Detergent leak costs company over £70,000

The Manchester detergents business Robert McBride has been fined £1,500 for an incident involving a spillage of 6,000 gallons of surfactant. But the fine was vastly outweighed by the cost of raw material losses, clean-up operations and site improvements, which have brought the bill to over £70,000.

The incident occurred last September at the firm's Middleton site when a tank sprang a leak and poured its contents into a surrounding bund. About 200 gallons of the chemical then leaked into the river Irk, which runs alongside the site.

The result was a highly visible pollution incident which provoked over three dozen calls to the National Rivers Authority (NRA). Banks of foam up to six metres high formed along six kilometres of the rive

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