Probe launched after village covered in dust

Reporter:

Lois Hough

ANGRY villagers have blasted a cement plant that is leaking frequent dust showers over their homes.

Residents in Penyffordd have been subjected to yet another fallout from Hanson Cement, in Padeswood, near Mold, which left their cars and homes caked in a thick layer of dust.

Community leaders say incidents like this are happening too often and are having a negative impact on residents.

They are calling for plant bosses to take steps to ensure it does not happen again.

“If the dust is sticking to cars and windows then it is sticking to lungs,” Penyffordd councillor David Williams told the Leader.

“This is causing a lot of concern for residents.”

He said Hanson had acknowledged at least two cases of dust showers in the last year.

“It happens more often than it should after all the promises when the tower went up,” he said.

“It’s just ridiculous.

“My biggest concern is the health of the community, this is just not on.

“They can’t give us any guarantees it’s not going to happen again.

Cllr Williams said Hanson needed to “be more vigillant and cautious” to stop the dust showers.

Cllr Colin Bithell said: “I don’t understand why it keeps on happening if they are supposed to be monitoring it.

“The chances are it will probably happen again and that is not good for people in the village.

“Bosses at Hanson Cement gave a categorical assurance at our last community council meeting that this would not happen again.

“They have got to get it right because it’s not good enough. We’re not going to put up with it anymore.”

Bosses at the former Castle Cement factory say they have launched an internal inquiry after the incident on March 25 but have yet to find the source of the leak.

A Hanson Cement spokesman said the fallout from this incident was not helped by high winds.

“You have got to understand that March was the driest since 1944 and this happened during a time of high winds,” the spokesman said.

“We went out and took samples of the dust and identified that it contained particles of clinker – limestone which has been heated and crushed down to make cement.

“We also identified dust from other sources like soil and roadworks that are not associated with Hanson Cement.

“We made five or six repairs and the leak was solved but we cannot pinpoint exactly what caused the leak.”

A spokesman for Environment Agency Wales said: “We have received complaints of dust in Padeswood and have investigated and identified what has caused it. Action has been taken by Hanson Cement to rectify the problem.

“Our officers are now collecting evidence to see if there have been any breaches of the conditions in their environmental permit.

“We will then consider what further action needs to be taken.

“Environmental permits are there to protect local people and the environment. Any breaches are a serious matter which will not be tolerated.”

See full story in the Leader

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