Environmental permits for Chirk's Kronospan factory to be controlled by Natural Resources Wales
Natural Resources Wales wants to take over as site environmental regulator at the Kronospan factory in Chirk.
Currently the national body and Wrexham County Borough Council are both responsible for environmental permits on the site in the centre of the town. Consolidation will enable NRW to take over regulation of the entire site.
In January the factory, which makes wood particle board, was hit by a large fire, raising worries about its environmental impact.
NRW Operations Manager for North East Wales, David Powell said consolidation of the permits would be a significant step forward for the organisation.
"The consolidation of Kronospan’s environmental permit will enable us, as the regulator, to ensure that the factory complies with relevant standards and that the permit incorporates the latest European best practice and associated emission limits," he said.
“As we progress with the permit consolidation, we will continue to engage with Kronospan and remain committed to consulting with the public on our draft decision which will be available by the end of 2020.”
A pending planning application for a new production line at Kronospan has been delayed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mr Powell said: “Several issues remained unresolved regarding Kronospan’s production line application, and although we are continuing to work with Kronospan on the technical assessment, factors such as noise assessment are being impacted by the Covid-19 situation."
He said a noise survey that had been requested in February had been unable to be carried out, initially because of bad weather and then the pandemic.
The site is still not operating at full capacity and background noise is also lower than it would normally be.
"Any survey now would be considered unrepresentative of normal site operations," explained Mr Powell.