Welsh Conservatives need to insist Westminster Government Pay for coal tip action and removal

Responding to an expert stating that a coal tip warning system is essential, Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Climate Change, Janet Finch Saunders MS said:

“The calls for a coal tip warning system should be heeded by Labour ministers. We’ve already seen the government release details about 327 higher-risk coal tips without releasing the specific locations.

“It’s high time people up and down Wales were provided with peace of mind and security. Introducing warning systems alongside coal tip safety maps that inform locals on emergency planning, coal tip risk designation, spatial planning and community awareness would go a long way to providing that security.

“Sadly, all we have seen so far is Labour ministers blaming others. They’ve had ample opportunities to warn and protect people and communities by making these coal tips safe, but as ever, they’ve chosen not to act, instead they’ve opted to pass responsibility.”



Management of Tips and Stockpiles


It is important to remember that the legal term ‘tip’ includes stockpiles. These can be as hazardous as other tips, and so they too need to be properly designed and operated. Walls or other supports provided to contain stockpiles should be designed by a competent person and considered as part of the stockpile during appraisal or assessment.

The Operator must ensure that suitable operating procedures are in place for the safe operation of tips and stockpiles:

The operating procedures for tips should also address, in the case of solid tips:

  • The degree of compaction required for tipped material.
  • The frequency of inspection, appraisal and assessment,



Factors determining the siting and design of tips and stockpiles

  • The nature of the quarried material. –unstable materials do not compact to form a stable surface and are more likely to fail or flow– stable materials compact to form a stable surface. – Stable materials can become unstable if one or more of the other factors below are causing an issue.
  • The ground used for the stockpiles- It should be firm and provide a stable foundation. It should be relatively level, properly drained and should not be affected by water courses, which may flood.
  • The volume of product. – The output of a quarry will have an influence on the siting, type and size of stockpile. The angle of repose of the stockpiled material must be taken into account
  • The area available and required. – The size of the area, irrespective of the type of stockpile, must be sufficient for mobile equipment to operate when dumping and loading out.
  • Other potential hazards. – No stockpile should be formed under or on top of power lines. Access shall not be from beneath overhead power lines. High stockpiles should not be located where high wind conditions may suddenly occur.
  • Environmental considerations. – Siting should ensure the lowest environmental impact possible


Appraisal report from Department of Energy and Climate Change (“DECC”) relating to records of the former National Coal Board ("NCB") (latterly British Coal Corporation ("BCC")) – a statutory corporation created in 1947 and wound up in 2004


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