Environment Agency uses new powers to tackle illegal waste site
The Environment Agency has blocked access to an illegal waste site in Birmingham, using new legal powers for the first time.
The EA took the action following an investigation into TP & G Specialists Limited which revealed that the company were operating without an environmental permit and causing emissions such as dust and smoke which were affecting neighbouring properties.
Despite efforts to bring the site into compliance, including multiple visits from EA officers, the business has continued to operate illegally. The restriction order, granted by Birmingham Magistrates Court, is the first of its kind – restricting access to the site and prohibiting waste from being accepted on to the site for the next six months.
The new powers were brought in following a public consultation where 90% of respondents supported proposals for the regulator to take physical steps to curb illegal waste activity. These powers allow the EA to apply to the court for a Restriction Order to prohibit access to, and the importation of waste into, premises, or a specified part of premises.
Lyndon Essex, Environment Agency waste officer, yesterday said:
We are determined to make life tough for those who damage the environment and blight local communities. While most waste sites are responsible, the bad apples can cause huge damage along with significant costs to landowners to clear up the mess. We are working hard to ensure those who flout their responsibilities are penalised and the new Restriction Orders help us to disrupt waste crime as it happens.
Last year, the Environment Agency stopped illegal waste activity at 812 sites – more than two a day - thereby disrupting illegal operators and helping legitimate business to grow. In 2017/18 the EA made 93 successful waste crime prosecutions resulting in 17 prison sentences.
Everyone who disposes of waste has a duty of care to ensure their waste is handled correctly. Whether you are a business, local authority or householder you must make sure you know where your waste goes so it doesn’t end up in the hands of illegal operators.
Waste crime activity can be reported to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
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