The owner of Bradley Brothers Skip Hire (BBSH), a waste management business in Ferrensby near Harrogate, has been fined £2,307 and ordered to pay £4,000 costs and a £170 victim surcharge following a successful prosecution by the Environment Agency.
David Bradley (55) of Treacle Jug Farm, Ferrensby, North Yorkshire, was sentenced on 3 April at Harrogate Magistrates’ Court having admitted to offences relating to the deliberate violation of an Environment Agency enforcement notice, the illegal operation of a waste management facility and failing to exercise duty of care in the transfer of controlled wastes.
The Environment Agency prosecuted after Bradley repeatedly and deliberately flouted his legal obligations over a 32 month period, beginning in February 2014 after officers discovered BBSH’s Treacle Jug Farm site was in breach of its Environmental Permit conditions during a routine inspection.
The site was found to be full beyond its design capacity, leading to an inability to treat and process waste within the confines of a dedicated building as required by its Environmental Permit. Waste material had also been tipped in front of the entrance of the building and skips of waste were being stored outside and not on sealed drainage, representing an environmental risk of pollution and increasing the risk of amenity issues such as odours, pests and dust. Bradley was instructed to bring the site back into compliance, which he failed to do.
Bradley continually failed to comply with the requirements of his Environmental Permit, ignoring the requirements of an enforcement notice to remove waste from the site. He also failed to provide an accurate record of the disposal of 223 separate consignments of waste, which is a criminal offence, and was unable to maintain his continuing competency to operate a waste facility, another breach of the site’s Permit. BBSH even continued to accept waste into the Treacle Jug Farm site after its Permit was suspended and finally revoked.
An Environment Agency spokesperson said:
We had sought to work with Mr Bradley to help bring the site into compliance and provided a number of opportunities for corrective action to be taken. However, Mr Bradley failed to respond to our efforts and even illegally imported waste into the site once the company’s permit to operate had been withdrawn.
The conditions of an Environmental Permit are designed to protect people and the environment. Failure to comply with these legal requirements is a serious offence that can damage the environment, undermine those who adhere to the rules and cause misery for local communities.
We hope the court’s sentencing decision demonstrates the importance of companies adhering to environmental permitting rules.
In mitigation, Bradley said that he had made attempts to clear the waste but was under financial pressures due to outstanding debts.
Bradley was also ordered to pay £4,000 costs and £170 victim surcharge.