Niramax ordered to pay £26,000 in fines after breaking environmental laws

Commercial Motor
January 19, 2018


North East waste management company Niramax has been ordered to pay a total of £26,000 in fines and costs at Teeside Crown Court for breaking environmental laws.

The firm pleaded guilty to breaching its environmental permit at its Monument Park base in Washington, Tyne & Wear. It also admitted failing to comply with an enforcement notice by not removing waste at its Tofts Farm site in Hartlepool after large quantities of tyres created a potential fire hazard.

The prosecution followed an investigation by the Environment Agency (EA). Niramax was fined £16,000 and ordered to pay costs of £10,000.

Lee Fish, prosecuting for the EA, told the court that at the Washington site a pre-arranged audit took place where agency officers discovered a fly infestation.

A second visit found the flies still present both outside and inside the waste storage shed. Efforts had been made to empty the waste from the bays. A third visit established that the site had been cleared.

At Hartlepool, where Niramax treats waste tyres, the EA originally attended after receiving complaints about dust.

A plan was agreed by the operator to resolve a number of permit breaches, which included dust management and too many waste tyres. The operator agreed to return the site to compliance but a later visit found the bays were still buried under piles of waste tyres.

An enforcement notice was served on the company to clear the site of tyres by 14 June, 2016 but still the clear up was not conducted to the EA’s standards.

The company told the court that they had been caught out by an unseasonably sharp rise in temperature. This meant their fly suppression methods proved inadequate.

At the tyre site they suffered when a fluctuation in the market made it more difficult to remove the shredded tyres from the site. They said they had done everything in their power to comply with the enforcement notice.

Rachael Caldwell, enforcement team leader at the EA in the north east, said: “Environmental laws exist for a reason – to protect the environment and communities – so it is vital that waste operators meet the conditions of their permits.

“In both of these cases there was a negative impact on the local areas, which is extremely unpleasant and unacceptable and not something communities should have to endure.”

She added: “At Hartlepool we gave Niramax ample opportunity to bring their site back into compliance, and at Washington we gave them five days to act on what was a serious fly infestation.

But they repeatedly showed little regard for the detrimental impact on their neighbours and the environment. And during our investigation they even described our actions – to protect the environment and the community – as ‘nit picking’.”



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