Landmark IPC prosecution rocks Agency enforcement policy

The Environment Agency and oil recycling firm Petrus Oils are locked in one of the most complex and bitter battles yet seen in UK environmental litigation. Since Petrus commissioned a new refinery in Staffordshire two years ago, the Agency has issued a record number of prohibition and enforcement notices - and is now seeking to revoke the company's integrated pollution control (IPC) authorisation. However, Petrus' claims that it has been "harassed and hounded" by the Agency have been bolstered by a recent Crown Court ruling which dismissed a key prosecution charge as "manifestly unfair and oppressive". The controversial judgment could have wide repercussions for environmental enforcement policy.

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