Kevin Gary Scott, 54, of Bridge Street, Hilgay, Norfolk, ran the site at Fairfield Garage illegally for a number of months.
He had registered exemptions online but none covered the level of waste storage and treatment that was carried out at the site, the court was told by Rebecca Vanstone, prosecuting for the Environment Agency.
During a hearing on Thursday 20 June 2019, the court was told the site was next to a drainage ditch leading to the River Wissey and close to 10 houses around two boundaries, the nearest of which was only 10 metres from the waste storage area.
The court heard that since 2011 the site had been used legally for vehicle repairs and sales and the storage of touring caravans and dinghies, but in January 2017 it was turned into the illegal waste storage and treatment site.
Ms Vanstone told the court:
Mr Scott was aware that he needed an environmental permit and had applied for various exemptions.
He applied in January but didn’t even check to see they were in place before an inspection in March and after the inspection he applied for more, none designed to allow waste storage and treatment in the way he was working. They were subsequently de-registered.
An environmental permit to operate a waste site comes with rules about how waste is stored and treated in order to safeguard the environment.
A stop letter and waste removal letter were sent in March 2017 after a site inspection by the Environment Agency. The court was told that a month later it was found that exemptions for the site were not being complied with or were not appropriate, so they were de-registered and Scott was given a month to clear the waste.
The court was told Scott had failed to comply and was given a further 8 weeks, but by the end of August only some of the waste had gone.
In imposing the sentence, His Honour Judge Holt recognised Mr Scott’s guilty plea, the efforts that had been made to remedy the situation and the fact that there had been no further offending since this offence.
Scott was fined £520 and ordered to pay a victim surcharge.
After the hearing Environmental Crime Team Leader Phil Henderson said:
This is the second time in under 2 years that Mr Scott has been prosecuted by the Environment Agency for operating an illegal waste site. Despite being given advice and guidance, he again chose not to apply for a permit and continued to operate illegally forcing us to take this action. We hope that the sentence handed down today will deter Mr Scott from future offending.
We are actively targeting illegal waste activities across the country and would urge all those seeking to become involved in the waste industry to ensure they have the appropriate permits and authorisations in place before operating.