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Stoneyhill PAHs entering foul sewer and arriving at Coalport semi-treatment works before entering the Severn

Paul Cawthorne made this Environmental Information Regulations request to Severn Trent Plc
You only have a right in law to access information about the environment from this authority

We're waiting for Paul Cawthorne to read a recent response and update the status.

Dear Severn Trent Plc,

Please release:

1. all communications received or sent by Severn Trent from 1/11/23-31/3/24 regarding the “hazardous” chemical drum dump site “elevated leachate”discharge from Lightmoor Stoneyhill at Telford or its reception at Coalport.

2. information received by Severn Trent evidencing its statement that Telford council is disabling ST release of the scientific chemical testing data showing which chemicals are in the leachate entering the foul sewer

3. confirmation whether toxic chemicals are entering the World Heritage Site from Telford Stoneyhill

Please see for background, Fear of Finding Out:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m001hp0d

and recent analysis of another of the underclassified sitesby a chemical engineer:

https://northwestbylines.co.uk/environme...

Yours faithfully,
Paul Cawthorne

CustomerEIR, Severn Trent Plc

ST Classification: OFFICIAL COMMERCIAL

Dear Paul,

Thank you for your recent request for information, which we have answered
in line with the Environmental Information Regulations 2004
(“Regulations”). We have outlined our response below, including your
original questions for reference.

 

1. all communications received or sent by Severn Trent from
1/11/23-31/3/24 regarding the “hazardous” chemical drum dump site
“elevated leachate”discharge from Lightmoor Stoneyhill at Telford or its
reception at Coalport.

 

Other than communication relating to our duties under the Water Industry
Act 1991 (WIA), which we reference below, we have had no further
communication with Stoney Hill since our response to you provided in
February 2024.

 

2. information received by Severn Trent evidencing its statement that
Telford council is disabling ST release of the scientific chemical testing
data showing which chemicals are in the leachate entering the foul sewer.

 

We believe that we have answered this question as part of our previous
response dated 16 November 2023. This response outlined that Information
relating to all our trade effluent consents is available to any persons
who request it. However, under s206 ‘Restriction on disclosure of
information’ of the WIA, we are unable to share trade effluent sample
data. The WIA makes it a criminal offence for us to disclose information
of any particular business which has been obtained by virtue of any
provisions of the WIA and which relates to the affairs of an individual or
particular business. For this to be shared, we would need the consent of
that individual or the person for the time being carrying on that
business.

3. confirmation whether toxic chemicals are entering the World Heritage
Site from Telford Stoneyhill.

 

We’re considering this request under the Environmental Information
Regulations. Due to the broad nature of your question, we are unable to
provide you with you a response. If you are able to clarify the
information covered by the Regulations that you are requesting, we will be
able to consider that more specific request.

Many Thanks

 

Severn Trent EIR team

 

Severn Trent Plc (registered number 2366619) and Severn Trent Water
Limited (registered number 2366686) (together the "Companies") are both
limited companies registered in England & Wales with their registered
office at Severn Trent Centre, 2 St John's Street, Coventry, CV1 2LZ This
email (which includes any files attached to it) is not contractually
binding on its own, is intended solely for the named recipient and may
contain CONFIDENTIAL, legally privileged or trade secret information
protected by law. If you have received this message in error please delete
it and notify us immediately by telephoning +44 2477715000. If you are not
the intended recipient you must not use, disclose, distribute, reproduce,
retransmit, retain or rely on any information contained in this email.
Please note the Companies reserve the right to monitor email
communicationsin accordance with applicable law and regulations. To the
extent permitted by law, neither the Companies or any of their
subsidiaries, nor any employee, director or officer thereof, accepts any
liability whatsoever in relation to this email including liability arising
from any external breach of security or confidentiality or for virus
infection or for statements made by the sender as these are not
necessarily made on behalf of the Companies. Reduce waste! Please consider
the environment before printing this email

Dear CustomerEIR,

Regarding the STW attempt block the need to answer 3 candidly, here a rephrasing:
Are toxic chemicals coming down the foul sewer which lies in the World Heritage Site from Stoneyhill Landfill site? It’s not difficult to answer !

Yours sincerely,
Paul Cawthorne

Dear Anonymous,

Thanks for this substandard EIR response

Please note it is being made available to the production team of this ten part Radio 4 series airing next month about the U.K. Monsanto Chemical Dump Sites Scandal:
https://www.bbc.com/mediacentre/2024/mic...
so please feel free to expedite a follow up reply to show that STW is not deliberately obfuscating.

1. You may not have had communication “with Stoney Hill”, as you idiosyncratically write, but have you had communication with Telford Council in the period initially specified and up to now?

2. A claim was made by Jason Rogers in November, on the day of the Coalbrookdale public meeting, that Telford Council is not allowing the simple data release by STW and that STW was waiting for Telford Council response. However no evidence of that input from Telford Council has actually been produced. Please release the evidence for Jason’s convenient claim, anonymised if needed.

Is Telford Council a business or a public body?

3. It seems pretty simple to answer whether in the knowledge of STW toxic chemicals are entering the World Heritage Site. Let’s start by STW showing some regard for public duty of candour by answering, ‘are toxic chemicals travelling down the foul sewer from Stoneyhill Monsanto toxic chemical dump site into the geographical area which comprises the official outline area of the World Heritage Site’.
It will be SO much easier if STW answers candidly and truthfully, rather than demeaning the public service aspect of its role by trying to find yet more wriggle room to produce yet more false negatives in EIR response.

It does seem remarkable given Jason Rogers’ previous role in your organisation of Chemistry Services Manager that no substantive answer about the toxic chemicals STW clearly knows are going to Coalport semi-treatment works from Stoneyhill has yet emerged in this thread.
Why so coy?

Yours patiently,
Paul Cawthorne

CustomerEIR, Severn Trent Plc

ST Classification: OFFICIAL COMMERCIAL

Dear Mr Cawthorne,  

 

Thank you for your recent requests for information made under the
Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (“Regulations”). We have
outlined our response below, taking account of our obligations under the
Regulations as well as the Water Industry Act 1991. We have included your
original questions for reference. 

 

confirmation whether toxic chemicals are entering the World Heritage Site
from Telford Stoneyhill. 

 

As advised in our previous response. Under the Water Industry Act 1991
(WIA), Severn Trent Water has a legal obligation to control and monitor
trade effluent which enters our sewerage network through the foul sewer. 
We in-turn set specific consent requirements for each customer to ensure
that we are: 

 

·         able to effectively treat and safely return wastewater to the
environment without causing harm to the environment or damaging our
assets; and 

·         protecting those that work or are in and around the sewerage
network.  

 

Consents contain the various limits and sampling arrangements specific to
each customer. The way we set limits for all trade effluent customers is
based on knowledge of the industry type, information provided from the
applying customers and any additional data that is available or that we
collect as part of the application/consenting process. In doing so, we set
limits to ensure that we are protecting our assets, people, and the
environment. The limits we set are there to ensure that there is no harm
to the environment and to ensure that our treatment processes can
effectively treat waste in accordance with the environmental permits set
for us by our regulators. The consent is publicly available, which we have
previously signposted you towards, this details the limits set across
various parameters.  

 

 You may not have had communication “with Stoney Hill”, as you
idiosyncratically write, but have you had communication with Telford
Council in the period initially specified and up to now? -  

 

We have no other communications to share with you for the period
referenced, other than the information shared as part of our previous
responses.  

 

A claim was made by Jason Rogers in November, on the day of the
Coalbrookdale public meeting, that Telford Council is not allowing the
simple data release by STW and that STW was waiting for Telford Council
response. However no evidence of that input from Telford Council has
actually been produced. Please release the evidence for Jason’s convenient
claim, anonymised if needed. 

 

As advised previously, information relating to all our trade effluent
consents is available on request. However, under s206 ‘Restriction on
disclosure of information’ of the WIA, we are unable to share our trade
effluent sample data with you from the Stoneyhill Landfill site. The WIA
makes it a criminal offence for us to disclose information of any
particular business, which has been obtained by virtue of any provisions
of the WIA and which relates to the affairs of an individual or particular
business. For this to be shared, we would need the consent of that
individual, or the person for the time being carrying on that business. As
advised this consent has not been granted and therefore, we cannot share
it with you. Whilst we appreciate that this will be frustrating for you,
we have clear obligations under the Act, which we need to follow. 

 

 Is Telford Council a business or a public body? 

 

Information regarding the status of Telford Council is a matter for the
council, this isn’t a request that falls inside the Environmental
Information Regulations 2004.  

 

It seems pretty simple to answer whether in the knowledge of STW toxic
chemicals are entering the World Heritage Site. Let’s start by STW showing
some regard for public duty of candour by answering, ‘are toxic chemicals
travelling down the foul sewer from Stoneyhill Monsanto toxic chemical
dump site into the geographical area which comprises the official outline
area of the World Heritage Site’.  

 

The landfill has an agreement to discharge trade effluent to us. In the
agreement there are volume and quality conditions that have been set by us
to ensure that we are protecting our assets, people and the environment.
The limits we set are there to ensure that there is no harm to the
environment and to ensure that our treatment processes can effectively
treat waste in accordance with the environmental permits set for us by our
regulators.  

As previously stated, we can confirm that the receiving treatment works is
operating satisfactorily and within the legal parameters prescribed under
its environmental permit. As also previously stated, under s206
‘Restriction on disclosure of information’ of the WIA, we are unable to
share our trade effluent sample data with you from the Stoneyhill Landfill
site. The WIA makes it a criminal offence for us to disclose information
of any particular business which has been obtained by virtue of any
provisions of the WIA and which relates to the affairs of an individual or
particular business.  

For this to be shared, we would need the consent of that individual, or
the person for the time being carrying on that business. We do not have
that consent.  

 

It will be SO much easier if STW answers candidly and truthfully, rather
than demeaning the public service aspect of its role by trying to find yet
more wriggle room to produce yet more false negatives in EIR response. 

 

It does seem remarkable given Jason Rogers’ previous role in your
organisation of Chemistry Services Manager that no substantive answer
about the toxic chemicals STW clearly knows are going to Coalport
semi-treatment works from Stoneyhill has yet emerged in this thread. 

Why so coy? 

 

As we’ve set out, there are two sets of regulations that apply to the
information that you are requesting. The first are the Environmental
Information Regulations 2004 and the second is the Water Industry Act
1991.  In some of your questions you are asking us to either break these
regulations, or to offer an opinion that sits outside of our operation and
remit. Whilst we appreciate that this is clearly frustrating you, we have
addressed your questions honestly, we have not intended to obfuscate and
there is no reason for us to do so. We simply must operate in line with
the obligations outlined in the Water Industry Act, which, limit the
information we can share.  

 

We would direct you to Telford Council who would be best placed to share
information relating to the Stoneyhill landfill operation.  

 

Many Thanks  

 

Severn Trent EIR team 

 

Severn Trent Plc (registered number 2366619) and Severn Trent Water
Limited (registered number 2366686) (together the "Companies") are both
limited companies registered in England & Wales with their registered
office at Severn Trent Centre, 2 St John's Street, Coventry, CV1 2LZ This
email (which includes any files attached to it) is not contractually
binding on its own, is intended solely for the named recipient and may
contain CONFIDENTIAL, legally privileged or trade secret information
protected by law. If you have received this message in error please delete
it and notify us immediately by telephoning +44 2477715000. If you are not
the intended recipient you must not use, disclose, distribute, reproduce,
retransmit, retain or rely on any information contained in this email.
Please note the Companies reserve the right to monitor email
communicationsin accordance with applicable law and regulations. To the
extent permitted by law, neither the Companies or any of their
subsidiaries, nor any employee, director or officer thereof, accepts any
liability whatsoever in relation to this email including liability arising
from any external breach of security or confidentiality or for virus
infection or for statements made by the sender as these are not
necessarily made on behalf of the Companies. Reduce waste! Please consider
the environment before printing this email

Dear Anonymous,

Please conduct a review of the previous blocking response.

1. “We have no other communications to share with you for the period referenced”. Please confirm whether communications exist, separate from whether you are choosing to ‘share with’ me.

2. “information received by Severn Trent evidencing its statement that Telford council is disabling ST release of the scientific chemical testing data showing which chemicals are in the leachate entering the foul sewer”
Please release information to show the truth of Jason’s statement. Without such written evidence, things seem rather dodgy, don’t they?

3. “confirmation whether toxic chemicals are entering the World Heritage Site from Telford Stoneyhill”. It’s rather simple to answer this without breaking the law. A simple yes or no would suffice.

Comment:
Severn Trent’s consistent obfuscation since November about known PAHs at Stoneyhill such as phenols flowing down the foul sewer to Coalport gives an impression of management collusion in an unfit for purpose process to the potential detriment of river Severn environmental health. This is especially so while ST refuses to even confirm it regularly tests for phenols at Coalport before discharge to the river !
Transparency and official candour now would be much appreciated.

Please see:
“87. We cannot see that NWL adequately considered the positive reasons for disclosure especially in light of the presumption in the EIR and the status of emissions. In addition to the general desirability for transparency these positive reasons include that (1) it is important that the public have access to environmental information (2) in enables comparisons to be made between this information and datasets with other information provided by NWL or others (3) it better enables others to carry out their own analysis and (4) it enables there to be better informed debate on water and sewerage issues and environmental matters generally.”
https://caselaw.nationalarchives.gov.uk/...

Please review Severn Trent’s management secrecy and potential collusion in potential illegal significant pollution of controlled waters.

Yours faithfully,
Paul Cawthorne

CustomerEIR, Severn Trent Plc

ST Classification: UNMARKED

Dear Paul,

Thank you for your email. Following our response to your request, which we answered under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (the 'Regulations'), we are now carrying out an Internal Review of our response in line with the Regulations. The Regulations allow for a maximum of 40 working days for an Internal Review to be concluded and communicated to a requestor. This is to ensure that the review is given due consideration. We confirm that we will meet this deadline and we will of course endeavour to respond sooner if possible.

Best wishes,
Severn Trent EIR Team
Severn Trent Plc (registered number 2366619) and Severn Trent Water Limited (registered number 2366686) (together the "Companies") are both limited companies registered in England & Wales with their registered office at Severn Trent Centre, 2 St John's Street, Coventry, CV1 2LZ This email (which includes any files attached to it) is not contractually binding on its own, is intended solely for the named recipient and may contain CONFIDENTIAL, legally privileged or trade secret information protected by law. If you have received this message in error please delete it and notify us immediately by telephoning +44 2477715000. If you are not the intended recipient you must not use, disclose, distribute, reproduce, retransmit, retain or rely on any information contained in this email. Please note the Companies reserve the right to monitor email communicationsin accordance with applicable law and regulations. To the extent permitted by law, neither the Companies or any of their subsidiaries, nor any employee, director or officer thereof, accepts any liability whatsoever in relation to this email including liability arising from any external breach of security or confidentiality or for virus infection or for statements made by the sender as these are not necessarily made on behalf of the Companies. Reduce waste! Please consider the environment before printing this email

We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Paul Cawthorne please sign in and let everyone know.