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Monday, 22 December 2014

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Councils against n-waste on site

A LEGAL challenge may be brought against the Environment Agency’s decision to allow low levels of radioactive waste to be buried in Lillyhall’s conventional landfill site.

Cumbria County Council, supported by Allerdale Council, is considering making the challenge. They don’t believe it is the best way of disposing of high volumes of the slightly radioactive material.

Tim Knowles, county council cabinet member responsible for the environment, has asked legal and environmental officers to explore whether a challenge “is possible and feasible”.

A spokesman said: “Our legal team will examine the decision- making process which led to the Environment Agency issuing a permit to Waste Recycling Group.”

As the Lillyhall landfill site falls in Allerdale, Copeland Council will not be involved in a potential legal challenge but has put its name to a joint local authority letter to Energy Minister Charles Hendry, claiming that public opinion had not been taken into account.

Coun Knowles said: “Although the material involved has a very low level of radioactivity and does not present a public risk, the waste should be dealt with and disposed of as close as possible to the site where it has arisen.”

Most of the UK’s low level radioactive waste, much of it from Sellafield, goes to the country’s only designated site (LLWR) near Drigg.

But, in order to free up LLWR’s capacity for the future, the government is looking to landfill for alternative disposal.

Copeland gets £1.5million for every year the LLWR site continues to receive material. Up-front payments of £10 million have already been made to benefit the community.

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