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Firm fined for discharging oil into a stream

  • 11 June 2013
  • By Roger Brown

Scunthorpe-based haulage company Westram has been fined £23,000 after it allowed oil to escape from a tank at its site and enter a nearby stream.

In a prosecution brought by the Environment Agency (EA), Scunthorpe Magistrates’ Court was told how in January 2011 members of the public noticed an oil slick had covered the surface of the water at Bottlesford Beck. They also reported that there was a strong smell of diesel.

As oil was seen on the beck for up to 4km downstream, the EA deployed oil-absorbent booms to prevent the pollution from spreading any further. An investigation into the matter established that oil had discharged from a tank at the Westram site in nearby Brigg Road and had entered a tributary of the beck via a surface water drainage pipe.

Westram was charged by the EA for one offence under the Environmental Permitting Regulations (England and Wales) 2010 for discharging diesel oil into a tributary of the Bottesford Beck, and for three further offences under the Control of Pollution (Oil Storage) (England) Regulations 2001.
The company, which pleaded guilty to charges relating to the pollution of the tributary and the uncontrolled storage of oil, was ordered to pay £5,300 costs.

In mitigation, the court was told that the company had entered an early guilty plea and taken action, through contractors, to remediate the oil pollution in the beck after the spill.


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