Albion Chemicals fined for water pollution

Chemicals manufacturer and distributor Albion Chemicals has been fined £8,000 with costs of £6,048 after admitting polluting a tributary of the river Thet in Norfolk.

Albion pleaded guilty to causing polluting matter to enter the river, contrary to section 85(1) and (6) of the Water Resources Act 1991, on 13 February before Swaffham magistrates.

The court heard that the Environment Agency contacted the firm in October 2005 because a member of the public had reported a stream adjacent to Albion’s site in Attleborough was stained orange. The company was advised to check its drainage system to prevent polluting liquid entering the watercourse.

Two months later an Agency officer visited the site and found that the stream bed was again discoloured due to discharges from Albion’s site. A biological survey showed the stream had a lower diversity of fish and invertebrates than would be expected in a healthy watercourse.

The Agency said that the site was not designed with sufficient containment features to prevent chemicals entering the drains along with rainwater.