UK contractor Demolition Network fined for 2009 oil spill pollution

By Lindsay Gale27 May 2011

Oil polluted 3.5 km of the Peak Forest Canal in March 2009

Oil polluted 3.5 km of the Peak Forest Canal in March 2009

Manchester, UK, based Demolition Network Ltd have been fined £15,000 (US$24,500) and ordered to pay costs of £16,635 (US$ 27,137) at Tameside Magistrates court following a prosecution brought by the UK's Environment Agency. The company was found guilty for an oil spill that caused serious pollution to the Peak Forest Canal at Hyde in March 2009.

Demolition Network was working at a site in Hyde, UK, where shortly after work commenced the company began to clear soil from the top of an oil tank that was to be removed, at which point heavy fuel oil began to leak into the nearby canal, eventually affecting a 3.5 km (2.2 mile) stretch of the waterway.

According to the Environment Agency, Demolition Network acted responsibly by contacting it to notify it of the spill and by appointing specialist contractors to clean up the resulting pollution. Nevertheless, the Agency believes the incident could have been avoided if full account of pre-demolition reports prepared for the site had been taken, and Demolition Network could have sought advice from the Agency prior to work commencing. A number of other similar incidents across the north-west of England are currently under investigation by the Agency.

As a result, the Environment Agency is urging UK demolition contractors to make sure that a full environmental assessment is carried out for any site before work starts to ensure that possible pollution or contamination is prevented.

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