NEW information has been issued by the Coal Tip Safety Task Force to keep local communities informed about former industrial mining sites located throughout Wales.
Over the last few years, partnership work has been taking place between local councils, Welsh Government, Natural Resources Wales and the Coal Authority to develop a greater understanding of the number of disused coal tips, where they are located, and who might own them now.
Each former mining site has been inspected using an agreed methodology and has received a category which takes into account what the potential impact could be in the event of an incident such as a collapse or land slip.
This has resulted in sites receiving either an A, B, C or D rating, with C and D noting locations where any disruption would have the most significant impact – for example, because they might be situated alongside a public road which could be forced to close.
The Coal Tip Safety Task Force has used this information to establish a new interactive map which residents can now access showing the location data for all category C and D disused coal tips in Wales.
Councillor John Spanswick, Cabinet Member for Climate Change and the Environment, said: “It is important to note that the A-D categories do not indicate the safety level of a site, but rather the level of monitoring that is required due to the serious impact that would follow in the event of a collapse, slide or slip.
“A former mining site that is located in a remote part of the county borough, well away from any roads or other infrastructure, is unlikely to have a significant impact. But a site adjacent to, for example, the main road heading into a town would score considerably higher as any slippage there might cause that route to become blocked.
“All category C and D sites have been fully inspected as part of this process, and a schedule is in place that will ensure the sites are regularly checked and re-inspected in line with the new methodology.
“I can further assure residents that even before the new national testing criteria was agreed and rolled out, former mining sites in Bridgend County Borough were already subject to regular inspection and maintenance.
“As demonstrated by the recent announcement that Welsh Government has provided Bridgend County Borough Council with £520,000 to replace and improve drainage channels at a former colliery located near Nantymoel in the Ogmore Valley, we take this responsibility very seriously, and will continue to do so.”