Tag Archives: Environment Agency

CC Haulage & Sons Ltd To Pay £109,000 For Dumping On Devon Farms

Crediton firm admits it should have checked farmers had necessary permits to accept the waste from building and construction sites

CC Haulage dumped 7,820 tonnes of waste at Beech Down Farm in Tedburn St Mary

CC Haulage dumped 7,820 tonnes of waste at Beech Down Farm in Tedburn St Mary

A Devon haulage and site clearance company faces a bill of more than £100,000 for dumping thousands of tonnes of soil and stone on farmland. The case was brought by the Environment Agency.

CC Haulage & Sons Ltd is a family owned and run company based at Manor Farm, Colebrooke, Crediton. The two directors are Colin Clarke and his wife, Deborah Clarke.

Farmers are allowed to accept up to 1,000 tonnes of non-hazardous waste including soil and stone under a permission known as an ‘exemption’ that is commonly used on farms to construct hard-standings, bases for buildings and tracks and doesn’t need an environmental permit.

In November 2016 the Environment Agency visited Beech Down Farm in Tedburn St Mary where waste was being tipped in a valley. Inquiries revealed that CC Haulage had deposited 7,820 tonnes of waste at the farm. Excessive quantities of waste, much of it from building and construction sites, had also been tipped at 3 other Devon farms at Longdown, Exeter, Yeoford and Crediton.

The offences came to light after the Environment Agency examined waste transfer notes that identified CC Haulage as the source of the excessive amounts of waste material. The company benefitted financially by paying the farmers less to accept the waste than it was charging its clients to take the material away.

The firm’s defence said CC Haulage believed the farmers had the necessary permits to accept the waste, but admitted the company should have checked.

Richard Cloke of the Environment Agency said:

Haulage businesses must ensure they comply with the limits and conditions of environmental permits and exemptions.

These are in place to stop the illegal deposit of waste, protect the environment and create a level playing field for the waste industry.

Appearing at Exeter Crown Court, CC Haulage & Sons Ltd was fined £14,000 and ordered to pay £5,000 costs. Judge Geoffrey Mercer also imposed a £90,000 Proceeds of Crime confiscation order at the sentencing hearing on 15 January 2018. The company must pay back this figure from the profits it made from its criminal activities.

Judge Mercer said: “It is not entirely clear to me how the company were unclear about the limits.”

Environment Agency Issues Permit To Southern Water For Bewl Reservoir

Permission granted to top up reservoir from River Medway after prolonged dry period

Bewl Water is the largest reservoir in the south east of England

Bewl Water is the largest reservoir in the south east of England

The Environment Agency has issued a temporary winter drought permit to Southern Water Services Limited, to help refill Bewl Water reservoir in East Sussex.

The water company made an application on 5 January stating it needed to take more water from the River Medway to help refill Bewl Water, which was only 42% full at the start of the year.

Despite a wet December, the autumn was very dry. There was also lower-than-average rainfall across south east England during the previous winter. This prolonged dry period across the region has left many groundwater supplies and some reservoirs lower than normal for the time of year.

Bewl Water is the largest reservoir in the south east of England and can hold 31,000 million litres of water. It is an important source for Southern Water, which manages the supply of water to over 2.5 million customers across south and south east England. Southern Water already routinely takes water from the River Medway to fill the reservoir. The change to the permit will allow the company to abstract additional water until the end of March.

The change will mean Southern Water can take water when river levels are lower than the previous limit. The water company has requested the change as part of its plan to secure public water supplies for the upcoming summer.

In determining the drought permit application, the Environment Agency has taken into account the very low rainfall, the impact this has had on water supplies, as well as considering the response to the recent public consultation.

Julie Foley, Environment Agency Area Director, said:

Although it has been wet over the past few weeks, overall this winter across south east England there has been lower-than-average amounts of rain. Consequently, we now need above average rainfall for the remainder of the winter to replenish our water resources.

The Environment Agency has to balance the water needs of people, businesses and wildlife so we have carefully considered Southern Water’s application. We have decided to grant this temporary change to the existing licence, helping the company to refill the reservoir at a time of year when there will be less impact on the environment. We will carefully monitor any effects and take action if needed to ensure the environment is protected.

We encourage people to follow advice from their water company about saving water. Using water efficiently will help ensure we have enough water for people, businesses and the environment.

All media enquiries: 0800 141 2743. Or email southeastpressoffice1@environment-agency.gov.uk.

Follow us on Twitter at EnvAgencySE

Environment Agency Launches Consultation To Give Communities More Say In How Rivers Are Managed

A consultation which aims to give communities and local organisations more say in the ways in which rivers are managed and maintained, has been launched today (15th January)

The Environment Agency has been working with partners to consider proposals to ‘re-designate’ sections of watercourses in a number of locations

The Environment Agency has been working with partners to consider proposals to ‘re-designate’ sections of watercourses in a number of locations

The Environment Agency is considering proposals to transfer ‘flood risk management activities’ on a number of stretches of watercourses to internal drainage boards (IDBs), lead local flood authorities (LLFAs) and district councils. This will only happen where the watercourses have a low level of flood risk, are not associated with major rivers or major city centres and where the local community supports the change.

A transfer would mean that IDBs, LLFAs and district councils can take on more responsibility for their local flood risk, where appropriate – by carrying out activities such as maintenance or giving permission to carry out works.

The Environment Agency has been working with partners to consider proposals to ‘re-designate’ sections of watercourses in a number of locations. The watercourses will be re-designated from what is currently known as a ‘main river’ to an ‘ordinary watercourse’ – a change referred to as ‘de-maining’.

Rachael Hill, Flood and Coastal Risk Manager for the Environment Agency, said:

The project aims to bring more choice to communities and local organisations in how watercourses are managed and maintained. We want to strengthen local flood risk management and decision-making by ensuring the right people are managing the right watercourses.

We want to hear from anyone who is affected by, or interested in, the proposals. This consultation explains how the proposed sections of watercourse are currently managed and funded and provides details on future management and funding if de-maining goes ahead.

The project is exploring the potential to re-designate several sections of selected main rivers as ordinary watercourses in: various rivers in Suffolk (East Anglia), South Forty Foot Catchment in Lincolnshire and Stour Marshes in Kent. But if there is support for the approach it could pave the way for further de-maining in England.

For the Environment Agency, the project will also ensure resources are prioritised where the greatest impact on reducing flood risk can be achieved.

Innes Thomson Chief Executive of ADA (Association of Drainage Authorities) added:

Despite their low flood risk to people and homes, the good management of these rivers still plays a major part in peoples’ lives, and the environmental and economic wellbeing of the communities through which they flow.

It is very important for existing and potential new river managers to know what the views of local people are so we can make the right decisions together for the best future of these rivers.

The public will be able to view and give feedback between midday 15 January 2018 and midday 12 February 2018. There will be an option to view information and give feedback on each of the proposals or the de-maining project as a whole by accessing the consultation link.

Tivvy Skips Ltd Prosecuted For Burning Waste In Devon

Burning waste was a 'routine occurrence' despite warnings to stop from the Environment Agency

Waste was seen being burned at Tivvy Skips Ltd near Tiverton

Waste was seen being burned at Tivvy Skips Ltd near Tiverton

A Devon skip company has been ordered to pay £5,500 in fines and costs for illegally burning waste. The case was brought by the Environment Agency.

Tivvy Skips Ltd runs a small waste transfer station near Tiverton and operates under an environmental permit. On 6 January 2017 the site was inspected and waste was seen being placed in a dumper truck, before being transferred into a skip and burned.

The condition of the skip and debris found around it indicated the burning of waste was a ‘routine occurrence’. Alan Hutchings, the site manager at Tivvy Skips, blamed the illegal burning on a member of staff who he claimed was doing it without his knowledge.

A court heard the Environment Agency had previously warned the company about burning waste, but it had ignored the warnings.

Richard Tugwell, of the Environment Agency, said:

Burning waste is illegal and poses a serious risk to the environment and human health.The motive is nearly always financial as it reduces the amount of waste a company has to legally dispose of.

Courts take these offences seriously and where we have evidence, we won’t hesitate to prosecute.

Appearing before Exeter magistrates, Tivvy Skips Ltd was fined £3,000 and ordered to pay £2,500 costs after being found guilty of breaching Regulation 38 of the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2016.

Since the offence, the company has introduced new management procedures and was found to be compliant during a recent inspection.

River Pollution Costs Devon Farmer £9,500 For Leaky Silage Clamp

Winston Reed said the effluent should have been flowing to a slurry store. But instead it was entering a tributary of the River Exe

Silage effluent is an acidic liquid produced by the silage making process which is a serious pollutant if it enters a watercourse

Silage effluent is an acidic liquid produced by the silage making process which is a serious pollutant if it enters a watercourse

A farmer has been ordered to pay £9,500 in fines and costs for polluting a tributary of the River Exe in Devon.The case was brought by the Environment Agency.

On 16 July 2015, Environment Agency officers visited Cleave Farm, Templeton near Tiverton following a report of pollution. They found a tributary heavily contaminated with sewage fungus for 100 metres before it entered a larger stream that was also contaminated with sewage fungus.

The pollution was traced to a silage clamp at Cleave Farm. The farmer, Winston Reed, told officers the silage effluent should have been directed to a slurry store, but was leaking into a watercourse from a surface water ditch. Officers were told a drain in the farm yard had been blocked off, but cracked concrete around the drain had allowed effluent to escape into the surface water system.

Silage effluent is an acidic liquid produced by the silage making process which is a serious pollutant if it enters a watercourse.

Exeter Crown Court heard that Winston Reed either by himself or his company, Reed Farms Ltd, which is currently in administration, is a persistent polluter. In 2006 Winston Reed was cautioned for allowing slurry to enter a stream. Then Reed Farms Ltd caused significant pollution incidents in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012, which resulted in the company being either prosecuted or cautioned.

Since 2012, Officers had tried to work with Mr Reed to bring about changes at the farm to improve infrastructure, including visits from the Catchment Sensitive Farming programme.

Mischka Hewins of the Environment Agency said:

We always prefer to work in partnership with farmers to achieve compliance through advice and guidance. It’s disappointing when this fails and our only option to change behaviour and prevent pollution is to prosecute.

Anyone concerned about pollution to water or land can call the Environment Agency’s free 24-hour incident line on 0800 807060.

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