Autumn Conference 2023

Motion #16

Zane's Law

Motion not debated


UK regulations on landfill and toxic waste disposal are dangerously inadequate, especially given climate breakdown, rising sea levels, increased rainfall, and flooding. ‘Zane’s Law’, named after 7-year-old Zane Gbangbola, who tragically died of Hydrogen Cyanide conducted by floodwater from a contaminated landfill site, proposes initial steps to address this crisis.


Conference notes that current UK regulations with regard to toxic waste disposal and the danger to human life, to our environment, and to the planet as a whole, from both historic landfill sites and currently approved landfill sites operating the ‘dry tomb’ principle, are dangerously inadequate. Especially so, in the face of climate breakdown, with rising sea levels, increased rainfall, and widespread flooding.

In 2014, 7-year-old Zane Gbangbola died, and his father was paralysed with a diagnosis of Hydrogen Cyanide (HCN) poisoning, during catastrophic flooding in the UK. Flood water passing through a historic landfill site carried HCN into Zane’s home, detected at high levels by the Fire and Rescue Services on the night of the tragedy.

‘Zane’s Law’ proposes measures to begin to address the crisis of contaminated land, which would align the UK with global best practice for the protection of communities from hazardous land; reflect the current concerns of the climate crisis; and reinstate the legislative provisions removed by the government from the 1990 Environment Protection Act, in 1993. The protection of citizens should be a primary government responsibility.

Conference, therefore, fully supports the Truth About Zane Campaign’s call for ‘Zane’s Law’ which would require:

1.    That every Local Authority must keep a full, regularly updated, public ‘Register of Land’ that may be contaminated, within their boundary.

2.   That the Environment Agency must keep a full, public ‘National Register of Contaminated Land’ to be regularly updated by information from Local Authorities.

3.    That all the above-mentioned Registers of Land must be accessible and available for inspection by the General Public.

4.    That Local Authorities must fully inspect any land registered that may be contaminated and must fully remediate that land if necessary.

5.    That Local Authorities must be responsible for inspecting previously closed landfill sites and fully remediating them if necessary.

6.       That the government must take responsibility for providing the necessary funds for Local Authorities to meet these new requirements, enacting the ‘polluter pays’ principle.

Last updated on 2023-10-21 at 11:41