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Regular member
Oct 8, 2001
[:(!]taken from which magazine this month -
Thames water was recently convicted of polluting a river with sewage waste and killing several hundred fish ,including some expensive species in the nearby gardens of a country estate in Hampshire.

Thames's incompetence was described as "exceptional" by Aldershot magistrates.but sadly,this incident seems a mere drop to add to the cesspit of offences recently aired by the environment agency.

it says last year saw a rise in the number of serious pollution offences , behind which was often management failure.

the watchdog revealed England and Wales worst polluters of 2001 in its annual roundup published in July.the top ten- those convicted of the most offences last year- included THREE water companies, with united utilities water ltd joint worst.

the water giants 12 offences included ignoring one alarm and allowing sewage to leak into Morecambe bay estuary for days,and unplugging another alarm which was then out of action while raw sewage flowed into a brook. it was also found to have delayed acting over a raw sewage leak into shap beck, a stream in Cumbria.

its no wonder companies are slow to act over pollution problems.fines for these offences are often low.it seems little has changed and courts are still letting offenders off lightly.

in July ,environment agency chief baroness young said "the average level of fines is too low- we repeat our call for fines to match the crimes. more firms were prosecuted by the environment agency in 2001 than in previous years.the amount of fines levied in 2001, however was down on the previous year ,totalling 2.7 million compared with 3.1 million in 2000, and dropping the average fine in 2001 to just 6,410."

g walker and son waste disposal ltd were convicted of 12 offences yet the fines totalled only 18,500.

where is the detterent there ?

i'll have a fiver on the brown one
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