The Environment Agency have sent me the following update about the ongoing situation at the Finmere Landfill Facility:
February saw a continued steady reporting of malodours from the landfill, in particular during the first and last weeks of the month. Overall the number of reports was lower than in January.
Environment Agency officers attended the site on 12 February to undertake odour checks around the local area, and then again on 25 February to undertake additional odour checks and a site inspection.
Work has now started on the placement of the engineered plastic cap on Cell 10 with the first panels being laid over the northern and southern flanks. This is progressing alongside the placement of the soil regulating layer across the remaining sections of the cell.
Whilst capping works have commenced, Cell 10 remains largely uncapped and continues to be the source of landfill gas odours identified off-site. The odorous material which was removed from Cell 10 has been buried within the waste mass in Cell 11 and we can confirm that Cell 11 is not the cause of any off-site odours at this time.
A liaison meeting was conducted on 10 February, attended by representatives from Opes, Environment Agency, Oxfordshire County Council, Finmere Parish Council, local Councillors and MP Victoria Prentis. This was the first liaison meeting in over a year and was conducted using video conferencing.
The Environment Agency will continue to complete off-site odour checks and site inspections to monitor permit compliance and the progress of capping works on Cell 10. We have, and continue to, utilise all regulatory tools available to us in relation to this site. Further to this we are completing an investigation into the odour issues and are pursuing this matter in accordance with our enforcement and sanctions policy.
It remains important that you report the odours to us via our incident hotline – 0800 807060. Our own inspections and odour checks only provide a snapshot of the impact this issue is having, your calls ensure we have an accurate record of the extent of the problem and help us target our investigations.
Given that the remedial work continues, and progress has probably been affected by recent wet weather, I have asked the Environment Agency for a realistic timeframe of when we can expect the work to be completed. I have since received the following reply:
Work is continuing on the capping of cell 10 and progress is being seen. We still do not have a specific timescale for the completion of the capping as it remains very much weather dependant. Our next inspection of the landfill is planned for mid-April so we will be in a position to provide a more detailed update at that time.