£10k fine after toxic compound pollutes SSSI

12th August 2013

Related Topics

Related tags

  • Natural resources ,
  • Prosecution ,
  • Pollution & Waste Management ,
  • Transport



Allowing toxic paint sludge to pollute the Fal estuary in Cornwall has resulted in Falmouth-based ship-repair company, A&P being fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £14,300 costs

The estuary, a site of special scientific interest (SSSI) and a special area of conservation, was found to be polluted on 29 September 2011. The source was traced by the Environment Agency to Falmouth Docks where A&P was refurbishing a ship. The company was using high-pressure jets to remove antifouling paint from the vessel’s hull. Although special hoppers collected most of the paint flakes and sludge from the process, some escaped, eventually entering a drain linked to the estuary.

Samples of the discharge were found to contain tributyltin (TBT), which, until 2008 when it was banned, was widely used in antifouling paint to prevent marine organisms attaching themselves to the hulls of ships. TBT is highly toxic and does not easily break down in the environment.

A&P pleaded guilty to causing a polluting discharge to enter tidal waters and being in breach of its local authority permit. Since the incident, the company has used hessian filters to capture potentially harmful substances from its paint removal operations.


Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.

Transform articles

Latest environmental legislation round-up

Regulatory gaps between the EU and UK are beginning to appear, warns Neil Howe in this edition’s environmental legislation round-up

4th April 2024

Read more

Dr Julie Riggs issues a call to arms to tackle a modern-day human tragedy

15th March 2024

Read more

The UK’s new biodiversity net gain (BNG) requirements could create 15,000 hectares of woodlands, heath, grasslands, and wetlands and absorb 650,000 tonnes of carbon each year.

13th March 2024

Read more

Campaign group Wild Justice has accused the UK government of trying to relax pollution rules for housebuilders “through the backdoor”.

14th February 2024

Read more

Digital tracking, packaging data delays and new collections provide a waste focus for this edition’s environmental round-up by legislation expert Neil Howe

28th November 2023

Read more

Environmental crimes could result in prison sentences of up to 10 years and company fines of 5% of turnover under a proposed EU law agreed by the European parliament and council.

21st November 2023

Read more

Stuart McLachlan and Dean Sanders discuss their book: The Adventure of Sustainable Performance: Beyond ESG Compliance to Leadership in the New Era.

14th November 2023

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close