Five separate Enforcement Undertakings (EU) have been agreed with Northumbrian Water after the company accepted responsibility for environmental offences in County Durham (West Cornforth, Crook Beck and Chilton) and Marske-by-the-Sea (Longbeck – two offences).
The acceptance of an EU offer is often a direct alternative to prosecution, in cases where the environmental impact was localised, and where the Environment Agency is satisfied that the offending by Northumbrian Water Limited wasn’t intentional.
The Environment Agency expects financial contributions to go towards environmentally focussed work located in and around the geographical area where the offences occurred.
The local North East projects to receive donated sums include (in alphabetical order):
- Chilton Primary Friends: £5,000
- Durham Wildlife Trust: £145,000
- Groundwork North East: £50,000
- Industry Nature Conservation Association: £50,500
- Marine Conservation Society: £188,000
- North East Environment Network: £80,000
- Tees Rivers Trust: £253,000
- Tees Valley Wildlife Trust: £308,000
- The Tweed Forum: £15,000
- Wear Rivers Trust: £85,000
Fiona Morris, Environment Planning and Engagement Manager with the Environment Agency in the North East, said:
We feel Enforcement Undertakings are a more balanced response to dealing with these environmental offences. The outcome is beneficial to the environment relevant to where the offence took place. It will also help to change the behaviour of the company and focus on their activities. This approach achieves more than if the company in question had been convicted and fined.
In these cases Northumbrian Water Limited have taken action to rectify the situation and the environment will now benefit from some great work by local charities.
We work hard to protect people and the environment, and a clear regulatory framework with agreed standards and targets has helped to drive major environmental improvements throughout the region.
For all of the national and regional Enforcement Undertakings information including the Northumbrian Water Limited environmental offences click here
If anyone needs to report an environmental issue in their local community they can contact the Environment Agency’s incident hotline on 0800 80 70 60.