Firm must pay up £10,000 for illegal dump

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An Oswaldtwistle was firm has been prosecuted for operating illegally.

Mark A. Taylor Organisation Ltd has been ordered to pay more than £10,000 after pleading guilty to operating a waste facility without a valid environmental permit.

The company was also ordered to pay a £5,000 fine, £4,146 in costs and a victim surcharge at a hearing at Hyndburn Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, following a prosecution by the Environment Agency.

The Joseph Metcalfe site at Brookside Industrial Estate, Oswaldtwistle, was a fertiliser business regulated by the Environment Agency when in production. The site and company were acquired by William Sinclair PLC in 2008 and has since been closed and the factory demolished. This demolition was carried out by the defendant Mark A, Taylor Organisation Ltd, a business which describes itself as a demolition, dismantling and site clearance contractor.

Complaints were received in relation to fires at the site and, during numerous site inspections by the Environment Agency, a picture emerged of the operation of an unpermitted waste facility.

Andrew Evason, Lead Investigating Officer for the Environment Agency, said: “The Environment Agency is clamping down on businesses who are bad neighbours. The case sends a strong message that the Environment Agency will not hesitate to take action where companies are operating without the correct permits in place.

“In this case, the court has taken into account the risk of harm to the local environment and human health arising from uncontrolled burning of waste. We urge anyone affected by an environmental incident to report it to our 24 hotline 0800 80 70 60.”

The sentence took into account the history of non-compliance with warnings given by the Environment Agency, offending over an extended period of time, unfair competition with legitimate business and a risk of harm to the environment and human health from uncontrolled burning of waste.

The court took into account mitigation offered by the defendant that it had assisted agency officers in an investigation into offences at a neighbouring site.

The court found the offence had been committed deliberately and there had been a risk of harm being caused to the environment or human health. The company was given a one third reduction in the sentence for an early guilty plea.