£20k fine after oil leak kills fish
- Pollution & Waste Management ,
- Water ,
- Prosecution ,
- Corporate fine ,
- Food and drink
The UK's largest malt producer has been fined £20,000 and ordered to pay £6,475 costs after oil from a storage tank polluted the River Lark in Suffolk
Pauls Malt, which pleaded guilty at Bury St Edmunds magistrates’ court to contravening its environmental permit by causing a poisonous, noxious or polluting matter to enter inland fresh waters, has spent £106,304 on the clean-up and maintenance costs, and has approved further works costing £11,000 to prevent a recurrence.
Claire Corfield, prosecuting for the Environment Agency, said the incident had been caused by a malfunctioning automated float valve. It allowed the gas-oil to flow continuously from two large outdoor bulk tanks to a smaller secondary tank with less capacity and discharge through an overflow pipe.
The brick bund surrounding the smaller tank was leaking, allowing the oil to enter a surface water drain and then the River Lark. At least 47 fish were killed.
Corfield said Pauls Malt did not have measures in place to check and maintain the secondary tank, bund and float valve, and that the company knew the float valve was not a fail-safe system.
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