THOUSANDS of people have written to the Environment Agency over concerns that plans to dump radioactive waste in Teesside will pose a risk to communities.

An application has been made by Augean North Ltd for a low level radioactive waste permit at their existing Port Clarence site, between Stockton and Billingham.

The Environment Agency, which held a consultation which ended in January, published its report yesterday.

About 2,300 people took part in the four-month exercise, with only 13 supporting the application.

The Environment Agency is now considering these in determining whether to grant the permit, taking into account information submitted by Augean North.

The operator has been asked to provide further information, with a decision expected to be made by the end of January 2021.

Augean has said previously the firm has "extensive" experience of safely handling low-level radioactive waste at its landfill site in Northamptonshire, and the current operation of the Port Clarence site as a "safe, secure, sustainable and well-regulated site for the disposal and treatment of hazardous wastes" means it is suitable for similar materials.

Andrew Turner, area environment manager for the Environment Agency in the North-East, said: “We would like to thank everyone who took part in our online consultation, addressing Augean North’s Port Clarence waste site permit application.

"Our officers are continuing to assess the application thoroughly, and will take into account all responses received.

“Although we have not yet reached a decision, we have collated the consultation responses into a report so that the public can see what has been submitted and what is being considered. This report is now available on our consultation website.

“The Environment Agency’s role is to ensure that the environment and local communities are protected.

"This is an important issue for local residents, and we will only grant a permit if we are absolutely satisfied that the operator has everything in place to manage any risks.”

Among the thousands of comments made included ones concerned about the risk to the environment and health of people living in the area, as well as setting a precedent to allow further types of hazardous and radioactive wastes to be disposed of in the area.

Members of the public, as well members of Stockton on Tees Borough Council and Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council commented on the socioeconomic impact and the general impact on the area, as well as the potential impact on regeneration plans.

Last year, Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen criticised the plans, which he said were against the interests of those living in surrounding areas.

The report can be viewed by visiting