Sunday, 30 August 2015

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Firms fined after polluted Cumbrian stream endangers wildlife

Two companies have been prosecuted for endangering wildlife by polluting a stream in the Wigton area.

Recycling firm ByProduct Recovery and Millers Contracting both pleaded guilty to causing water discharge without a valid permit. They were each fined £1,000.

Carlisle magistrates heard that on June 25 last year the Environment Agency went to Crummock Beck at Fletchertown after receiving a report of a milk pollution incident. Water pollution analysis found extremely elevated levels of suspended solids, which can have a serious impact on fish and invertebrates, as well as plant growth.

Millers Contracting had been carrying out land spreading at High Aketon Farm under a land spreading authorisation provided by ByProduct Recovery.

The court was told that the pollution had been caused by poor spreading and agricultural practice, which resulted in dairy waste running into the nearby watercourse.

No training had been provided by ByProduct Recovery to its contractors.

Magistrates were told that both companies had complied with the Environment Agency’s investigation. Millers took remedial action after the incident was brought to its attention and ByProduct has since taken steps to improve its communication with contractors. ByProduct Recovery also admitted spreading without an environmental permit after odorous waste was spread on an unauthorised field within 50 metres of residential properties. It was fined £1,000 for this offence.

The waste was spread on land at Newby Cross, west of Carlisle, belonging to Orton Grange Farm. ByProduct Recovery had a contract with Nestle to remove waste streams from its premises.

An investigation was carried out after the Environment Agency received reports in October 2010 of a foul odour in the area.

At the time of the incident, Millers Contracting was working for ByProduct and had been provided with an inaccurate map.

Since meeting with the Environment Agency, ByProduct has submitted an Odour Control Protocol and an Improvement Plan for Orton Grange.



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