Heavy fine for illegal landfill site

By Lindsay Gale31 March 2009

According to the Environment Agency, a north of England landfill operator has been heavily fined by magistrates at Chester Magistrates Court on 27th March 2009 for allowing thousands of tonnes of controlled waste to be dumped at a landfill site in Oakmere, UK. The operator, ATA (Oakmere) LLP was fined the maximum amount allowed to the magistrates, £50,000 (US$71,000), and was in addition ordered to pay costs totalling £18,372.92 (US$ 26,089.1).

ATA is appealing the verdict. ATA says that it made application for a 19A Exemption, which was rejected by the Environment Agency It said in a statement: "Upon the advice of the Agency, ATA (Oakmere) commenced operations on the basis of the WRAP Protocol on 1st March 2007 and were visited by an Environment Agency officer on the 5th March 2007; clearance was given to continue operations by this officer. To date no enforcement or stop notices have been issued by either Cheshire Minerals/Waste officers or the Environment Agency, although the site has been clearly operating under WRAP for over two years."

The statement went on to say that no contaminated or hazardous wastes have been deposited at the sites and less than 180,000 cubic metres of clean inert clays and subsoils have been laid in engineered layers under the supervision of independent geotechnical engineers, and that a full ongoing testing programme, including groundwater anaylsis, has been undertake by independent parties.

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