FoE threatens directors of polluting firms

Friends of the Earth (FoE) has launched a new offensive against businesses which regularly breach their effluent discharge consents. The group has warned the directors of 14 companies in Yorkshire that it will take prosecutions against them unless their firms' record improves.

Until now, private prosecutions for pollution offences have been taken only against companies. But FoE intends to use provisions in section 217 of the Water Resources Act 1991 which make a director or other senior officer of a company criminally liable for a pollution offence committed with his "consent or connivance" or "attributable to any neglect" on his part.

FoE has now written to the directors of the 14 Yorkshire firms informing the

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