Coalite faces unprecedented clean-up claim

The National Rivers Authority (NRA) is to make an unprecedented civil claim against Coalite Chemicals in a bid to establish the firm's liability for the cost of removing dioxin-contaminated sediment from two Yorkshire rivers. The cost could exceed £1 million. The outcome may be of great significance to companies which, like Coalite, have discharged persistent chemicals such as dioxins without a consent.

The NRA's decision to institute civil proceedings against Coalite comes 16 months after the Ministry of Agriculture banned the sale of dioxin-contaminated milk from two farms close to the company's works near Bolsover (ENDS Report 198, p 6).

Subsequent investigations by HM Inspectorate of Pollution (HMIP) revealed that high concentrations of dioxins were being emitted by the site's incinerator, and were also entering the firm's liquid eff

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