23 April 2001
Pollution-scare disposal site closed

By Robert Davies, Wales correspondent

LOCAL residents worried about pollution are celebrating the closure of a disposal site for livestock slaughtered under foot-and-mouth controls.

Burial at the Eppynt military range site, near Sennybridge, south Wales, was abandoned last week after claims that fluid was leaking into watercourses.

But official insisted that carcass incineration would continue.

However, the Welsh National Assembly has announced the sites closure just hours before the publication of Environment Agency reports on pollution.

The site will shut as soon as existing pyres burn out. The reports, to be released at 5pm on Monday (23 April), contain details about pollution levels.

Welsh rural affairs minister Carwyn Jones said the site was being closed because the number of foot-and-mouth cases is now falling in Wales.

He said he did not believe that the reports would support claims by local residents that the disposal site was a potential source of pollution.

Mr Jones denied he had caved in to three weeks of protests against the site.

But the U-turn is likely to rejuvenate the enthusiasm of people campaigning against the continued carcass disposal on a landfill site on Anglesey.

The decision is also likely to intensify a campaign to stop the planned creation of a giant incineration site at on the border of Montgomeryshire and Shropshire.

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