Biogas firm to pay £20,000 for waste and odour offences

Anaerobic digestion plant service, operation and construction firm BioConstruct NewEnergy has been fined £14,000 with £5,500 in costs for “intrusive” odour pollution and unlawful storage of waste.

Teesside Magistrates’ Court heard that smells drifting from its plant in South Bank, Middlesborough were so bad last summer that residents at a nearby travellers’ site were forced to move away. The four-day incident occurred during maintenance by another firm. The court heard it did not know how to conduct the work properly.

Environment Agency (EA) officers inspected the site, telling BioConstruct that it was ultimately responsible for the smell as it was in breach of its environmental permit. The officers also found 30 large containers of pink liquid that the company was storing illegally. It turned out to be sodium hydroxide, a mild bleach.

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