Press release

Contractors fined over diesel leak at Christchurch Hospital

Two contractors have been ordered to pay more than £180,000 in fines and costs for polluting groundwater with over 11,000 litres of diesel during the re-development of Christchurch Hospital, Dorset.

Aerial view of Environment Agency officers dealing with an diesel oil pollution at Christchurch hospital
Environment Agency officers investigating the diesel oil spillage

Kier Construction Limited (KIER), and their sub-contractor BKP Waste Recycling Limited (BKP), were sentenced at Bournemouth Crown Court on 12 January 2018 after earlier pleading guilty to an offence under the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010.

Kier Construction was commissioned by The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to carry out re-development work at Christchurch Hospital in February 2012. KIER appointed BKP Waste Recycling Limited to drain and remove oil from an oil supply line in the hospital grounds.

Oil escaped from a poorly-made connection in the oil supply pipework, which failed during routine testing of heating systems at the hospital in November 2014. The spillage polluted groundwater.

The case was bought by the Environment Agency at the end of a lengthy investigation that uncovered negligence on the part of both contractors.

Ian Withers of the Environment Agency said:

This pollution incident had the potential to cause serious harm to the environment and was entirely avoidable. The 2 companies failed to understand the extent of the work required and mitigate the risks. Construction companies must adhere to environmental permitting regulations to prevent their activities from affecting the local environment.

KIER was fined £100,000 with £30,301 costs for causing groundwater activity under regulation 38 (1) (a) of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010. BKP was fined £10,200 for the same offence with £42,851 costs.

If you are concerned about pollution to water or land, contact our 24-hour incident line on 0800 807060.

Published 17 January 2018