A Devon haulage and site clearance company has been fined £14,000, ordered to pay £5,000 costs and received a £90,000 Proceeds of Crime confiscation order for dumping thousands of tonnes of soil and stone on farmland. The offences came to light after the Environment Agency examined waste transfer notes which identified the company as the source of the waste material.
The operator of natural gas storage facility on the East Yorkshire coast, has been fined £300,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,731 after thirteen employees and contractors were exposed to asbestos fibres.
Mechanical maintenance personnel were tasked with the removal of a non-return valve from a compressed air distribution system. Some of the sealing gasket material was difficult to remove so they used a wire brush mounted on an electric drill to remove the gasket material which spread fibres from the gasket around the maintenance workshop onto floors, work benches and clothing. Two days later another employee became suspicious of the fibrous dust, and having reported his concerns, arranged for a sample of the dust to be tested. It was found to contain chrysotile (white) asbestos fibres.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) told the court that the company had failed to identify in the risk assessment for this job that there were asbestos gaskets attached to the non-return valve. HSE also told the court that records held on site, which could have helped identify the presence of asbestos, were not adequate and that the maintenance team leader involved in this task had not undertaken asbestos awareness training.
A Leeds-based house building company was fined £120,000 and ordered to pay £8,706 costs and a £120 victim surcharge for polluting a watercourse from a Huddersfield construction site. On 20th November 2015 polluted water was seen to be flowing out of the entrance of the construction site and the company was also found to be pumping silt contaminated water from site excavations which entered the watercourse. Further incidents of pollution were reported later that month and in December 2015. Subsequent investigations by the Environment Agency determined that the settlement tanks installed by the developer were inadequate.