Cyanide leak lands haulier in court

Commercial Motor
March 16, 2024


A waste transport company has been fined £16,000 and ordered to pay costs of £52,000 after liquid cyanide leaked from one of its lorries and killed hundreds of fish.

J&G Environmental was prosecuted by the environment agency (EA) for the pollution incident, which occurred on an industrial estate in Heanor, Derbyshire.

Nottingham Crown Court heard how a container on a lorry was ruptured as the driver started moving them around using a forklift truck.

Hundreds of litres of a liquid, which contained diluted cyanide, began to escape and entered the drainage system and natural waterways.

The fire service were called and cordoned off the area and set up decontamination protocols to ensure that anyone involved in the incident were fully washed down.

EA officers were also called and tried to stop the flow of water from nearby ponds.

They also took samples from the dead fish and found that of the 73 sent for testing all were found to have died from cyanide poisoning.

The EA estimated its clear up costs were around £50,000.

Judge Michael Auty acknowledged that the company had no previous convictions and had pleaded guilty to the offence.

He also took into account the efforts made by the company more widely to ensure no repetition of a similar incident and to contribute to recycling and environmental welfare were also impressive.

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