‘Unbearable stench’ rising from chemical dumping ground after Storm Henk deluge
Nicholas Thomas, local democracy reporter
An “unbearable stench” is rising from an old quarry site where chemicals were dumped decades ago, following the heavy rain generated by Storm Henk.
Local councillor Janine Reed said locals’ fears were realised this week when the storm caused surface water to pour down a hillside above Ynysddu.
Ty Llwyd Quarry, above the village, was used as a dumping ground for chemicals – including carcinogenic PCBs – in the 1960s and 1970s.
It was little more than a year ago the alarm was sounded over leachate seeping from the former quarry into a nearby woodland, prompting the local community to call for urgent action before the current winter weather caused a repeat incident.
But this week, Storm Henk brought downpours to Caerphilly County Borough, and Cllr Reed said residents were soon hearing about water “rushing” down the hillside from the old quarry site.
Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS), she said she then rushed to the fenced-off quarry site, finding council workers there about to carry out tests.
Cllr Reed said she was not allowed to enter the fenced-off quarry site to check whether tests were being carried out at “suitable” locations.
A Caerphilly County Borough Council spokesman confirmed to the LDRS that it had “deployed staff” to Ty Llwyd.
Cllr Reed, who represents Ynysddu, said she stayed nearby while the tests were completed, and said the “stench from the quarry was unbelievable”.
“This concerns me as people drive and walk along this road,” she said. “There are also a number of public footpaths in the Pantyffynnon woodland, which are regularly walked by people living next to the woodland.
“It’s frightening that people have put up with this smell.”
Since that incident, Cllr Reed said the smell at the quarry had made her feel “really ill”, suffer a migraine and become “nauseous”.
She has now repeated her and Cllr Jan Jones’ calls for urgent action at Ty Llwyd.
A Caerphilly Council spokesman told the LDRS: “The recent period of heavy rainfall caused flooding incidents across the region.
“We deployed staff to the former Ty Llwyd Quarry as part of our ongoing management of the site and we will continue to closely monitor the situation.”
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