Colin, Hannahstown & Glen Road Residents mount challenge against Mullaghglass Landfill

Residents are mounting legal action over the smell from a Belfast landfill site.

Mullaghglass Landfill has been the subject of more than 100 complaints from residents to the authorities.

Phoenix Law has been instructed by concerned residents to commence litigation to ensure steps are taken by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) and the local council.e are angry and it feels like things are getting worse

Resident Mairead Connolly said: “It is simply unacceptable that we have had to suffer this for so long.

“We are angry and it feels like things are getting worse.

“As a result of the inaction, we have now instructed our solicitors to initiate legal proceedings.”

Harry Robinson, of Phoenix Law, said the statutory bodies were absolving themselves of responsibility by failing to take action.

He added: “We have now initiated legal proceedings in which we intend on seeking damages by way of compensation for those residents affected by this ongoing odour.”

The Mullaghglass Landfill site in Belfast (PA)

In November, Environment Minister Edwin Poots said he had been advised by officials from his Agency that 13 additional gas extraction wells have been installed in the active area of the landfill.

The work was completed on October 16 last year.

At the time, he said: “The additional wells have now been connected to the gas extraction system.

“The site gas engineer is currently working on-site to optimise gas extraction from the new wells.

“It may take a few weeks to fully optimise the gas extraction system, as it is important to prevent the ingress of oxygen to the landfill gas management system.

“NIEA inspectors will continue to check the site and to monitor for odours in the Colin area regularly to assess the effectiveness of the additional gas extraction.”

At that time the site was assessed as being “non-compliant” with the pollution prevention and control permit, the minister said.

He said his Agency directed the operator to take action and to implement new measures to address the “odour nuisance”.

He told the Assembly: “The planned installation of the additional gas extraction wells in the active area of the site was brought forward from November to September.

“Site works to install the new gas wells were completed on 16 October, and, as I said, it may take a few weeks for that to be optimised.

“On completion of the current site works, NIEA will require the landfill operator to review its odour management plan and to plan the installation of future gas wells to minimise the risk of further odour nuisance in the Colin area.”

Between August and early November, NIEA conducted 14 site inspections and odour checks in the Colin area in response to complaints from local residents.

Alpha Resource Centre, owners of Mullaghglass Landfill, said: “Working to the highest environmental standards is paramount to our business.

“We are absolutely committed to being good neighbours and are in contact with the local community and its representatives to thoroughly investigate any complaints.

“Mullaghglass Landfill has complied in full with the NIEA permit under which the site operates, and continues to proactively engage with NIEA on all aspects of site management and regulation.”

Belfast Telegraph – 24.01.21

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