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SIX-FOLD INCREASE IN AVERAGE FINES IMPOSED BY ENVIRONMENT AGENCY
Research from law firm Clyde & Co shows the average fine per prosecution brought by the Environment Agency (EA) has increased six-fold in the past five years. EA’s data shows the average fine has risen from £23,731 in 2013/14 to £147,575 in 2017/18. Penalties can exceed £20 million for the most serious cases.
Rod Hunt of Clyde & Co, commented:
"The sentencing guideline is biting hard. The EA is more readily using enforcement undertakings for less serious offences while typically reserving prosecution for the worst offences and worst offenders.
"The message to businesses is that the EA will continue to prosecute the more serious offences and offenders so ensure you are complying with your environmental obligations or risk potentially eye-watering fines in the criminal courts."
No one can stop accidents happening. This is particularly true of construction sites, where the risk of spills of contaminants like oils, chemicals, fuels, anti-freeze and paint is high. But the fines against companies that pollute the environment are becoming more and more punitive.
Clear up costs after spills are also rising and when added to fines, an insurance claim for just a single environmental incident can soon reach hundreds of thousands of pounds. In addition, the inevitable publicity around such an incident causes companies huge reputational damage.
That's why it makes sense for the construction industry to deploy and use a product that can have a substantial effect on mitigating fines and costs.
PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT WHILE REDUCING FINES AND COSTS
SaveSorb offers the ultimate protection for the environment. A true absorbent, unlike conventional spill products which are adsorbents, SaveSorb acts fast to soak up everything from hydrocarbons and chemicals to heavy metals. Because absorption is so quick, contamination is limited. Once used, SaveSorb is non-leaching further protecting the environment. The only thing SaveSorb won’t absorb is water, which makes it uniquely effective for use in protecting waterways.
But SaveSorb isn’t only used in reaction to a spill. Placed to protect vulnerable areas, if there is a spill, damage to the environment will be minimised - as will fines and clear up costs.
SEA SERVICE OFFERS MORE PROTECTION
Our Site Environmental Awareness (SEA) initiative has representatives from Pro Earth visiting sites, helping to identify areas at risk
of contamination and providing training on
the deployment of SaveSorb environmental protection products to mitigate that risk.
While no one can prevent accidental spills happening, our aim is to ensure that
accidents don't escalate into incidents.
Pro Earth Drain Covers were put in place over gullies on an Environment Agency site at Erith on the river Thames. When a lorry's fuel tank ruptured sending up to 200 litres of diesel running towards the river, they absorbed all the fuel preventing what would have been a major environmental incident.
Without the protection offered by our Drain Covers, it's estimated the combined penalties could have been over £100,000. The drain covers cost £800.
In May 2019, Pro Earth SaveSorb products were used on a serious diesel spill in West Sussex.
An old fuel drum fractured, sending up to 9,000 litres of diesel towards ran drains and culverts feeding a nearby lake. Called after the event, we immediately deployed SaveSorb products to contain and absorb the spill to prevent any further environmental damage, before calling the local council and the EA to alert them to the incident.
The EA team who cleaned the lake said our prompt action helped to prevent a much more serious environmental incident.
Source of the spill
Loose SaveSorb absorbing the spill
Drain covers protecting the waterway
Containment Socks protecting