New legislation ups the stakes on river pollution

A drinks manufacturer has become the first company to be prosecuted twice for a single water pollution incident. The firm also suffered the first fine of more than £2,000 to be imposed by a magistrates court since the maximum penalty for water pollution offences was raised by the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

The case made history in that it was the first in which both the National Rivers Authority (NRA) and a sewerage undertaker have brought actions in respect of single pollution incident. Such double prosecutions were made possible by the Water Act 1989, which separated the poacher and gamekeeper functions of the former water authorities.

The prosecutions were brought against Appletise Bottling of Spennymoor, Durham, for an incident last Aug

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