Tata Steel UK Ltd (TSUK) paid the money to the Humber Nature Partnership, an organisation that delivers projects resulting in environmental, economic and community benefits. The payment follows a pollution incident on the Bottesford Beck.
On the 22 May 2015 after a call from the TSUK Environment Manager, Environment Agency officers found a heavy red coloured lubricating oil on Seraphim lagoon, the Bottesford Beck and in wetland channels of Ashby Ville Local Nature Reserve.
Following investigations it appears that the oil overflowed from an industrial bulk container as oil was being drained from a lubricating tank on the TSUK site.
Under the terms of this Enforcement Undertaking (EU), Tata Steel UK Ltd accepted an obligation to make a donation of £73,000 to the Humber Nature Partnership. Final plans for how the money will be used are still underway, but tree planting creation of wildlife ponds and ground works for an outdoor classroom that could be used by local schools are some schemes under consideration.
As part of the EU, Tata Steel UK Ltd has also agreed to take action to ensure that a similar incident does not recur and paid the costs of the Environment Agency.
Elizabeth Cooper, environment officer with the Environment Agency, said:
We work hard to protect people and the environment. In this case, we considered that the Enforcement Undertaking was an appropriate way to sanction the company while creating a benefit for the local environment.
Serious pollution can have devastating effects on rivers, fields and wildlife.
Along with prosecutions, the Environment Agency use enforcement notices, stop notices and civil sanctions to either improve performance or stop sites from operating. It is making better use of the wide range of measures that are available to bring sites back into compliance as quickly as possible.
The Environment Agency’s use of civil sanctions is in line with recent legislation extending their availability for more offences.
Civil sanctions such as these can be a proportionate and cost-effective way for businesses to make amends for less serious environmental offences.
The Enforcement Undertaking requires Tata Steel UK Ltd to:
Make a donation of £73,000 to the Humber Nature Partnership
Implement pollution prevention and restoration works
Review refresher training for staff
Site improvement works
Pay Environment Agency costs
Failure to comply with an EU may result in the offender being prosecuted for the original offence. Details of Enforcement Undertakings accepted by the Environment Agency between can be found on GOV.UK