Sacone Environmental Limited, operator of an animal rendering and incineration plant in Brechin, Angus, was fined £4,000 on 23 December at Forfar sheriff court. The firm pleaded not guilty to contravening a condition of its pollution prevention and control permit.
Following complaints about odour, Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) officers noticed a large plume of black smoke being emitted from the plant’s roof in October 2007. This was contrary to the conditions of its permit.
A SEPA spokeswoman said Sacone has made improvements over the past year and is currently on a voluntary shutdown to make further upgrades. Although the body can withdraw permits, SEPA said "it is reasonable [to allow] the company time to carry out those improvements".
ENDS first reported odour problems at the site in 2001 (ENDS Report 321, p 9 ). Since then it has received a variety of enforcement notices. An escape of hydrogen sulphide also injured four in July 2007 (ENDS Report 391, pp 24-25 ).
Meanwhile, Scotland’s largest renderer William Forrest and Sons (Paisley) was fined on 20 January for two offences for discharging effluent into a mineshaft.
SEPA officers discovered the discharge during a routine inspection in July 2007. The court was told the effluent would have entered groundwater.
The company pleaded guilty at Hamilton sheriff court to a breach of sections 5 and 40(1)a of the Water Environment (Controlled Activities) (Scotland) Regulations 2005, for which it was fined £1,900.
The firm was also fined £4,000 for contravening the Sewerage (Scotland) Act 1968.
Before the case came to court, Forrest had received numerous warnings about the discharge and an enforcement notice.