Rhone Poulenc fined for solvent discharge

Rhone Poulenc Rorer, a subsidiary of the French chemicals group Rhone Poulenc, has been fined £5,000 for an illegal discharge of toluene from its Dagenham works. The incident was caused by the failure of an alarm and defective procedures.

The incident came to light after the National Rivers Authority (NRA) was alerted in March by a report that the river Beam appeared red and soapy. The pollution was traced back to Rhone Poulenc Rorer's site, which manufactures pharmaceuticals.

Samples taken by NRA officers were found to be highly toxic and contained toluene concentrations of 40,000µg/l, 10,000 times the annual average environmental quality standard recently proposed

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