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Petition launched to clear site of waste fire near Grantham with over 1,000 signatures

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A petition has been launched to clear the site of a recent waste fire near Grantham, gaining over 1,000 signatures in three days.

Following a commercial waste fire which broke out overnight on September 21in Fen Lane, Long Bennington, local residents expressed concerns over what they feared were "toxic" fumesresulting from the blaze.

Three days ago, a petition was started by Paul Jarram, appealing to the Environment Agency and the Department of Health to clean up the site, "which is polluting air, land, and waterways" and called the situation a "dire environmental and health crisis".

The Fen Lane fire continues to burn. Photo: RSM Photography (51571589)
The Fen Lane fire continues to burn. Photo: RSM Photography (51571589)

On Friday, Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue confirmed that they still had one appliance left at the site, with the fire burning under control.

Area Manager, Dan Moss said: “Our current multi agency strategy for management of the incident centres around a controlled burn strategy.

"We are working closely with partners to mitigate the impact of the incident on local residents and the environment.

"Whilst we do not have appliances on scene all of the time, we are visiting the site three times a day to monitor and review conditions, and taking appropriate actions if there is a need.

"Our fire investigation officers continue to review evidence that will allow a final determination of the cause to be made.”

Paul stated on the petition that a local resident has used an air quality monitor to record the pollutants in the affected area, "which has confirmed extremely dangerous and high levels of volatile organic compounds and particulate matter".

The petition also voices concerns of how the fire will impact local soil, trees and waterways, as well as local residents' ability to exercise and other issues arising from the fire's fumes.

The petition said: "What we are appealing for is an immediate clean up of the site with bulldozers. This will remove thousands of tons of illegally dumped commercial waste and will extinguish the fires.

"The only alternative is to continue with a controlled burn, which could last for several months potentially leading to the poisoning and death of wildlife and local residents, especially the elderly, the very young and those with health complications.

"We must not forget that we are still currently living through a respiratory disease pandemic.

"Please, we are desperate for action now. This is a dire environmental and health crisis.

"With enough signatures, we hope that the minister in charge will release sufficient funds to enable the Environment Agency to clear the site and allow the residents to live a healthy life, and by so doing preserve wildlife and the cleanliness of waterways."

An Environment Agency spokesperson said: “We are working as part of a multi-agency response at the scene of the fire in Fen Lane, Long Bennington.

“The fire is still burning but decreasing in size. However, Public Health England has advised people should stay inside and keep their doors and windows shut.

“Our officers will visit the site regularly this week to carry out checks and gather information for our investigation.”

To read more about the petition, visit: www.change.org/p/the-environmental-agency-clean-up-illegal-commercial-waste-site-which-is-polluting-air-land-and-waterways

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