Severn Trent fined over £2m for ‘reckless’ air pollution of River Trent | UK | News | EUROtoday

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Severn Trent has been ordered to pay a nice of greater than £2 million for the “reckless” air pollution of the River Trent.

Huge quantities of uncooked sewage have been launched into the waterway from Strongford Wastewater Treatment Works (WTW) close to Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, between November 2019 and February 2020.

Lead investigator Adam Shipp, a senior surroundings officer on the Environment Agency, stated: “Severn Trent were fortunate that this incident did not cause a catastrophic pollution in the Trent as the river already had high flows when the discharge occurred.

“Our investigation showed that their contingency plans were woefully inadequate with a major pump being out of action for 52 days prior to the incident.

“Even though Severn Trent knew Storm Clara and Storm Dennis were about to arrive they did not think to proactively source alternative pumps and get them to site.

“When the second of the three pumps failed it made sourcing and installing a replacement pump very difficult and as a consequence the works was not properly functioning for another five days and eight hours.

“This is not the sort of response we would expect to see from a professional multi-national company and as a consequence they have now put in place on site measures to ensure that an incident like this does not happen again.”

In a case introduced by the Environment Agency at Cannock Magistrates, Stafford, District Judge Kevin Grego concluded that there was a “reckless” failure by the corporate to have in place and implement a correct system of contingency planning.

The decide fined the water agency £2,072,000.

The courtroom heard that over the course of the incident, roughly 470 million litres of uncooked sewage was discharged, round 260 million of this illegally because it was in contravention of the circumstances of the Environmental Permit.

This determine of 260 million litres is the equal to simply over 10 Olympic-sized swimming swimming pools.

Robbie Moore, the Minister for Water and Rural Growth, stated: “It is absolutely right that those who damage our natural environment pay for their actions.

“No-one should profit from illegal behaviour and that’s why last week we announced a crackdown on bonuses for water company bosses.

“Severn Trent’s fine will be put into our Water Restoration Fund, which will channel money directly back into projects that improve water quality. And through our Plan for Water we are delivering more investment, stronger regulation and tougher enforcement – ensuring those who pollute our waters are held to account.”