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 Business’ environmental record prompts new focus on poor performers and illegal activity

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David Harvey

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PostSubject: Business’ environmental record prompts new focus on poor performers and illegal activity   Wed Nov 24, 2010 10:12 pm

Business’ environmental record prompts new focus on poor performers and illegal activity

A comprehensive review of industry’s environmental performance in England and Wales was today published by the Environment Agency.

It shows that most of industry is improving, even during difficult economic times. It also shows that some sectors still need to do better.

The majority of operators are doing well. More than half (55 per cent) of the sites regulated by the Environment Agency achieved the top ‘A’ rating, up from 47 per cent last year. Industrial sites are inspected by the Environment Agency and rated on a scale from A to E for their environmental performance and management. Nearly nine out of ten were in the top two bands.

Waste sites have the most serious (category one and two) pollution incidents of the sectors regulated by the EA. They cause around half of all the serious incidents occurring on regulated sites.

The new research also highlights that illegal waste activity is a serious risk to the environment. Waste that is not disposed of properly by illegal operators can have serious environmental consequences and can blight local communities. The Environment Agency has identified over 800 illegal waste sites, over 350 of which are operating within 50 metres of schools, homes or sensitive environmental sites.

In fact, the analysis indicates that for every ten legal waste sites, there is another operating illegally. The Environment Agency today pledged to continue to crackdown on these illegal sites and urged all waste producers to take responsibility for ensuring they deal only with legitimate waste and skip companies.

The number of serious industrial pollution incidents has fallen by over 30 per cent in the last five years – down from 600 incidents per year to just under 400. And emissions associated with global warming fell sharply last year in the energy sector.

The energy sector is still the biggest source of emissions from regulated sites, with 75 per cent of greenhouse gases, 82 per cent of nitrogen oxides and 75 per cent of sulphur oxides. Each of these has reduced substantially over the last decade and the energy sector is well-managed.

The Greener Business report provides vital evidence for the Environment Agency and business to guide their priorities over the next 5 years.

The Environment Agency will be focusing its regulatory efforts on working with the poorest performing sectors and organisations to provide advice and guidance and will carry out more regular inspections of such sites. Those organisations that perform well will have fewer inspections – reducing the administrative burden and associated costs.
Dr Paul Leinster, Chief Executive of the Environment Agency, said:

“Our analysis shows that most companies have a good environmental record, despite the difficult economic conditions. And serious pollution incidents have reduced significantly in the last five years. Green business is good business because it can help reduce costs and enhances reputation with customers.

“But we will continue to target the poor performing companies and illegal activities that cause damage to the environment and pose a risk to communities. There are still too many pollution incidents in the waste industries and we will be working with companies to clean up their act.

“We’ll continue to take a zero-tolerance approach to illegal waste sites. We have stopped activities on 2,000 sites in the last two years, but continue to work with the police and other agencies to gather intelligence and target these illegal operations. However, producers of waste; businesses, public sector organisations, local authorities and householders also have a role to play by making sure their waste goes only to legitimate and licensed waste management operators”.
Greener Business Analysis

The full Greener Business Analysis is available:

* Greener Business Report

National media enquiries please contact the press office on 020 7863 8744 or email pressoffice@environment-agency.gov.uk. Outside normal office hours, please contact the National Duty Press Officer on 07798 882 092.
All serious pollution incidents: 2009

All serious pollution incidents (category 1 and 2) by source
Region Agriculture Domestic and residential Industry Sewage and water industry Transport Waste management facilities Other Total Percentage of total incidents
Anglian 14 1 7 9 3 8 34 76 9.9%
EA Wales 17 2 4 11 0 10 41 85 11.0%
Midlands 18 9 13 10 3 16 36 105 13.6%
North East 19 3 13 14 2 34 64 149 19.4%
North West 8 4 8 8 2 26 56 112 14.5%
South West 24 11 7 2 2 12 39 97 12.6%
Southern 2 2 4 9 1 7 23 48 6.2%
Thames 1 1 3 14 1 26 52 98 12.7%

Total 103 33 59 77 14 139 345 770
Percentage 13.4% 4.3% 7.7% 10.0% 1.8% 18.1% 44.8% 100.0%
Top fines from single court appearances awarded by the courts: 2009

Top 10 highest fines 2009
RED BULL COMPANY LIMITED 27-Jul-09 261,278 GBP Waste
MAGNOX ELECTRIC LIMITED 17-Feb-09 250,000 GBP Radio Active Substances Regulation
HL FOODS LTD 19-Jan-09 140,000 GBP Process Industry Regulation
AUGEAN TREATMENT LIMITED 09-Apr-09 90,000 GBP Waste
ANGLIAN WATER SERVICES LIMITED 20-Mar-09 75,000 GBP Water Quality
VIRIDOR RESOURCE MANAGEMENT LIMITED 15-May-09 75,000 GBP Waste
VEOLIA ES (UK) LIMITED 13-Jan-09 72,000 GBP Waste
MWMS SERVICES (KEMBLE) LIMITED 19-Oct-09 63,000 GBP Waste
BIFFA WASTE SERVICES LIMITED 27-May-09 60,000 GBP Pollution prevention and control
ATA (OAKMERE) LLP 27-Mar-09 50,000 GBP Waste
Total environment agency fines: 2009

Region Number of prosecutions Fines Costs
Anglian 55 836,241 GBP 304,509 GBP
Midlands 86 587,970 GBP 236,145 GBP
Yorkshire and North East 115 410,801 GBP 198,798 GBP
North West 68 396,749 GBP 180,136 GBP
South West 84 262,392 GBP 152,853 GBP
Southern 65 370,131 GBP 141,668 GBP
Thames 62 893,709 GBP 363,937 GBP
Wales 126 215,601 GBP 121,512 GBP
Total 661 3,973,594 GBP 1,699,558 GBP

Total fines and costs:
5,673,152 GBP
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PostSubject: Re: Business’ environmental record prompts new focus on poor performers and illegal activity   Wed Nov 24, 2010 10:17 pm

Link to EA report is here

What the EA classify as 1 & 2..

'The most serious incidents, which we classify as Category 1 or Category 2, have the most severe impacts such as the deaths of fish, or widespread or long term environmental damage. Minor incidents in Category 3 have only a lesser, localised, or short term impact on the environment. '

The number of Thames incidents refers to the Thames region.

We will try and get some sort of breakdown for our area.
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