A total of six defendants were convicted yesterday of participating in the unlawful dumping of waste on land at Cinetic Quarry, near Wildmoor in Worcestershire, UK.
The prosecutions followed a two year investigation by the Environment Agency, during which the defendants were said to have ignored repeated warnings that their activities on Cinetic Quarry were unlawful and posed a significant risk to the environment.
The agency explained that Steven Broadley, Stephen Butler and the company they owned and directed - Broadley and Parton Limited – had operated the site beyond the terms of its permit.
In particular industrial and municipal waste was said to have been found buried in areas of the quarry, leading to a financial gain for the defendants over 2011-12, contrary to the Environmental Permitting Regulations.
The defendants pleaded guilty before their trial and were fined a total of £18,750 and ordered to pay £30,250 costs.
Also sentenced was Steven Bragg who had been employed on the site and pleaded guilty to operating the site beyond the extent of the environmental permit.
His Honour Judge Pearce Higgins QC noted that it was clear to him that the site had been operated in a haphazard and irregular way.
In total 6 defendants were convicted of participating in the unlawful deposit of waste at Cinetic Quarry, including company directors and site managers, in what the Environment Agency said had been a particularly complex prosecution.
In mitigation both directors said the financial gains made by the unlawful waste operation had been overestimated and the actual environmental risk had been very low.
Both were said to be of good character and both denied any knowledge of waste having been buried. They also denied that they had made any substantial financial benefit and the judge accepted this in sentencing.
It was also noted that Steven Bragg had pleaded guilty at the very first possible opportunity and was of previous clean character.
Two other defendants, Brian Williams and John Chamberlain are yet to be sentenced.
Speaking after the case, an Environment Agency officer in charge of the investigation commented:
“This site posed a risk to the environment and had the potential to harm human health because it did not have the correct infrastructure in place to support the waste being disposed of there.
“All of the defendants have significant experience in the waste industry so they would have been fully aware of their obligations to comply with environmental permitting rules which help ensure the environment remains protected.
“Each defendant was given warnings by the Environment Agency that the operation at Cinetic Quarry was unlawful, but these warnings were ignored. This is unacceptable; we take waste crime extremely seriously and will not hesitate to prosecute in cases such as this.”
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