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Castle wins kiln dust dumping legal battle

MATERIALS - Cement producer given the OK to dispose of kiln waste at its Padeswood site

CEMENT producer Castle Cement has won its fight to bury kiln waste at its Padeswood production plant.

It had been refused permission by Flintshire County Council to dump waste cement kiln dust on part of its Padeswood plant near Mold in north Wales last year.

Councillors at FCC had ignored the advice of their own planning officials and refused Castle Cement permission to dump CKD at the plant.

But Castle appealed and, following a public inquiry, the planning inspector for the Welsh Assembly decided that pollution fears were unfounded and gave Castle the nod to bury dust produced by its new £64 million kiln.

CKD is classified a hazardous material only because it contains lime, which can cause burns to the skin.

Assembly planning inspector Clive Nield claimed that public concerns over cancer-causing chemicals could be discounted in such cases.

He said: 'Concentration of dioxins and furans expected to occur in CKD are minute.

They would be no higher than levels that occur naturally in soils.

'I conclude there would be no risk to health in respect of the escape of dioxins and furans.'

Costs for the public enquiry will be picked up by the council, a move which has angered some local residents, but Castle Cement welcomed the news.

A spokesman said: 'It is fantastic news all around. It is the right decision both in terms of safety and the environment and although there have been a few people against it the decision to allow us to bury CKD is the most sensible one and lots of people see it as that.'

CKD is the only by-product of the new kiln and will be processed on site by mixing it with water and pressing it into 'cakes'.

These cakes will then be buried in a sealed pit alongside the kiln at the plant.

The new plant will produce 7,500 tonnes of dust a year.

To produce the CKD cakes, dust is mixed with water at a ratio of 5:1. As much as 9,000 tonnes of waste material will be buried in this way at the site each year.

The company plans to landscape the 12-acre site as an area of naturally evolving grassland and woodland.