Dow fined for herbicide spill

Dow Chemical was fined £2,000 in June for a herbicide spill which polluted a Norfolk stream. The Environment Agency blamed the incident on poor site management.

Last July, Dow reported a herbicide leak at its Kings Lynn works to the Agency. A leaking container of fluroxypyr had been placed in a storage area which staff believed to be isolated from surface water drains. In fact the drains led into a tributary of the North Lynn Drain.

Agency inspectors found that the watercourse contained up to 21.5mg/l of the herbicide. The watercourse was blocked off and its contents pumped back into the site effluent system.

On 12 June, Dow pleaded guilty before Kings Lynn magistrates to a charge of polluting controlled waters under section 85(1) of the Water Resources Act 1991. It was fined £2,000, with costs of £842.

  • An Essex company, John Mansfield Timber, has been fined £6,000 for polluting a brook with timber preservative. A chemical spillage was though to have have been contained within a bund, but the bund was unlined and the preservative seeped into the watercourse, poisoning fish and invertebrates.

  • ECC International, part of the English China Clays group, was fined £2,000 in June for an acid discharge which polluted a Plymouth stream. The incident occurred after a pipe burst at ECC's Lee Moor works last February. The discharge had a pH of 3.05, compared with a consent limit of 4.

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