities first, claims victimhood when faced with resistance, and then receives unwavering support from the U.S., the UK, and Germany!” lamented one protester.

“For too long, the international community has turned a blind eye to Israel’s flagrant violations of human rights, granting it impunity while innocent lives are lost.”

“Six months of relentless violence. Six months of Israel slaughtering innocent Palestinians. Six months of Israel killing over 14,000 children! That’s an average of around 76 children a day and what has our government done? Profited from arms sales, turning a blind eye to the bloodshed,” remarked another protester.

This protest is a clarion call to all who stand for justice: It’s time to disrupt the status quo and challenge our complicit government. “We will never give up,” declared a participant. “To dismantle apartheid, we must disrupt the everyday and refuse to be complicit in Israel’s crimes against humanity!”

Join us at Castle Square at 2pm this Saturday to lend your voice to the 2 million people who suffer from a forced famine and brutal occupation in Gaza. Together, we will demand justice, accountability, and an immediate end to the bloodshed, the genocide and ethnic cleansing.

Continue Reading

News

Dragon LNG ‘monitoring’ scrap car blaze in Waterston

Published

on

A BLAZE has broken out at the Waterston Car Dismantler’s business in Waterston, Milford Haven.

Dragon LNG which is situated near the site said that the fire was not related to their operation and confirmed that the that emergency services were at the scene.

Residents living nearby have been advised to keep windows and doors closed whilst the incident is being dealt with.

“We are aware of a fire in Waterston with the emergency services present,” said a spokesperson for Dragon LNG.

“The incident is not related to Dragon LNG and Dragon Energy. We are monitoring the situation and are co-ordinating with the emergency services.”

A spokesperson for Mid & West Wales Fire & Rescue Service told The Herald: “At 11.09am on Monday, April 15th, the Milford Haven, Pembroke Dock, Narberth, Fishguard, Carmarthen, Tenby and Haverfordwest crews were called to an incident at a commercial premises in the Waterston Industrial Estate, Milford Haven.

“Crews responded to approximately 150 vehicles on fire, at the height of the incident, 12 fire appliances were in attendance.  Crews utilised six breathing apparatus sets, nine hose reel jets, two ground monitors and approximately 1,000 litres of foam to extinguish the fire.

“Properties in close proximity to the fire were evacuated and nearby roads were closed.  The incident required a multi-agency response, with Dyfed-Powys Police, the Ambulance Service and the Local Authority also in attendance.

“Crews began to leave the scene at 2.11pm.

“Please be advised that as a precaution:

“If you are in an area still affected by smoke, you are advised to stay indoors, close windows and doors, and turn off any air conditioning or ventilation units.

“Motorists who must travel through areas still affected by smoke should keep windows closed, turn off air conditioning and keep air vents closed.”

(Images: M Cavaney/Herald)

Continue Reading

News13 hours ago

Dragon LNG ‘monitoring’ scrap car blaze in Waterston

A BLAZE has broken out at the Waterston Car Dismantler’s business in Waterston, Milford Haven. Dragon LNG which is situated...

News3 days ago

Major search in the area of The Cleddau Bridge and Hobbs Point

A MULTI-AGENCY rescue response was initiated first thing on Saturday following reports of a person in difficulty in the area...

News4 days ago

Newgale pub fire: Cause undetermined, but ruled accidental

THE MID and West Fire and Rescue Service (MAWWFRS) has recently concluded its investigation into the fire that devastated the...

Sport4 days ago

Jasmine, Lleucu, Carys & Courtney: The Pride of Pembrokeshire

Four rugby players from Pembrokeshire are gearing up to take on Ireland in the Women’s Six Nations this weekend. Jasmine...

Crime5 days ago

Independent inquiry into child sex abuse commissioned by Caldey

WE have reported on this story for years, but in a very significant development this week, Caldey Island Abbey has...

Crime6 days ago

Mechanic lands four-figure fine after head-butting officer in Quins

A COURT has heard how a police officer was head-butted outside the Quins Rugby Club in Pembroke Dock by a man described...

Community6 days ago

29 homes planned for Pembrokeshire village development

A scheme for 29 houses, including two affordable units, in the north Pembrokeshire village of St Dogmaels, close to the...

Crime7 days ago

Former Pemb Dock mayor accused of making child abuse images

FORMER Pembroke Dock mayor Terry Judkins has appeared before Haverfordwest magistrates charged with making 52 Category A images of a...

News1 week ago

Port of Milford Haven continues to invest with £40m funding from HSBC

THE Port of Milford Haven is making a series of strategic investments to strengthen its position as the UK’s largest...

Business1 week ago

National Resources Wales to check Withyhedge Landfill enforcement compliance

IN FEBRUARY, NRW served a Regulation 36 Enforcement Notice on RML, the operator of Withyhedge Landfill requiring them to complete...

Popular This Week