£15,000 fine for toxic chemical spill

13th May 2013


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  • Prosecution ,
  • Corporate fine

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IEMA

Utilities company South West Water has been fined £15,000 and ordered to pay £50,000 in costs after a corrosive chemical from one of its sewage works leaked into the East Looe River in Cornwall

In August 2010, the company informed the Environment Agency that a damaged pipe at its Lodge Hill works had spilled aluminium chloride, which is toxic to fish.

Later the firm discovered that, owing to two perforated cable conduits, it was possible for any of the chemical spilled outside its bunded tank to drain into a buried manhole and reach the river.

The agency’s Rob Hocking said that the hazardous nature of aluminium chloride placed a “special responsibility” on companies to ensure it is handled and stored with great care. “Every effort should be made to minimise the risk of it escaping into the environment,” he said.


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