Small penalties for "duty of care" offences

Waste regulation authorities are resorting increasingly to the new "duty of care" provisions in section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 when pursuing waste management offences. But in five recent cases the highest fine imposed by the courts has been £250, with no penalties at all being imposed in two cases.

The prosecutions were taken in a variety of circumstances:

  • In May 1992, Earth Mover Tyres (Yorkshire) Ltd of Garforth, near Leeds, which sells large tyres for construction vehicles, consigned 15 waste tyres to a company in Middlesborough, Tyre Shredding. It did so after being given a disposal licence number by the Middlesborough firm, but made no further checks in fulfilment of its duty under section 34(1)(c) of the 1990 Act to ensur

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