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Lafarge cleans up Westbury plant

MATERIALS

CEMENT producing giant Lafarge has begun work to correct pollution levels belching from its production plant at Westbury, Wiltshire.

The giant is in the process of installing equipment designed to control emission levels at the troubled plant after the Environment Agency found that permitted levels of pollution at the plant had been breached.

An enforcement notice was served on Lafarge last February by the Environment Agency after it found levels of hydrogen chloride and nitrogen oxides pouring from Lafarge's two waste tyre-burning kilns were higher than permitted.

Tighter emission levels were introduced last year and the kilns were found to breach these new levels.

That forced Lafarge to install the equipment needed to rein back pollution levels. These include emission scrubbers and controlling system improvements.

The Environment Agency claimed that although pollution levels had been exceeded, they did not pose any health risk to the public.

A spokesman said: 'Emissions are set below environmental thresholds and safety limits. They will not affect the environment or health of the public.'

The move is the latest in a bid to quell public unease about the plant.Last year, the Environment Agency stalled plans to trial recycled liquid fuels at the plant until after it had carried out a full investigation into environmental performance and management controls.

It carried out a month-long probe into operations at the plant following the discovery that cement containing higher-than-stated levels of alkali had been supplied by the Westbury works. This prompted fears that concrete structures in the south-west could become affected by concrete cancer.