Great Lakes Chemical and the pollution watchdog that failed to bark

An Environment Agency audit of Great Lakes Chemical's works in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham has revealed a catalogue of serious shortcomings in the site's management and environmental performance. The Health and Safety Executive has just prosecuted the company for a major pollution incident, while discharges of brominated compounds from the site have contaminated rivers and the North Sea. But the Agency also faces embarrassing questions. Great Lakes came under integrated pollution control (IPC) ten years ago - so why has the regulator taken so long to force the company to improve its environmental record?

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