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Committee Chair urges action on potential metal mine pollution “scandal”

9 May 2024

The Chair of the Welsh Affairs Committee Stephen Crabb has written to the Welsh Government, asking them to consider taking further action on pollution from abandoned metal mines.

Writing to Huw Irranca-Davies, Cabinet Secretary for Climate Change and Rural Affairs, the Chair writes that “Members of the Committee were deeply concerned by what we heard,” in an evidence session on Wednesday 8th May.

The letter is available to read on the Committee’s website.

“The extent of metal mine pollution in Wales has been known for many years,” the Chair writes. “Yet little concrete action has been taken and the system as a whole has failed to deliver progress.”

He continues: “Unless urgent action is taken, the issue of metal mine pollution in Wales has the potential to become an environmental and public health scandal.”

In the letter, the Committee asks the Welsh Government to consider:

  • Amending the remit of Natural Resources Wales (NRW) to include the effective remediation of land contaminated by metal mine pollution
  • Working with the Welsh Local Government Association to create and maintain a database of Local Authority action on contaminated land
  • Implementing clear targets for the number of metal mine sites to be fully remediated

Further information

Image: House of Commons