£64,000 penalty in land spreading case

Staffordshire company Fieldhavon was fined £40,000 with £23,700 costs on 5 May after admitting four water pollution offences. Local streams were polluted with run-off from the spreading on farmland of condensate from John Pointon & Sons' animal rendering plant in Cheddleton, Staffordshire. Five further offences were taken into consideration by Newcastle under Lyme magistrates. The hearing followed an unsuccessful attempt by the Agency to prosecute Pointon's and Fieldhavon for causing controlled waste to be disposed of without a waste management licence. A Crown Court judge ruled that the material - a condensate produced as a by-product from the rendering process - was not "waste" (ENDS Report 303, p 53 ). The company is now tankering the effluent to sewage works.

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