£275k confiscated from scrap metal dealer

The owners of an illegal scrap metal business were ordered to pay a total of £315,500 in costs, fines and a confiscation order on 15 June

The owners of an illegal scrap metal business were ordered to pay a total of £315,500 in costs, fines and a confiscation order on 15 June.

Hundreds of cars and parts were stored at the site in Lancaster, risking serious groundwater pollution. The scrap was on a permeable surface with no appropriate drainage system in place.

Northern Commercials Limited pleaded guilty to running the site without an environmental permit in 2008, contrary to regulation 38(1)(a) of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2007. It also pleaded guilty to ignoring two information requests from the Environment Agency, contrary to regulation 60(2).

David Peters and Tracey Noble, who ran the company, pleaded guilty to consenting or conniving to run the site without a permit, breaching regulation 41(1)(a) of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2007.

Preston crown court fined Peters £9,000 and Noble £1,500, on top of a £275,000 confiscation order. Prosecution and defence costs were £30,000.

The Environment Agency worked with the Crown Prosecution Service and Lancashire Police to secure the prosecution.

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