Withyhedge Landfill Update 4 April 2024

NRW regulatory officer inspecting at Withyhedge Landfill

On 13 February 2024, NRW served a Regulation 36 Enforcement Notice on RML, the operator of Withyhedge Landfill, requiring them to complete a number of actions in response to suspected permit non-compliances which were linked to fugitive landfill gas emissions and offsite odours.

In recent weeks we have visited Withyhedge Landfill on a number of occasions to check progression with actions in the Notice, and to ensure that this work has not created other problems.

By close of play on 5 April 2024, the operator is required to have completed preparatory work, capping, and gas infrastructure installation on a previously uncapped waste mass. The work set out in the Notice has the purpose of containing and collecting landfill gas being produced in this area.

On Monday 8 April 2024, NRW will be attending Withyhedge Landfill to assess compliance with the actions required by the Notice, and inspect all other areas of the site. We will then consider the findings internally, and discuss with Pembrokeshire County Council and Public Health Wales at our multi-agency meeting on 10 April. We will publish an update on next steps in due course.  

As the onsite work progressed, we had anticipated that fugitive emissions would decrease and therefore odour reports would also subside. However, in recent weeks we have seen high volumes of reports and NRW officers have confirmed offsite odours from the landfill on occasions.

Following a high number of calls on Tuesday 2 April, NRW officers attended the landfill and conducted an offsite odour assessment in surrounding communities. While landfill gas was detected at one location, the predominant odours detected at that time were agricultural. However, in light of continuing concerns from the community, and the possibility that our assessment didn’t coincide with the period of strongest odours, we will undertake further odour assessments over the coming days.

We will continue with a regulatory presence at the site linked with our priority of ensuring that the site is being operated and managed in compliance with the permit, especially in relation to emission control. Any enforcement action necessary will be taken in line with our Enforcement and Sanctions Policy.