Pollution incident brings maximum fines for British Steel

The severe pollution of the Afon Llwyd by an escape of nitric acid from the British Steel Corporation's Panteg, Gwent works on 30 January (ENDS Report 68, p 5) has cost the Corporation £2,250 in fines and costs. Pontypool magistrates imposed maximum fines of £1,000 under two separate charges brought by the Welsh Water Authority under the Rivers (Prevention of Pollution) Act and the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act.

The magistrates heard that the incident - caused initially by a valve failure which allowed 9,000 litres of concentrated acid to pass through a sump specifically designed to eliminate such occurrences - destroyed all the animal and plant life along a 13 kilometre stretch of the class 1B river. Experimental restocking of the Llwyd has just begun, although it is not expected to recover fully from the incident for about two years.

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