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Sussex waste landfill site monitored for air quality

Hydrogen sulphide escaping from Biffa’s Redhill landfill site has garnered hundreds of complaints from residents since January

The results of air quality monitoring at a waste landfill site in Sussex will soon be available after equipment was installed by the Environment Agency earlier this month.

Reigate and Banstead district council helped to deploy the equipment at waste management firm Biffa’s landfill site at Patteson Court, Nutfield, as hydrogen sulphide continues to escape from the site, which has impacted on the local area since January 2014.

Biffa's landfill site at Redhill is being monitored for air quality after wet weather and complaints from local residents

Biffa’s landfill site at Redhill is being monitored for air quality after wet weather and complaints from local residents

There have been hundreds of complaints from local residents about the resulting unpleasant odour, but Biffa has previously said that the gas is not dangerous to human health and that its own routine monitoring has shown emissions at a safe level.

However, air monitoring equipment was installed by the Environment Agency with assistance from the district council at four unidentified places on the landfill site after a visit from MP for Reigate Crispin Blunt and East Surrey MP Sam Gyimah on February 14 2014.

A spokeswoman for the Environment Agency said: “Air quality monitoring started on Friday 14 February at four areas. Reigate and Banstead District Council helped to deploy the equipment.  The monitoring equipment will be in place for two weeks and then the results will be analysed by Public Health England.â€?

The two MPs visited the site to discuss with Biffa management how best to tackle the problem in response to concerns from local residents.

Following the visit, Mr Blunt – who has called for local residents to be compensated for the odour – said: “Following earlier meetings with the Environment Agency, I was glad to be able to press upon Biffa in person just how urgent need for action is. The recent poor weather is only partly to blame for the severity of the problem and there is a lot more Biffa needs to do to improve its management of gas emissions at the site. Sam and I have made very clear that whichever safe and effective measures are available to the company should be taken without any delay.â€?

Biffa

Operator of the site, waste management firm Biffa, has apologised for the odour and air quality problems, which it said has been exacerbated by the recent wet weather across the country.

The firm has also spent £400,000 to date on installing additional gas capture and treatment infrastructure to try and tackle the problem.

A spokesman for Biffa said: “Whilst we can measure demonstrable improvement in the situation we still have further works to complete to bring the situation back to normal. Biffa is aware of the discomfort and concerns of the local community and we would like to take this opportunity to apologise once again for this incident.

“We continue to undertake air quality monitoring in the community, the results of which show that the emissions remain at a safe level. These results are voluntarily reported to the Environment Agency on a daily basis.â€?

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