Blue rinse costs packaging company £4,000

A Derbyshire-based packaging company has been fined £4,000 after turning a brook dark blue with ink.

On 17 May last year, the Environment Agency received a call from Bridgeshire Packaging, telling it that 1,000 gallons of ink washings had been spilt down a surface water drain at its site in Alfreton.

Agency officers attended the scene and found the nearby Oakerthorpe brook had turned dark blue. Investigations later revealed that a forklift truck had knocked a valve off the tank storing the washings. The washings sprayed out of the tank, which was not surrounded by a bund.

The Agency had been reminding the company to install a bund and seal the drain since 1998.

Appearing before Ilkeston magistrates on 6 June, the company pleaded guilty to causing polluting matter to enter controlled waters, contrary to sections 85(1) and 85(6) of the Water Resources Act 1991. It was made to pay £1,923 costs on top of the £4,000 fine.