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ENRMF LLW – Final Legal Ruling

We have been informed by the Supreme Court that the application by campaigners to enable them to further appeal the rulings of both the High Court and the Court of Appeal has been refused.

The Appeal Panel of three Supreme Court judges have considered and upheld the rulings of the Court of Appeal. On the law, the Panel confirmed that ‘the answer is so obvious as to leave no scope for reasonable doubt’. They also held that there will is no need to refer the case to the European Court of Justice. These proceedings are now at an end.

In January, the presiding Lords Justice unanimously found no merit in the campaigners legal arguments and dismissed the appeal, upholding that the decision of the Secretary of State to allow acceptance of Low Level Waste (LLW) at our East Northants Resource Management Facility (ENRMF) was approached on the correct basis and found that his decision was “not impeachable on any legal ground”. The Court concluded that the Secretary of State was reasonable in his decision and that account had appropriately been taken of the future proposals of Augean. The Lords Justice ruled that “the purposes of the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive have been fulfilled”. This clear direction from the Court of Appeal confirmed the ruling made in the High Court in November 2011.

The appeal did not relate to the safety or the policy merits of the scheme but only to this narrow point of law.

We have been accepting consignments of LLW at ENRMF since December 2011. The ENRMF provides a nationally valuable site that is permitted, designed and operated to deliver urgently needed safe disposal capacity for consignors producing LLW. The Environment Agency and Health Protection Agency have been involved in overseeing the deliveries to ensure that the site operational standards meet the necessary standards. Augean’s procedures and operational management systems have stood up robustly to the regulatory demands of accepting LLW.

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