Environment Agency Wales investigates Crymlyn Burrows incinerator permit breaches
Environment Agency Wales have launched an investigation after a waste incinerator breached strict emission limits set out in its environmental permit.
The incinerator will not start operating again until the Crymlyn Burrows Materials Recovery and Energy Centre can demonstrate it is in compliance with its permit.
Test results from the centre indicated that the site has exceeded the permitted limit for dioxin emissions on two occasionss.
The operators accepted a formal caution from the agency last year following emission breaches from the site in 2010. The agency said a stricter monitoring regime is in place following those incidents.
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Huw Brunt from Public Health Wales said a number of breaches of the dioxin emission limit have been reported at the centre in recent years.
“Raised levels of dioxin emissions over a short time period are unlikely to pose an appreciable health risk to the local population," he said.
“However, a number of breaches of the dioxin emission limit have been reported at this site over the past couple of years.
“This recurring problem raises associated public health concerns and we would like to see this situation resolved as soon as possible.”
Dioxins are produced by fires, including bonfires and car exhausts, which can have an impact on people's health if they enter the food chain.
Steve Brown, area Manager for Environment Agency Wales said: "Environmental permits are there to make sure that local people and the environment are protected from the impact of sites like these.
"They have strict conditions and emission controls which we will enforce. The operator is complying fully with our investigation.
"We will make sure they do all that they can to rectify this problem as a matter of urgency and we will consider taking further action if it is appropriate."
A spokesman said the operator is co-operating fully with the agency and has stopped all operations until the cause of the breaches can be established.
The agency said the centre has already started cleaning work on a section of the plant as this could be the cause of the breach.