A Shropshire farmer has been fined £800 and ordered to pay £6,000 costs after he admitted illegally burying waste dust on his land near Market Drayton.
Keith Wilson, age 43, of Old Springs Farm, Market Drayton, received the sentence at Telford Magistrates’ Court on Thursday 12 December 2019.
Officers from the Environment Agency brought the case following reports a large pit had been dug and filled with around 2500m3 of waste dust produced in the making of animal bedding.
The court was told that the defendant had no environmental permit and that the pit had been filled without having regard to the impact on the environment.
In addition, the area is designated as a Nitrogen Vulnerable Zone (NVZ) indicating that the local environment is particularly vulnerable to excessive organic deposits.
Farmers whose land is in a NVZ area must plan the management of organic materials and wastes carefully to avoid pollution. Nitrates in groundwater can affect the safety of drinking water and cause pollution to rivers.
A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said:
Had the dust been left to decompose in the pit, it had the potential to have a negative impact on the localised groundwater.
Pollution was only avoided due to the intervention of the Environment Agency as it was the intention of the site to bury it and leave it.
This kind of waste dumping is unacceptable and this case shows we are determined to bring offenders to justice.
If anyone is concerned about environmental incidents they should call our 24/7 hotline on 0800 80 70 60.
On 13 November 2019 Keith Wilson pleaded guilty to a single charge under Regulations 12 (1) (a) and 38 (1) (a) of the Environmental Permitting (England & Wales) Regulations 2016.
Keith Wilson, between 30 April 2017 and 23 May 2016, on land at Old Springs Farm, Market Drayton, operated a regulated facility, namely a waste operation involving the burial of waste, when there was not in force an environmental permit authorising such activity.