Dispute over novel soil clean-up process reaches Commons

A campaign against a plant in Kent which will turn contaminated soil into glass reached Parliament in June, when the Conservative MP for Faversham, Roger Moate, deposited a petition calling on the House of Commons to intervene in the dispute. The case has drawn attention to a loophole in the rules on environmental assessment of major projects.

The plant at the centre of the dispute is to be built by VERT Ltd, which has taken over the Detox process for vitrifying contaminated soil developed by Dunston Ceramics (ENDS Report 180, p 6). The process is based on a revolutionary design of glass furnace and is to be operated at a former glassworks in Queenborough, Kent (ENDS Report 184, pp 6-7).

VERT recently obtained an authorisation for the process from HM Inspectorate of Pollution (

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