Thetford firm fined for spreading waste
Emma Knights A Thetford firm was told to pay more than �34,000 in fines and costs after pleading guilty to two offences relating to spreading liquid waste.Enviro-Waste Ltd admitted polluting a tributary of the River Dove and disposing of controlled waste on a field at Priory Farm, Braisworth, Eye, in October 2007 without a waste management licence.
A Thetford firm was told to pay more than �34,000 in fines and costs after pleading guilty to two offences relating to spreading liquid waste.
Enviro-Waste Ltd, based in Telford Way, admitted polluting a tributary of the River Dove and disposing of controlled waste on a field at Priory Farm, Braisworth, Eye, in October 2007 without a waste management licence.
Richard Banwell, prosecuting, told Bury St Edmunds Magistrates' Court on Tuesday the firm had spread too much waste from a number of different sources in heavy rain and had allowed it to run off the field into the stream.
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Magistrates heard the company had been granted an exemption to spread liquid waste on the farm by the Environment Agency after it supplied evidence that the risk to ditches and rivers was low.
But members of the public had alerted the agency about the liquid waste spreading and running into the stream.
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Mr Banwell said there was evidence an estimated 3,666 tonnes of waste was spread on the field. Enviro-Waste had permission to spread 250 tonnes of liquid waste per hectare in a period of one year, but the company spread an estimated 270-285 tonnes per hectare in a period of just 14 days.
“The farmer states that the field was of very good quality before spreading occurred. He states that after spreading the field was in a mess and he couldn't even plough it. There are today isolated rows of land where crop growth is severely restricted,” Mr Banwell said.
Waste transfer notes held by the company showed the liquid spread on the field came from 33 different sources but only 11 had been listed in the company's application for the exemption.
Peter Danks, of Reading Agricultural Consultants, said the pollution was the result of a “careless injection of liquid waste.”
Mr Banwell said Enviro-Waste had previous convictions for pollution and had been given several warnings for spreading waste on agricultural land not in accordance with a similar exemption.
Michael Batty, representing Enviro-Waste, said the farmer had been compensated with �10,000 for damage to his field.
Enviro-Waste was fined �7,000 for admitting polluting the tributary of the River Dove and fined �10,000 for admitting disposing of controlled waste on land at Priory Farm without a waste management licence authorising the disposal. The company was also ordered to pay �17,159 in costs.
After the hearing investigating Environment Agency officer Jamie Fairfull said: “Enviro-Waste damaged the environment and breached legislation in its actions. We allow waste to be spread on the land if it is shown it will have some benefit to agriculture but in this case actual harm was caused to the farmer's field and the local watercourse.”