At the recent Parish Council Meeting, we found out a lot more about the mill site and the views of the operators, 2Agriculture.
It’s in the wrong place
The MD of 2AG admitted that the current site for the mill is the wrong location and if starting to look at sites today the existing site at Stoke Ferry would not be selected.
They’re measuring the wrong type of pollution
The District environmental monitoring office representative admitted that it has been measuring the air for the wrong type of pollution for a small number of years, indicating that tax payer funds have been wasted for all this time, because someone issued the wrong brief.
It’s safer than it was
Although there has been significant investment in improvements to the plant over the last few years it is understood that this has been to ensure the factory passes the tests at the regular inspections and that prior to this investment the equipment was not safe enough.
Who pays for the clean up?
Previously, the operators of the mill have accepted liability for the contamination it causes by paying for windows and vehicles to be cleaned, but it is not clear if the current operators will now pay to clean up the mess they deposit all over the village.
What if the mill closes?
It appears that with the opaque financial structuring of the mill owner’s holdings that it is possible to shut the mill at the stroke of a pen without paying redundancy to the incumbent workers.
Air pollution is deliberate
The mill operators discharge into the air when venting as part of the standard operating procedures (when clearing blocked filters), meaning that polluting the local atmosphere is a deliberate activity.
Vehicles add to pollution
The trucks leaving the plant are not prepared properly for exiting onto the highway, meaning that they scatter pollution randomly as they pass through the village.
Who pays for the damage?
It is not clear if the council tax paid by the mill operator is sufficient to cover the costs of the damage the trucks and ongoing operations wreak on the immediate area.
Mill operations damage buildings
It is still not clear if the pollution emissions from the mill are the cause of many of the medical conditions local residents are experiencing, but it is known by people in the construction sector that the deposits are the root cause of large amounts of the decay to the fabric of buildings in Stoke Ferry.
Is the HGV licence satisfactory?
It remains unclear if the HGV operating licence is satisfactory to cover the quantity of HGVs of the current tonnage based at the site.
In the unlikely event….?
Mill explosions elsewhere in the world have caused devastation to the areas within 300 and 400 metres of the epicentre. Although the known risks of an explosion have probably been mitigated by the recent investment in improvements to the plant, the real issue of the potential of a large scale explosion has not gone away and cannot be eliminated.
The MD of 2Agriculture agreed to comply with the request to participate in drawing up emergency plans to cope with such a disaster in the unlikely event that it might happen (within Stoke Ferry this could mean the flattening of the majority of historic properties in the centre of the village).