Spate of ICI incidents turns focus on Agency's enforcement record

Mounting worries about the poor environmental performance of ICI's Chemicals & Polymers business - particularly at its chlorochemicals complex in Runcorn, Cheshire - were reinforced by two serious spills in May. The Environment Agency called a high-level meeting with the company to express its concern and seek commitment to major improvements across the ICI group as a whole. However, the Agency's new, tougher line has failed to dispel doubts about its effectiveness as a regulator - fuelled by the revelation that not a single programmed inspection of the Runcorn site has been carried out under the integrated pollution control (IPC) regime.

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