Warning over use of illegal kiln dust

The Environment Agency is warning farmers and landowners to ensure that cement waste materials are not being spread on their land illegally.

A number of companies are suspected of spreading fertiliser replacement products containing cement kiln dust on land without an environmental permit under the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010.

Cement kiln dust and By Pass dusts are waste materials from the cement industry that are used as lime or fertiliser substitutes. These dusts are controlled wastes which means land spreaders are legally required to apply for a permit to apply them to be spread. Permit holders then have to apply for authorisation for every site they intend to spread the material.

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The legislation applies to all materials containing cement kiln dust, regardless of whether the dust has been blended with other materials or not.

Martin Flack, senior environment officer at the Environment Agency, said: “It’s vital that the spreading of cement kiln dust is properly regulated, regardless of whether it’s been blended with other materials or not. Cement kiln dust contains heavy metals, and if we don’t control how much is spread on any particular site, there’s a risk that the heavy metals could affect groundwater, soil health or enter the food chain.

“We’re concerned that some sites may not be suitable for use of the cement kiln dust. We can’t allow this unregulated land spreading practice to continue unchecked.

“Our advice to farmers and landowners who use lime substitutes on their land is to check whether it contains cement kiln dust, and if it does, to ensure that they or the spreader have applied for and obtained an appropriate environmental permit for the land in question.”

Anyone concerned about products being offered as lime substitutes can contact the agency on 03708 506 50.