An enforcement undertaking (EU) has been agreed with a vegetable processing company after it grossly polluted Brook Drain in Wormegay, King’s Lynn, Norfolk with water used to wash carrots.
The Environment Agency accepted the offer by Alfred G Pearce Ltd to put right any damage caused by the pollution and to donate to an environmental charity.
As part of the EU, the company has donated £12,000 to the Norfolk Rivers Trust to benefit the local environment and also paid the Environment Agency’s costs.
Helen Blower, Environment Agency officer said:
Enforcement undertakings allow those who commit offences to restore the environment and to take steps to prevent a recurrence.
When appropriate, they allow a quicker resolution than a prosecution and help offenders who are prepared to take responsibility for their actions to put things right voluntarily working with their local communities.
Formal sample results taken after the incident in February 2016 revealed a gross pollution of the water course.
The company told the Environment Agency that an inspection chamber which also acted as an overflow tank had been damaged by a reversing lorry and there had been no system in place to alert them of the damage and no procedure for checking the Brook Drain on a regular basis. This had led to a delay in rectifying the problem.
Since then the damage has been repaired, bollards placed to prevent a recurrence of the damage, installing bunded areas to contain spills and installing a new treatment plant.
The EU was offered in relation to an offence of pollution under regulation 38 of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010.
The EU was completed in July 2017.