Health fears as Nantyglo waste fire smoulders on

2:40pm Thursday 17th January 2013

ANGRY residents concerned about their health confronted officials from the Environment Agency at a meeting to discuss the 11-day fire at a Nantyglo waste paper facility.

Firefighters are still tackling the blaze at Adrian Lewis Waste Paper Collection Ltd, in Blaenant Road, which has been on fire since Saturday, January 5.

Representatives from the Environment Agency Wales, South Wales Fire and Rescue, Adrian Lewis Waste Paper Collection Ltd and Blaenau Gwent Council attended the meeting on Tuesday night, along with 40 concerned residents.

The Environment Agency sent a mobile air quality monitoring unit to the site earlier in the week following residents’ complaints.

Nadia De Longhi, an environment manager at the EA, said: “The fire is burning skip and household waste. It is not burning asbestos.

“We are waiting for the results of the air quality test, which are currently being looked at. Once we have the results we can organise another meeting and let you know.”

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service said they were hoping to completely extinguish the fire by this afternoon.

Rob James, 41, lives 200 yards from the fire. He said: “Residents just want to know what is going on.

“They are telling us nothing toxic is being burnt, but if that’s the case why is everyone getting so ill?”

Lyndon Moore, ex-councillor for the area and secretary of the residents association, said: “My cousin was taken to hospital after his carbon monoxide alarm started going off. I think there were more questions raised than were answered.”

Blaenau Gwent Council has advised residents to keep windows and doors shut, and minimise outdoor exposure to the smoke.

“The top priority is to extinguish the fire as soon as possible and resources are focused on this work,” a council spokeswoman said yesterday.

“Large quantities of waste have already been moved from the site this week, allowing the Fire and Rescue Service to isolate and tackle the fire effectively.

“Should residents wish to seek relief from exposure to the smoke the council has established a daytime rest centre. Requests for details of the facility should be directed through 01495 311556.

“Once the fire risk has passed Environment Agency Wales will complete its investigation into possible environment offences at the site,” she added.

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