by Henry James (July 2022)

RESIDENTS in Skelmersdale are kicking up a stink about what they say is a ‘toxic smell’ hanging over the area.

Many believe the smell is coming from the Whitemoss Waste Management Facility but the site’s owners Veolia, say they have carried out checks and so far, “nothing linked to the landfill” has been found.

One resident posted on social media: “This smell in old Skem is so bad. I hope it’s resolved soon - concerning that it’s so awful, I hope it’s not harmful.”

Another stated: “I’ve just walked down the high street and it’s awful, the smell is worse than before.”

Since the waste facility was expanded, residents have frequently raised concerns about dust clouds being released from the site and repeated ‘obnoxious’ smells.

MP Rosie Cooper has called for an urgent investigation and said that residents’ concerns over the Whitemoss Landfil site during the years have been ignored.

A Veolia spokesperson, however, said that odour is constantly monitored at the site and investigations by the Environment Agency and the county council have found nothing linked to the site.

They said: “We would like to reassure the residents that since acquiring the site in 2019, we constantly monitor odour as part of our daily activities.

“Gas company Cadent visited the site to undertake a gas survey adjacent to the landfill but they found nothing and they are carrying out further investigations in the local area.

“We have also met the West Lancashire Council’s local Environment Health team on-site who have been carrying out odour

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checks and so far have found nothing linked to the landfill.

“We will continue to monitor and will liaise with the Environment Agency who are aware of the current situation.”

The West Lancashire MP said: “Residents are continually subjected to obnoxious smells together with the threat of potentially hazardous substances being released into the air.

“It is no wonder people are really worried about this ‘toxic’ smell and what it might mean for their health.

“I have sought assurances from the county council and Environment Agency that these smells and any toxicity are being properly investigated.

“If anything is happening at the site that shouldn’t be, I want to know about it, and it needs to be stopped quickly.

“The health of Skelmersdale residents must be put before any business interests.”

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