The Environment Agency has fined King’s Lynn based DEM Ltd £23k for storing and spreading "excessive" amounts of vegetable washings on a farm in Outwell, Norfolk.
The EA fined both the waste site operator and the landowner Trevor William Sieley for the resulting agricultural runoff and river pollution event.
DEM had been operating under an EA exemption to spread vegetable washings onto land at Poplar Farm in order to improve soil quality. But subsequent investigations found that exemption did not cover the level of operation. As a result there was no environmental permit setting out how to protect the environment. In April 2015 Nordelph Internal Drainage Board alerted the EA of DEM's slurry pit which was polluting nearby watercourses.
According to the EA, the operations by DEM were illegal and despite being warned, the firm and landowner proceeded with its "reckless" activities. Sieley, who has been fined for previous offences in the past, was fined £1,920 and ordered to pay costs of £10,041 as well as a victim surcharge of £170.
Environment Agency team leader Chris Tate said: "This company was not complying with the agricultural exemption and was also taking waste illegally from other businesses."
"By not having the right environmental permit, illegal waste activities pose a threat to human health and the environment by contaminating land and polluting rivers. Anyone who produces, carries, keeps, treats or disposes of waste has a duty of care to make sure it is managed correctly."