The Environment Agency has launched an investigation into alleged illegal waste activities at sites operated by Red Industries Limited.
This comes after a period of increased regulation by the Environment Agency at Walleys Quarry Ltd in Newcastle-under-Lyme, where high levels of hydrogen sulphide have been causing issues for local residents.
Red Industries Limited is the parent company of Walleys Quarry Ltd.
In September 2021, a judge ruled in favour of a mother of a five-year-old boy, who made a legal case against the regulator of the Staffordshire landfill site.
The mother accused the regulator of emitting noxious gases that risk shortening her disabled son's life.
The judge said that he was “not satisfied, on the evidence, that officials within the EA have done what compliance with the applicable legal duties requires".
And the Court stressed that “there is an obvious and pressing public interest imperative” that the Environment Agency must reduce levels “as a matter of urgency”.
During the hearing, the Environment Agency argued there is not a real and immediate risk to the boy's life, but the court heard that the agency had taken "very substantial steps" at the landfill site and "continues to keep matters under review".
However, the Environment Agency is now taking additional steps to investigate Red Industries Limited, following new information.
A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said:
"The Environment Agency is formally investigating Red Industries and their associated companies following new information provided to us of alleged illegal waste activities."
In response to the Environment Agency’s announcement of an investigation into a breach of regulations at Walleys Quarry, a company spokesperson said:
“Walleys Quarry Ltd has never received or disposed of hazardous waste in contravention of any regulations.
"Any allegations that it has ever done so are baseless and wrong. There are no grounds whatsoever for this investigation or the unprofessional way it has been publicised by the EA as a supposedly responsible regulator.
"Despite this, the company will co-operate fully with the EA investigation so the true facts can be established and made known at the earliest opportunity.”