Waste tipped on Tredegar farm gives off rotting smell, court told
7:01am Tuesday 24th September 2013 in News
RESIDENTS put up with a rotting smell after 20,000 tonnes of waste were tipped on a farm in the Valleys, a court heard.
Farmer Paul Morris, 47, stored the rubbish on his land in Tredegar in 2010, Newport Crown Court heard.
Environmental bosses found the waste was as polluted as raw sewage, the court heard yesterday [September 20].
The pollution levels became so high they would not have been able to sustain fish in rivers and could have killed off insects, the court was told.
Morris appeared before a jury this week after denying one count of knowingly permitting the deposit of controlled waste without a permit or a licence.
Environment Agency officers were called in after neighbours complained about the strong smell from Carreg Bica Isaf Farm in Hilltop, Tredegar, the court heard.
One officer, Catriona Harvey, said the rotting pong was similar to that she had experienced on municipal tips, the court heard.
The waste was decomposing and a dark-coloured run-off, known as "leachate", was escaping along specially dug trenches and out onto nearby woodland, the court was told.
Samples taken from the farm land in 2011 revealed ammonia levels were as high as in raw sewage, said Christopher Quinlan QC, prosecuting.
Another Environment Agency officer Moira Kitchen told the jury: “This was high polluting and affecting water.
“Salmon and trout wouldn’t have been able to survive, particularly from the ammonia levels.”
The court heard how Ms Harvey advised Morris to have the leachate removed, block off anywhere it was escaping, and register as a hazardous waste producer with the Environment Agency.
Morris said he was certain that a waste company called Thomas Waste, which had brought the material onto his land, would be liable for any cost of removing the waste to a proper landfill, the court was told.
He added the company had tipped 20,000 tonnes of waste there in the previous six months.
Morris has moved out of the Tredegar farm and now lives in Mount Pleasant Road, Ebbw Vale.
Defence barrister, Gregg (corr) Taylor QC, said there was no disagreement about the contamination figures and stressed that his client had tried to comply with the Environment Agency throughout.
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