A 35-year-old man from Bradford has been ordered to pay £3,116.80 after pleading guilty to operating as an illegal waste carrier in a case heard at Nottingham Magistrates Court.
Caught in road-stop stingAndrew Clarke of Southcroft Avenue, Birkenshaw, Bradford, was stopped at a multi-agency road stop operation on the A614 at Ollerton, Nottinghamshire, on 25 May 2018. A search of his transit van revealed he was carrying waste carpet.
Environment Agency officers then carried out a check on the public register, which showed the defendant did not have the required waste carrier registration. He was given 10 days to obtain the necessary paperwork or face prosecution.
Failed to registerHowever, a subsequent systems check by Environment Agency officials in August 2018 showed the defendant had failed to register as a waste carrier in his name within the 10-day period. He had registered in the name of a partnership 20 days after the offence.
The case was heard at Nottingham Magistrates on 2 January 2019. He was fined £300 and ordered to pay costs of £2,816.80.
Penalties over £3,000The defendant, who had been fitting out a shop in Arnold, Nottingham, told officials that he was not being paid to remove the waste and that he was not aware he needed to be registered.
A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said:
This case demonstrates how seriously we take illegal waste crime. We take robust enforcement action against those who deliberately ignore the law to protect communities and the environment.
Every year, the regulator publishes its Regulating for People, the Environment and Growth (RPEG) report which sets out the regulatory performance of businesses holding environmental permits in England and the effectiveness of the EA’s regulatory approach.
The report shows that 93% of the 14,000 businesses the EA regulates demonstrated good compliance with their environmental permit conditions. Businesses which harmed the environment, however faced record penalties. A total of £25.5 million in fines were issued by the courts for environmental offences brought by the Agency compared to £8 million last year.
Waste crime continues to blight communities, cause environmental harm, and undercut legitimate business. The Environment Agency is closing more than two illegal waste sites every day but discovering a similar number of new illegal sites. The report acknowledges waste crime is becoming more organised and that more needs to be done. This will be addressed in the government’s forthcoming organised waste crime review, which has examined how the Environment Agency, partners, and the law enforcement system can best tackle the problem.
The report also highlights the increased use of Enforcement Undertakings for less serious environmental incidents. In 2017/18 there were a record £2.2 million worth of Enforcement Undertakings accepted by the Agency. By companies admitting liability and making a financial contribution to put right the harm they have caused, both the environment and communities benefit.
Other key findings include:
Harvey Bradshaw, Executive Director of the Environment Agency, said:
Our regulation is supporting a healthier environment and safer communities – serious pollution incidents fell by 18%. We closed down over 800 illegal waste sites, and the courts have imposed record levels of fines on companies for environmental offences.
We are committed to supporting businesses to innovate and grow, in return, we expect that businesses take their responsibilities to protecting the environment seriously.
Huntingdon man ran two illegal waste tyre sites in Cambridgeshire, both of which he abandoned.
On Tuesday 09 October 2018 Michael Newsome was sentenced to a total of 8 months imprisonment (4 months consecutive for each offence) suspended for 24 months. Newsome was also ordered to carry out 240 hours of unpaid work for the benefit of the community, ordered to pay a total of £12,131.90 in compensation to the landowners where he abandoned tyres and a contribution of £1,000 costs after pleading guilty to breaking the law in Peterborough and Whittlesey.
Peterborough Magistrates heard that Newsome, aged 28, of Overwater Close, Stukeley Meadows, Huntingdon, traded as Cambridgeshire Rubber Recycling Ltd and even advertised on Facebook as being licensed.
First he set up in Peterborough having registered an exemption that allowed him a limited number of tyres on site to be stored under set conditions for safety.
Mr Gurjit Bdesha, prosecuting for the Environment Agency, told the court that Newsome leased the Dickens Street site from an 82-year-old man to shred tyres, which he failed to do. Instead, he took well in excess of the number of tyres allowed under the exemption and stored them in a way that had no fire breaks.
Mr Bdesha said:
"This was especially important as the site is in the middle of a residential area with the nearest home being 13 metres away. Tyres can combust and fire can easily spread".
Despite being asked to move the tyres, Newsome made no effort to clear the site and the landlord ejected him. He later broke into a lockaway on site, damaging the door, to take back equipment belonging to him. He left behind 87 tonnes of tyres (9,050) costing the landlord £8,121.
After being evicted Newsome took on a site at Lazy Acre Farm, Whittlesey and carried on business, failing to even register an exemption.
The landlord became worried at the number of tyres on site with no equipment to process them and asked him to leave.
Mr Bdesha continued:
"The landlord was so desperate for Newsome to leave the site and clear the tyres that he was prepared to waive rent arrears of £3,500 if he removed them. The tyres were left there".
At that site Newsome abandoned 117 tonnes of tyres (14,040).
Mr Bdesha told the court that the site was listed as a High Risk Fire site as the tyres were stored within 70 metres of the mainline railway from Birmingham to Stansted Airport. If there had been a fire due to arson or self-combustion then the impact could have resulted in the closure of the railway and caused significant disruption to the national railway transport network.
He said there had been 2 failed attempts to arrest Newsome, 2 failed attempts to get him to voluntarily attend interview with Environment Agency investigators and since then no communication from him.
After the hearing Enforcement Team Leader Phil Henderson said:
"We require operators have an approved fire prevention plan in place before a permit is issued. The Environment Agency seeks to work with operators to ensure compliance with the relevant environmental regulations".
"However, as in this case, where those operators fail to take this advice we are compelled to take action, particularly in cases where the storage of waste may risk local residents or our transport infrastructure."’
Newsome pleaded guilty to:
On or before 3 November 2015 on land known as 61 Dickens Street, Peterborough, PE1 5ER, you operated a regulated facility, namely a tyre treatment and disposal facility, without being authorised by an environmental permit granted under Regulation 12 of the Environmental Permitted (England and Wales) Regulations 2010. Contrary to Regulation 12 and 38(1)(a) Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010.
Between 1 December 2015 and 31 December 2016 on land known as Lazy Acre Farm, Whittlesey, Peterborough PE7 1GR, you operated a regulated facility, namely a tyre treatment and disposal facility, without being authorised by an environmental permit granted under Regulation 12 of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010. Contrary to Regulation 12 and 38(1)(a) Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010.
Two Barnsley men have been handed suspended prison sentences and ordered to pay back cash after an Environment Agency investigation.
Two men have been handed a suspended prison sentence and ordered to pay back hundreds of thousands of pounds of money they illegally earned after a proceeds of crime hearing at Sheffield Crown Court on Tuesday 9 October.
Andrew Lawrence Green, 54, from Shafton, Barnsley, and Dean Ryder, 54, of Top Fold, Doncaster, were also given a Community Order with an unpaid work requirement of 200 hours following their conviction for three separate offences at Barnsley Magistrates’ Court in December 2014 which were upheld after an appeal hearing at Sheffield Crown Court in March 2016.
The defendants were back at Sheffield Crown Court again on Tuesday 9 October, in a case brought by the Environment Agency under the Proceeds of Crime Act, following a financial investigation into the lawful costs they avoided from their crimes.
It followed a multi-day trial in the Magistrates’ Court which concluded in December 2016, a two day Crown Court appeal which concluded in March 2016, a Judicial Review hearing which took place in December 2016 and confiscation proceedings that took place in 2017 which concluded on Tuesday.
During the Magistrates trial and Crown Court appeal, the court heard how Green and Ryder’s company, Grantscope Ltd, which went into liquidation on 12 September 2012, failed to comply with a Regulation 36 enforcement notice served by the Environment Agency in February 2012 after the illegal deposit of waste outside of its Goodwin’s Yard site in Barnsley.
Continued to operate in contravention of law
The company’s environmental permit, which is a necessary requirement for the operation of a waste facility and sets out the conditions by which a company must comply in order to protect health and the environment, was subsequently revoked, effectively ending its ability to operate at the site. Despite this, the defendants, who jointly owned Goodwin’s Yard, continued waste operations in contravention of the law including processing waste into trommel fines which were then bagged up to be sold as topsoil.
The court also heard that the defendants accumulated a waste pile of nearly 13,000 tonnes before abandoning the waste.
Prior to the proceeds of crime case, the defendants were found guilty of the separate offences of depositing waste outside a permitted area in December 2011; operating a regulated facility without a permit between 20 November 2012 and May 2013; and failing to comply with steps 2-7 of a regulation 36 notice dated 7 February 2012.
Mr Recorder Preston remarked whilst sentencing that the he found the offending was, “Deliberate, flagrant and persistent by you both” and that he only suspended the sentence given the length of the proceedings, their ages and for the sake of their families.
Green and Ryder’s criminal benefit from operating a regulated facility without a permit was found to be £276,000 in equal share. Ryder has sufficient assets so must repay £138,002 within three months or face a default prison sentence. Green has assets less than that figure, but must repay £121,422.72 within three months or face a default prison sentence.
Mitigating for Mr Ryder Ms Penchon said: “The age of the offending should be borne in mind. This waste was dumped on a waste transfer site. There has been no environmental harm.” She explained the court process had taken its toll on Mr Ryder.
Mitigating for Mr Green, Mr Copeland explained that skips containing waste had only been deposited unlawfully after a fire at the site. The cause of the fire was arson. There had also been no environmental harm.
Waste crime does not pay
The Environment Agency’s Caron Osborne said:
"Between them, Green and Ryder have been ordered to pay more than £250,000, which is a significant confiscation order that sends out a clear message to others who flout the law that waste crime does not pay".
"Not only do we use environmental law to prosecute those who abuse the environment but we also use the Proceeds of Crime legislation to ensure that criminals are deprived of the benefits of their illegal activity."
"Waste crime undermines legitimate businesses and can have significant detrimental impacts on communities and the environment. In this case, the two men abandoned around 13,000 tonnes of waste material".
"This hearing demonstrates how seriously we take waste crime and we’ll continue to take action against those operating outside of the law and the regulations".
Legislation to deliver a cleaner and healthier environment for future generations after nearly half a century under EU rules is being introduced into Parliament today (12 September).
The Agriculture Bill sets out how farmers and land managers will in future be paid for “public goods”, such as better air and water quality, improved soil health, higher animal welfare standards, public access to the countryside and measures to reduce flooding.
This will replace the current subsidy system of Direct Payments, which is ineffective and pays farmers based on the total amount of land farmed. These payments are skewed towards the largest landowners and are not linked to any specific public benefits. The top 10% of recipients currently receive almost 50% of total payments, while the bottom 20% receive just 2%.
In its place, a new Environmental Land Management system will start from next year. The government will work together with farmers to design, develop and trial the new approach. Under the new system, farmers and land managers who provide the greatest environmental benefits will secure the largest rewards, laying the foundations for a Green Brexit.
The Bill will also be underpinned by measures to increase productivity and invest in (R&D).
For example, there will be funding available for farmers to come together to develop and get the research projects that they want and need, whether that be on soil health or sustainable livestock farming . This will lead to practical gains for farmers that help them become more profitable and reduce their environmental footprint.
The government will also be able to make payments during the seven year transition period for famers to invest in new technologies and methods that boost productivity.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove said:
The introduction of the Agriculture Bill is an historic moment as we leave the EU and move towards a brighter future for farming.
After nearly 50 years of being tied to burdensome and outdated EU rules, we have an opportunity to deliver a Green Brexit.
This Bill will allow us to reward farmers who protect our environment, leaving the countryside in a cleaner, greener and healthier state for future generations.
Critically, we will also provide the smooth and gradual transition that farmers and land managers need to plan ahead.
Farmers will be supported over a seven year transition period as we as leave the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
For 2019, Direct Payments will be made on the same basis as now, subject to simplifications where possible. Direct Payments for 2020 will also be made in much the same way as now. Simplifications will be made as soon as possible, subject to the terms of the overall Brexit implementation period. There will then be an agricultural transition period in England between 2021 and 2027 as payments are gradually phased out.
During consultation, there was a widespread support for applying reductions to Direct Payments more widely. All farmers will therefore see some reduction to their payments from the start of the transition, although those who receive the highest payments will see bigger reductions initially. This will free up funds to invest in public goods.
To help new entrants get into the sector and give farmers flexibility to plan for the future, Direct Payments during the agricultural transition period up until 2027 will be “delinked” from the requirement to farm the land.
These payments, which may be calculated according to money received in previous years, can be used by farmers to invest in their business, diversify their activities or else retire from farming and give way for new people to enter.
The Bill also sets out how the government will strengthen transparency in the supply chain to help farmers get a better deal in the marketplace.
By collecting data from across the supply chain, the government will help food producers strengthen their negotiating position at the farm gate and seek a fairer return.
The introduction of the Agriculture Bill now means that all the necessary measures will be in place for the start of the agricultural transition in 2021, delivering a smooth transition to the new domestic policy.
The corac team
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