OUTWELL: Former councillor ordered to pay £30,000 for dumping waste
A FORMER parish councillor has been ordered to pay out £30,000 and carry out 240 hours of unpaid work for dumping liquid waste in fields in Outwell. MAT Waste Disposal Ltd and its sole owner and director Trevor Sieley were fined £20,000 and ordered to pa
A FORMER parish councillor has been ordered to pay out £30,000 and carry out 240 hours of unpaid work for dumping liquid waste in fields in Outwell.
MAT Waste Disposal Ltd and its sole owner and director Trevor Sieley were fined £20,000 and ordered to pay £10,000 at Cambridge Crown Court today.
Sieley admitted breaching the Environmental Protection Act and the Water Resources Act.
He had dumped liquid waste from vegetable processing and polluted watercourses.
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Sieley was also ordered to carry out 30 days 'specified activity requirement.'
Sentencing Sieley and his company Judge Howarth told him: "This was a blatant commercially-inspired breach. The offence was committed because of the defendant's greed."
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The company, which has its offices at Langhorns Lane, Outwell, collects and disposes of liquid waste but does not have either an exemption or an authorisation from the Environment Agency to carry out spreading on land at either Langhorns Lane or Town Drove. But it spread waste at both sites.
Sieley had moved part of the company's operation to lagoons at Town Drove after receiving a warning letter from the Agency in 2005 for illegally spreading waste at a site in Walsingham Fen, Outwell.
A biologist surveying the watercourse reported that the impact on the affected watercourses and the ecosystems within them was serious, effectively leading to 100 per cent mortality in the watercourse at Langhorns Lane.
The Environment Agency was alerted by concerned members of the public.
One man, Eddie Carlile, found dead fish in his natural-filling pond at Garden Tree Nursery.
Others reported smells and slimy grey water or jet black water.
MAT Waste Disposal collected waste water from vegetable processing companies around the area.
At Langhorns Lane the company stored it in a tank and then spread it on a field behind the offices.
Sieley told investigating officers that solids settled at the bottom of the tank while the waste was stored and the liquid was then allowed to run off onto the fields through a series of furrows.
He admitted that he had also collected waste from the septic tanks of family members to put into the mix at Langhorns Way.
Sieley said he had moved his operation from Walsingham Fen to Town Drove in 2005 and admitted that waste collected by the company had also been taken to Town Drove since January 2007. It was stored there in lagoons.
One of his vehicles was seen by Environment Agency officers carrying out surveillance leaving Langhorns Lane, collecting waste from a beetroot company and discharging a bright purple liquid containing parts of and whole small beetroot at Town Drove.
The field was thinly covered with liquid ranging from a light brown to a dark green and had a sewage odour.
There was a significant amount of solid vegetable and fruit waste and plastic waste within the liquid such as cartons and other packaging material.
Sieley told investigators that he and the company had not intentionally caused pollution at both sites and had tried to stop it by putting down straw bales.
In addition a trench was dug in the field at Langhorns Lane to catch the liquid and prevent it getting into the land drains and watercourse.
He said he thought it was alright to carry on his business until he had an exemption from the Agency but an application for an exemption for Town Drove was subsequently refused on the basis that chemical analysis of the waste to be spread had not been provided to support the claim of agricultural benefit.
After the hearing Environment Agency investigating officer Anna Pearce said: "Disposal of industrial effluent onto land has become more popular over recent years but as demonstrated by this incident, this type of waste can be very polluting if not dealt with correctly.
"Mr Sieley had a complete disregard for how his activities could cause pollution to the environment or how it caused almost intolerable smells, blighting the lives of local residents.