Site visits to give North West industry tips in environmental risk prevention
One of the largest industrial parks in Europe is being targeted by the Environment Agency for England, with several weeks of site visits planned.
Visits from EA officials, in addition to Knowsley Council’s environmental health staff and North West Water’s trade effluent team, will begin from 22 November at Knowsley Industrial Park, the largest such park in Merseyside.
The site checks will continue for several weeks and will focus on:
- waste and waste disposal
- water usage
- oil and chemical storage
- on-site environmental housekeeping
“W aren’t going to go in heavy handed and we aren’t expecting to find any major problems,” Lesley Ormedrod, an environment protection officer with the EA told edie. “On an estate like this, a lot of small problems can add up and everyone needs to do their bit.” EA officials, who are leading the multi-agency programme, will drop in on businesses and will have an environmetnal protection exhibit moving around the park over the next few weeks.
“We visit some of the businesses in the park regularly on the basis of their licences, and we are planning to visit all sites that don’t have a waste management licence or don’t have an environmental authorisation with us,” said Ormedrod. The visits are seen by the EA as part of its on-going campaign to improve the area’s environment and not as a crackdown. One long-term EA is to improve the quality of the water exiting the park. The industrial park is in the Alt river catchment, but park’s water is currently diverted to the foul sewer system. “Hopefully it will eventually become clean enough that we’ll be able to reconnect it to the surface water system,” said Ormedrod.
The EA will use the visits to give advice on ways to prevent pollution whether it is through waste, water or any other route. Above all, EA officials want to highlight the help they can offer companies in complying with legislation and avoiding prosecution.”
The visits also coincide with waste survey results for the industrial park. Knowsley Industrial Waste Initiative (Kiwi) will be letting businesses know what types of waste they are producing and how much. “We wanted to determine the park’s collective levels of waste and types of waste,” Kester Boardman, Kiwi project manager, told edie. Kiwi will use the results to determine what waste management services the park’s businesses need. “A lot of smaller companies tend to just mix waste all together and send it to landfill,” says Boardman.
Kiwi helps businesses “locate hidden profit by maximising efficiency and minimising waste of materials and utilities.”
Knowsley Industrial Park is home to almost 1,000 businesses including such well-known names as Kodak, QVC and St Ivel. It takes up 1,200 acres.
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