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Welsh regulators commend steelworks dust measures

Natural Resources Wales say Port Talbot dust pollution from Tata Steel site last summer has been ‘fully addressed’ by the firm

Dust pollution from operations at Tata Steel’s industrial site in Port Talbot last summer has been ‘fully addressed’ by the steelworks company, according to regulator Natural Resources Wales (NRW).

In July 2013, NRW investigated Tata Steel after nearby residents complained about dust levels from the site, and the firm agreed an action plan to curb the pollution after it was issued an enforcement notice (see airqualitynews.com story).

Aerial photograph of the Neath Port Talbot county borough council AQMA, where concerns over dust pollution have been raised due to the nearby Tata Steel factory

Aerial photograph of the Neath Port Talbot county borough council AQMA, where concerns over dust pollution have been raised due to the nearby Tata Steel factory

The investigation identified the site’s sinter plant and blast furnace stock houses where raw materials are kept and moved into storage silos as the main source of the dust.

NRW’s enforcement notice called for a number of improvements at the site to ensure that releases of dust generated by the movement and handling of raw materials were kept to a minimum, and Tata has now changed its operations at the sinter plant.

According to NRW this week (June 17), it has now reviewed both Tata Steel’s responses to the enforcement notice and ‘can confirm that the company has not only complied with the requirements of the notice but has also made additional improvements’.

Paul Gibson of Natural Resources Wales said: “By issuing this notice we have ensured the impact of dust pollution has been reduced for the people of Port Talbot.

“We also recognise and commend the additional measures the company has put in place to minimise dust releases from the steelworks and believe this investment highlights Tata’s commitment to reduce dust emissions and develop further environmental improvements.

“We will continue to ensure companies are complying with the conditions of their permits and their activities are not affecting the quality of life for local people.”

NRW said it would now be writing to those residents who reported the dust pollution to provide further details of the action taken, while its compliance assessment and follow-up inspection findings will also be placed on Public Register.

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