The Environmental Health Section will respond to complaints about air pollution. Typical complaints are about smoke from bonfires, dark smoke from industrial chimneys, dust from construction sites and smells from factories or shops. Each case will be judged on its merits by the investigating officer, but the majority of cases will fall under the control of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
Part 3 of The Environmental Protection Act 1990 places a duty upon Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council to take all reasonable steps to investigate suspected statutory nuisances. Statutory Nuisances would include smoking bonfires, smells from industrial premises (not domestic properties) and dust from construction sites. If the investigating officer is satisfied that a statutory nuisance exists the law requires that a notice is served requiring that the nuisance is abated. A person who fails to comply with the requirements of the notice may be prosecuted and upon conviction receive a fine of up to £5000 per offence ( £20 000 in the case of a commercial premises)
The Clean Air Act 1993 controls the emission of dark or black smoke from a trade or industrial premises. This usually relates to dark or black smoke from chimneys or from open burning e.g. cable burning. It is also an offence to produce dark or black smoke from a domestic chimney.
As well as investigating complaints about air pollution incidents the Environmental Health Team issues permits to certain types of businesses. The Pollution Prevention and Control (England and Wales) Regulations 2000 gives Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council control over certain aspects of the operation of these businesses. It is illegal for these businesses to operate without a valid permit/authorisation.