The findings from a detailed independent investigation by Natural Resources Wales, which involved soil sampling and test holes along the length of the quarry screening bund at Bryn Group, has confirmed that specific areas of compost that make up the top 60-100cm layer of the bund are contaminated. That has never been denied.
This is the same area that was reported by local residents and another adjacent area that the company self-reported to the regulator after its own investigations. Importantly, the report also confirmed what Bryn Group have always asserted: that the structure of the bund does not contain plastic contamination and has been properly constructed.
Following an on-site meeting with inspectors and enforcement officers at the end of July, Natural Resources Wales has issued a Section 59 enforcement notice, which means Bryn Group can finally set about cleaning up the mistakes identified last September.
Alun Price, managing director of Bryn Group, said:
"Our neighbours are justifiably angry at the contamination found in some consignments of compost used atop the quarry bund, and we have and continue to apologise unreservedly for that. We hope they will find assurance from this detailed independent study that found the structure of the bund is not contaminated, as many of them believe, and is in fact properly constructed.
"There was clearly a failure in the physical sifting ("screening") and quality control systems in place for our compost, but we assure you that it was not deliberate.
“With advice from NRW and our advisors, we have taken steps to identify and resolve the issue, and have already improved our processes with the addition of a new screening machine and extra quality assurance checking.
"We will now work hard and swiftly to remediate the surface of the quarry bund to remove the areas of contamination, so that it can be landscaped and planted to improve both the visual impact and its shielding properties."