GEC subsidiary's "green" claims full of holes

GEC/Alsthom subsidiary European Gas Turbines has been fined a substantial sum for a major fish kill in a Lincolnshire watercourse. The company claims that it is environmentally aware, but the incident - involving the bulk disposal of detergents to a drain which was thought to connect to sewer but did not - revealed that it had no consent to discharge either to surface waters or to sewer.

The company, formerly known as Ruston Gas Turbines, is the largest employer in Lincoln. The National Rivers Authority traced a polluting discharge to its premises in August last year following complaints of a large number of dead fish in the Pike Drain, a tributary of the Witham.

The discharge contained high concentrations of a toxic metal cleaning detergent and 188mg/l of chromium. The environmental quality standard for chromium in the w

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