CM classified digital edition - 14 May

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Arrests made at illegal waste burning site

Environment Agency

The Environment Agency (EA) seized an HGV and an excavator while waste was being actively deposited at an illegal site the size of a football pitch in Lincolnshire.

EA officers and the police swooped on the waste site in Long Bennington earlier this month and arrested two people after receiving intelligence that lorry loads of rubbish, including commercial waste, plastics and household furniture were being dumped on the site and then burned illegally.

The EA said smoke from the burning waste piles – some of which were the size of bungalows – was having a significant impact on local people and putting the environment at risk.

Officers had observed the activity intensifying in recent weeks – despite the strict lockdown conditions – and took action to bring it to a halt.

The site has been subject to ongoing investigations for illegal waste activity while successive businesses have taken over operations before going bust.

Officers last visited the site at the end of January, arriving unannounced with police and planning enforcement officers from Lincolnshire county council to carry out a full regulatory inspection.

Norman Robinson, EA area director said: “Deliberately stockpiling and burning waste that should be safely disposed of is dangerous enough, but doing so in the current situation while people and legitimate businesses are so restricted shows a shocking disregard for our communities, society and the environment.”

Joint investigations will continue and the EA said that if convicted as a result of legal action, those responsible could face extensive fines and even prison sentences.