Altham car scrap yard owner prosecuted by Environment Agency for breaching permit order
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Imran Mirza, director of 1st Choice Car Spares Limited, persistently breached the conditions of an Environment Permit for the storage, drainage and dismantling of waste vehicles risking significant environmental harm.
He was sentenced to 16 weeks imprisonment, suspended for a year, had a 16 week curfew imposed and was ordered to pay costs of £17,043.50 and a victim surcharge of £115.
The site was over capacity and the defendant did not have permission to accept vehicles following a suspension notice issued by Environment Agency. Despite this he illegally accepted waste vehicles onto the site on Moorfield Industrial Estate, Altham in Hyndburn.
The permit for this site remains suspended and waste cannot lawfully be accepted onto the site. Anyone taking cars to a site whilst a permit has been suspended in this also way risks committing a criminal offence themselves.
An Environment Agency spokesperson said: “Mr Mirza failed to respond to warnings and enforcement notices to improve operations at the site, despite repeated site inspections and warnings from Environment Agency officers and officers from Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service.
"This caused unacceptable risks to the environment, local residents and businesses. These risks were highlighted by two significant fires at the site in December, 2016 and April, 2017.
“Waste vehicles can only legally be stored and dismantled by operators who hold, and comply with, an Environmental Permit. The oils, fluids and gases they contain can cause significant environmental harm unless they are fully drained and stored in full compliance with permit conditions.
“We will continue to work tirelessly to tackle environmental crime which can have a devastating effects on, people, the environment and legitimate business. We are committed to ensuring that appropriate environmental standards are adhered to.”