Brofiscin Quarry

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Brofiscin Quarry, Groes Faen is a disused limestone quarry in Groes-faen, near Llantrisant in South Wales. It has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest due to the exposed Early Carboniferous geological formations on the site.[1] It was used for about seven years for dumping of toxic waste including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and was capped in 2011.


Brofiscin Quarry is privately owned, and was leased to waste contractors for use as a landfill, as is common with spent quarries. It was used as a waste site from about 1965 to 1972 and accepted waste from BP, Veolia, and Monsanto.[2][3] A 2005 report by Environmental Agency Wales found that the quarry contained up to 75 toxic substances, including heavy metals, Agent Orange, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).[2][4] Prior to its remediation, The Guardian described the site as "one of the most contaminated places in Britain."[5]

Remediation and costs[edit]

In February 2011 The Ecologist and The Guardian reported that Monsanto had agreed to help with the costs of remediation, but did not accept responsibility for the pollution.[6] A webpage at the Environmental Agency site put up at around that time states: "We have completed our extensive enquiries to identify those we consider should be held responsible under the contaminated land laws and be held liable for the cost of remediating Brofiscin Quarry. We are at an advanced stage in our consultations with BP, Veolia and Monsanto to provide them with the opportunity to help remediate the land on a voluntary basis. We expect to make further progress on this matter in the next few months. If this approach is unsuccessful, we have the power to carry out the work needed ourselves and recover our costs. The three companies have been identified under the legislation as inheriting the liabilities of companies who were associated with depositing wastes at the quarry."[7]

In 2011 Environment Agency Wales and the Rhondda Cynon Taf council announced that they had decided to place an engineered cap over the waste mass in the quarry[8] and stated that the cost would be 1.5 million pounds; previous estimates discussed in the media had been as high as £100 million, which Environment Agency Wales had dismissed.[4][9] The site was cleared of vegetation and engineering work began in October 2011,[2][10][11] and was completed in 2012.[12]

On 14 July 2015, it was reported that Monsanto, BP and Veolia had agreed to pay to contribute to the cleanup of the site, although they continue to deny liability.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Brofiscin Quarry, Groes Faen". Countryside Council for Wales. Archived from the original on 6 June 2014. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
  2. ^ a b c Staff, Wales Online. 17 Oct, 2011 Remedial work to start on quarry
  3. ^ Burges Salmon LLP. 12 April 2012 Changes to the contaminated land regime Archived 2014-09-03 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ a b BBC 15 June 2011 Brofiscin Quarry pollution at Groesfaen to be cleaned
  5. ^ "The wasteland: how years of secret chemical dumping left a toxic legacy". The Guardian. 12 February 2007. Retrieved 1 September 2014.
  6. ^ "Monsanto agrees to clean up toxic chemicals in South Wales quarry". The Guardian. 21 February 2011. Retrieved 5 June 2013.
  7. ^ "EA responsibility". Environment Agency Wales. Archived from the original on 2013-10-14. Retrieved 5 June 2013.
  8. ^ Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council RCTCBC "Brofiscin" site Archived September 2, 2014, at the Wayback Machine Accessed 1 September 2014
  9. ^ BBC, 12 February 2007, 22:48 £100m site clean up cost denied
  10. ^ BBC 17 October 2011 Brofiscin Quarry waste clean-up starts near Llantrisant
  11. ^ "What happens next?". Environment Agency Wales. Archived from the original on 2013-06-19. Retrieved 5 June 2013.
  12. ^ Stanley PC. Brofiscin Quarry Remediation Scheme. Cardiff, Wales.[permanent dead link] International Conference, Contaminated Sites. Bratislava 2013 pp 111-122
  13. ^ Levitt, Tom. "Monsanto, BP and Veolia agree to pay for cleanup of contaminated Welsh site". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 September 2017.

Coordinates: 51°31′20″N 3°20′35″W / 51.52222°N 3.34306°W / 51.52222; -3.34306