A MONMOUTHSHIRE man claims illegal waste at a farm near Monmouth could seep into the waterway, months after legal proceedings were brought against the owner.
Glannau Farm owner Philip Johns, 67, of Monmouth, was arraigned at Newport Magistrates Court following an investigation by Natural Resources Wales (NRW).
On November 23, 2021, Johns was ordered to pay approximately £13,500 – a fine of £6,480, NRW costs and a victim fine surcharge.
He pleaded guilty to disposing of controlled waste in or on the grounds of Glannau Farm, Lydart in a manner likely to cause environmental pollution or harm to human health, to disobeying a notice of issued by Natural Resources Wales and submitting controlled waste or knowingly causing controlled waste to be submitted to a listed operation at Glannau Farm without the benefit of an environmental permit.
The case against Glannau Farm has been adjourned by the court numerous times due to the impact of Covid-19, leading to what NRW called an “unfortunate delay”.
David Griffiths, Industry and Regulatory Waste Team Leader for NRW, said: “Our officers visited Glannau Farm in May 2020 after receiving reports regarding waste activities.
“Multiple deposits of waste were discovered, including construction and demolition waste, household waste, wood, plastic, metals and soil as well as evidence of burning waste, posing a risk to the environment. environment and human health.
‘On subsequent visits, our officers observed other similar offenses and stop notices were served on Mr. Johns in an attempt to prevent the illegal activity.’
However, Michael Moffatt, who lives near the farm, said two months after the trial the waste was still there.
“Buried beneath this area are hundreds of tons of illegal waste that is rotting and seeping into the subsoil and the watercourse just below the Glanau farm,” he said.
“What are the authorities doing in the face of this major potential health problem?
“Nothing but wind and meetings with legal advisers.”
He called the case against Johns a “legal trick”.
“Even more surprisingly, Mr. Johns walked away from court still holding a waste hauler license,” Mr. Moffatt said.
Mr Griffiths of NRW said: ‘The matter of sentencing is a matter for the court and in this case was dealt with by a district judge who handed down the sentence in accordance with sentencing guidelines.’
NRW says they now plan to visit the farm and “if necessary” issue further enforcement notices to remove the waste dumps from the site as they are illegal dumps.
NRW says they are also in the process of revoking the license of Mr. Johns Waste Carriers.
Mr Moffatt says that on three occasions in 2021 he advised NRW and MCC to take soil and water samples around the site.
“As far as I know, no soil or water samples have yet been taken,” he said.
NRW said there was “no evidence to suggest that these waste dumps have caused any pollution to the wider environment”.
The case has also been referred to the WRA (Welsh Revenue Authority) for investigation into potential landfill tax avoidance.
Mr. Johns has been contacted for comment.