Environment Agency enforcement news
Recent environmental enforcement news from Industrial Environmental Management.
Prosecutions lead to prison terms
Paul O’Brien and Andrew Enkel have been sentenced to a term of eight months imprisonment for the illegal disposal of waste tyres. The two men, using aliases, undertook an £8,000 contract to remove more than 2,000 lorry tyres from premises in Southend. They hired a small compound for two weeks, at a cost of £80, where the tyres were deposited. The judge concluded by stating that the court could not be seen to impose anything other than a sentence of imprisonment.
Kenneth William Richards of Newport has been jailed for 28 days by the town’s Magistrates for waste offences, the first time a custodial sentence has been imposed for such offences in South East Wales. Mr Richards was given two 28-day prison sentences, to run concurrently, after pleading guilty to keeping controlled waste on land without the relevant Waste Management Licence.
Andrew William Harris has been sentenced to six months in custody, with a further six months suspended sentence, for being knowingly involved in the fraudulent evasion of landfill tax worth £105,688.
Water pollution offences
An enforcement notice has been served on UCB Cellophane Ltd following two releases of red dye solution from its Bridgewater factory that discoloured the tidal River Parrett which flows through the Somerset town. The notice, issued by the Environment Agency, requires UCB to carry out eight improvement actions to prevent further discolouration of the river, six of which have to be completed before any more dyed cellophane is made.
South Wales Electricity Plc (SWALEC) has been fined £10,000 after it admitted knowingly polluting a tributary of the Ogwr Fawr with oil. An electrical transformer at one of the company’s sub-stations was leaking coolant oil. The transformer, installed in 1944, had been leaking, with the company’s knowledge, since December 1997. Because of its age, spare parts had been unavailable to remedy the problem. SWALEC instead relied upon a system of topping up the oil as it leaked. The company has spent £80,000 on a cleanup operation.
Nestlé (UK) Ltd has been fined £15,000 and ordered to pay £7,000 costs on two charges relating to pollution of the Grand Union Canal in Hayes. A mixture of heavy fuel oil and diesel had leaked into the canal.
The Environment Agency has issued an Enforcement Notice to Conoco (UK) Ltd following an incident at Theddlethorpe Gas Terminal in Lincolnshire, which resulted in the release of a quantity of methanol-contaminated water.