Roofer rapped over illegal asbestos dump

A Cumbrian roofer has been fined £5,000 after the Environment Agency got wind of asbestos tiles being stored illegally at a business park in Wigton.

Andrew Armatage, trading under Apex PVC Roofline, was found guilty of five charges by magistrates sitting in Carlisle who handed down the fine and also ordered him to pay costs of £2,010.

The case revolved around the storage of hazardous asbestos without the proper waste management licence.

A member of the public had alerted the Environment Agency to a temporary dump between two skips at Station Yard Business Park, Wigton, where some 20 bags of asbestos tiles had been tipped.

When interviewed Armatage said contractors had been employed to do the work and must have dumped the waste.

He admitted he held no waste transfer notes, his company was not registered as a waste carrier and he had not checked if the contractors were registered either.

A Waste Management Licence sets conditions on how a site should be operated to avoid pollution of the environment and harm to human health.

“Asbestos is a dangerous substance,” said a spokesman for the Environment Agency.

“Breathing air contaminated by asbestos can lead to fatal illnesses including many cancers of the lungs and chest lining.

“With a history of working in the building profession, Mr Armatage should have been fully aware of the regulations and the risks of keeping waste in this way.

“Waste Management Licences are in place to impose strict criteria to protect the environment and human health.

“Sites such as this are not controlled.

“It is illegal, irresponsible and anti-social to operate one and we will continue to take action against anyone caught doing so.”

Anyone handling hazardous waste and unsure about their obligations can call the Environment Agency on 08708 506506 or check its website here.

By Sam Bond

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