Derbyshire Company Fined £15,000 For Burning Waste

Derwent fencing Limited of Hilton, Derbyshire has pleaded to keeping, treating and disposing of waste without a licence.

The charge was brought by the Environment Agency under Section 33 of the environmental Protection Act 1990. Derwent fencing Limited was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,872.57

For the Environment Agency, Claire Andrews told the court that on 4 February 2007 a complaint was received about burning waste from the Derwent fencing Limited site at Sutton Lane, Hilton. An Environment Agency officer visited the site to investigate, and found a smouldering bonfire.

On 20 February Environment Agency officers visited the site again and found the remains of a waste bonfire containing timber, fencing packaging, plastics and green waste.

Derwent fencing admitted to the Environment Agency that they had been burning waste, but told officers that the landowners had given them written permission. Environment Agency officers informed them that what they were doing was illegal and should stop immediately.

Speaking after the case, Judy Smith, and Environment Agency officer involved in the investigation, said: "The Environment Agency will not tolerate non-compliance with Waste Management Licences, as this case has highlighted. Businesses and individuals have a legal duty to make sure that they are complying with the strict regulations specified within their Waste Management Licence. We issue licences to ensure that waste management facilities do not pollute the environment, cause harm to human health or serious detriment to local amenities."

In mitigation, Andrew Brammer of Cartwright King Solicitors said that they were a family run business of good character who were ignorant of the legislation, and they are now liaising with the Environment Agency to ensure no future problems.

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