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Companies agree to enforcement undertaking terms to avoid prosecution

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The Environment Agency (EA) has released details of four cases in which charities will receive more than £1.5 million for projects benefiting wildlife and the environment as a result of enforcement action.

The Government has given the EA powers to apply a civil sanction for certain offences, called an Enforcement Undertaking (EU). The primary purpose of the EU is to allow offenders to restore and remediate any environmental damage they have caused. Civil sanctions such as these can be a proportionate and cost-effective way for businesses to make amends for less serious environmental offences.

Recent cases

Kerry Ingredients UK Ltd will make a financial contribution of £127,975 to be shared among a number of environmental organisations after a pollution incident in the River Cam resulted in the deaths of more than 200 fish.

Integrated Waste Management (IWM) has agreed to pay £50,000 to Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust following allegations of pollution in Winteringham. In July 2015, the EA received a report of dead fish in the Haven Drain in Winteringham. Upon further investigation, officers found dead fish and low ammonia, indicating that pollution had taken place. Ninety dead fish were counted with officers estimating that 403 fish had been killed over a 4.4km stretch of watercourse. Agency officers traced the pollution back to the vicinity of Winterton North Landfill, a site which is operated by IWM. A leak as well as some blockage issues were found on site.

Among other terms agreed to, Tata Steel UK Ltd will make a donation of £73,000 to the Humber Nature Partnership following incidents on the Bottesford Beck involving a heavy red-coloured lubricating oil on Seraphim lagoon, the Bottesford Beck and in wetland channels of Ashby Ville Local Nature Reserve.

The EA warns that failure to comply with an EU may result in the offender being prosecuted for the original offence.

Last updated 10 February 2017

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