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Batteries: Recycling

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN HL5950, tabled on 3 February 2022

To ask Her Majesty's Government what were the reasons for the delay in the assessment by the Environment Agency of the Fenix alkaline battery recycling plant waste permit application at Willenhall.

Answered on

18 February 2022

The Environment Agency's (EA) National Permitting Service is dealing with the application from Fenix Recycling Ltd as a priority.

This application is for the recovery and disposal of hazardous waste and this type of facility and activity has the potential to cause significant harm to the environment and local community. The site is near residential properties and the applicant's submissions so far do not include enough information to satisfy the EA potential risks are understood and will be minimised.

The application was submitted on 15 February 2021 and allocated for assessment on 21 April 2021. The application did not contain enough information and the EA was only able to begin assessing the application on 27 May 2021 once additional necessary information was received from the applicant. A public consultation was held from 29 June to 19 August 2021.

The EA's assessment and the public consultation responses raised concerns about the operator's approach to specific risks that were not addressed by the information provided in support of the application. The EA requested more information from the applicant on 17 December 2021 to address this and is still awaiting their response.