The Environment Agency operates
a round-the-clock free phone emergency hotline number
0800 807060 for reporting threats to the environment.
ENVIRONMENT AGENCY ANNOUNCES FURTHER
PROSECUTION OF CASTLE CEMENT
Environment Agency has announced that it is to prosecute
Castle Cement Limited for two further alleged breaches of
an Integrated Pollution Control (IPC) Authorisation at its
Ribblesdale Works in Clitheroe, Lancashire.
follows an Agency investigation into persistent haze and
odours from the site which caused offence beyond the site
boundary at ground level on 18 May and 8 June, this year.
The Agency is alleging that Castle Cement breached a condition
of its authorisation, under Sections 6 and 23 of the Environmental
Protection Act 1990.
enforcement notice was served on Castle Cement following
the investigation into complaints on 8 June, which required
the company to make necessary alterations to prevent odours
continuing. The case will be heard at Blackburn Magistrates
on 16 August 1999 at 2pm alongside allegations relating
to breaches on March 4 and 5 this year.
AGENCY TAKES ENFORCEMENT
ACTION AGAINST CHEMICAL (?) COMPANY
enforcement notice has been served on a Derbyshire chemicals
company by the Environment Agency after it allowed an escape
of solvents from its process.
notice was served by an inspector from the Agency's
Lower Trent Area Office, under the Environmental Protection
Act 1990 to Mason Coatings plc, Nottingham Road, Derby,
in relation to their authorisation to operate a chemicals
process. Issue of the notice follows discovery by Agency
officers visiting the site that a condenser had not been
turned on for a short period of time during the process
for thinning of resin. This was immediately rectified by
the company. The notice requires the company to implement
more suitable techniques, to ensure that the condenser attached
to vent on vessels, used in the manufacture of resins, is
operated at appropriate times during manufacture.
condensers reduce the amount of solvents released to the
atmosphere from the process. During the unauthorised emission
an increased amount of the solvent (isopropyl alcohol) would
have been released. Agency officers were on site at the
time and were able to take action. Environment planning
officer Duncan Slarke said: "The amount and environmental
impact of the release is considered to be small."
Anglian Water Fined
£14,000 for Polluting Beach
open valve is believed to have cost two of Lowestoft's beaches
the prestigious Blue Flag status for quality for 1999 and
Anglian Water a fine of £14,000.
Lowestoft Magistrates Court on Wednesday 16 June, the company
pleaded guilty to causing poisonous, noxious or polluting
matter to enter controlled waters which is an offence under
the Water Resources Act 1991, Section 85(1). From the start
of May bathing water is tested weekly to assess quality.
The Court heard that on the 5 May 1998 three samples of
bathing water failed to meet guideline limits and that North
Beach failed to meet mandatory limits for faecal coliforms.
This was reported to Anglian Water who discovered a half
open valve at their Ness Point Sewage Pumping Station. This
valve allowed crude sewage to discharge through a short
outfall pipe whereas under normal operating conditions sewage
would be discharged through a long outfall pipe about 1
km out to sea. It is not known how long the valve was in
this position however; it is known that bathing water over
the holiday weekend was of poor quality. The Court accepted
the guilty plea and fined the company £14,000 plus £2,868.46
about the case on behalf of the Environment Agency, Environment
Protection Team Leader Marcus Sibley said, "This is the
first time we have prosecuted Anglian Water for a bathing
beach failure. The Environment Agency permits discharges
of sewage effluent into rivers, estuaries and coastal waters;
the quality of these discharges is controlled by imposing
strict conditions that are designed to protect the environment.
We expect Anglian Water and other dischargers to comply
with these legal consents at all times. When we investigate
a case such as this and establish a breach of conditions,
we will not hesitate to use our enforcement powers where
appropriate. In this instance Anglian Water discharged sewage
effluent to the North Sea in contravention of their consent."
are three bathing beaches at Lowestoft, which are regularly
tested for water quality during the bathing water season.
These are at North Beach, the area North of Claremont Pier
and South Beach at Victoria Bathing Station. South Beach
held Blue Flag status and the beach North of Claremont Pier
would have been eligible for Blue Flag status for the first
time this year. The Blue Flag scheme was introduced across
Europe in 1987 as a marque of quality. It is administered
by the Tidy Britain Group. To qualify 26 criteria must be
met, these relate to water quality, coastal quality, safety,
services and facilities and environmental education.
NOTTS FIRM FINED
FOR WASTE OFFENCES
firm Eurotech Environmental Ltd, of Wollaton St, was fined
a total of £7,000 and ordered to pay £892 in costs by Newark
magistrates after admitting three charges relating to storage
and labelling of waste chemicals.
company pleaded guilty to breaching conditions of their
waste management licence by incorrectly labelling waste,
storing some on site for more than six months and keeping
incorrectly labelled waste in a way which could cause harm
or pollution of the environment, all in contravention in
section 33 of the Environment Protection Act 1990. Claire
Oakes, prosecuting for the Environment Agency, told the
court that Eurotech held a waste management licence for
keeping and treating waste, including special wastes, at
its facility at Northern Road Industrial Estate, Newark.
A routine inspection by Agency staff on 23 and 24 June 1997
revealed that waste, including solvents, had been kept for
more than six months, crates of containers holding chemicals
had been incorrectly labelled in some cases and a drum containing
acid had been left, incorrectly labelled as an alkali (sodium
hydroxide), among other acid solutions. The court heard
that keeping chemicals for long periods could result in
increased risk of leakage or pressure build-up mislabelled
waste may also be easily mishandled and causes confusion.
Mr Richard Barlow, representing the company, said that Eurotech
accepted that it had broken licence conditions and stressed
that the incidents had not caused environmental harm. He
said that the company had since examined its systems to
ensure that there was no repetition of the incidents.
Warren, environment protection manager for the Environment
Agency, said: "It is important to comply with licence
conditions in place, to ensure that waste is managed properly
and safely without risk of harm."