Avoidable error over chemicals caused fish kill

A paper manufacturer's failure to check incoming chemicals used in its effluent treatment plant led to a severe water pollution incident. The firm escaped with a relatively small fine because of its generally good environmental record.

The incident occurred in May at Kimberly-Clark's Unifibres Mill at Prudhoe, which manufactures toilet tissues from recycled paper. Effluent containing ammonia at concentrations some 100 times higher than the norm was discharged into the river Tyne, killing about 100 mature salmon and forcing Newcastle & Gateshead Water Company to close a nearby water intake.

On 3 September, Hexham magistrates court was told that the incident was cause

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