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£8,800 fine for illegal waste sites in Gloucestershire

A man has been fined £8,800 for operating two illegal waste sites in Gloucestershire.

Sam Phelps, who ran ‘XP Wood Recycling’, pleaded guilty to two charges of deliberately operating illegal waste sites, which were a risk to the environment and a nuisance to the local community. Mr. Phelps was fined £400 for each offence and ordered to pay costs of £8,000 at Cheltenham Magistrates court yesterday (7 March 2016).

While on a site visit, an Environment Agency officer found a pile of shredded waste wood estimated to be at least four times the authorised amount. The nearby Severn Estuary, a Site of Special Scientific Interest, was at risk of pollution from the water run-off from this site.

“Waste crime is a serious offence with tough penalties as it can damage the environment, blight local communities and undermine those who operate legally. This case sends out a clear message that we will not hesitate to prosecute individuals when they do not abide by the law.”

– Environment Agency
An illegal waste site at Pilning, estimated to be 2500-3000 tonnes Credit: Environment Agency

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Waste plant previously fined for safety breaches

The Environment Agency has issued a statement about Averies Recycling Plant in Swindon, where 100 tonnes of waste caught fire on Monday 21 July.

Staff have inspected Averies Waste Site on several occasions this year as part of our routine regulation of permitted waste sites. We have raised concerns about fire risks and have visited the site with the fire service. We have taken prosecution action against the site in the last year, with a £73,000 fine issued as a result.

A number of improvement conditions were placed on the site requiring changes in site infrastructure and management to meet the permit conditions.

An embankment has built along the edge of the site, this is preventing contaminated fire water entering the River Cole.

Our officers remain on the site today, advising and working with the fire service.

– Environment Agency spokesperson

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Campaign to stop waste being poured down drains

Campaign to stop waste being poured down drains Credit: ITV News West Country

Little yellow fish have been painted next to many of the drains in Teignmouth. The Environment Agency has sprayed them as part of a campaign to prevent people pouring waste down them, particularly fat.

They're storm water drains that discharge straight into the sea, so any other waste will pollute the local waters.

Call for urgent action over seabird pollution

A seabird being cleaned after getting covered in the pollutant PIB earlier this year Credit: ITV News West Country

The RSPB says urgent action is needed to prevent a repeat of the pollution that harmed thousands of seabirds in our region earlier this year.

It welcomes the news that the Maritime and Coastguard Agency is to ask the governing body, the International Maritime Organization, to reclassify the substance, PIB, making it illegal to dump it at sea.

But, if it does so, it will take time for the reclassification to become international law and the charity says something needs to be done now.

One of the birds after being treated for the pollutant Credit: ITV News West Country

Call for urgent action over seabird pollution

A seabird being cleaned after getting covered in the pollutant PIB earlier this year Credit: ITV News West Country

The RSPB says urgent action is needed to prevent a repeat of the pollution that harmed thousands of seabirds in our region earlier this year.

It welcomes the news that the Maritime and Coastguard Agency is to ask the governing body, the International Maritime Organization, to reclassify the substance, PIB, making it illegal to dump it at sea.

But, if it does so, it will take time for it to become international law and the charity says something needs to be done now.

One of the birds after being treated for the pollutant Credit: ITV News West Country

Dr Brian May praises RSPCA staff in Taunton

Dr Brian May on his trip to West Hatch Credit: ITV News West Country

Queen guitarist Brian May has praised the team cleaning sea birds found covered in a sticky sustance on beaches in Devon, Cornwall and Dorset.

He's been visiting the RSPCA's West Hatch Centre near Taunton. Dr May is the organisation's vice president. He also joined a rally protesting against the forthcoming badger cull.

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