River Irk Pollution - Icebergs of Foam

Its been a while coming but the EA have finally got their man so to speak. Hopefully McBrides who have had a long history as polluters of the Irk will get the message at long last.
Some of you may think that the fine is small when compared to the £capitalisation of the company which is over £250mil but i guess a really big fine might persuade them to upsticks and move elsewhere, destroying jobs etc.

Here is the EAs press release on the matter.

The Environment Agency has been successful in prosecuting a company who were responsible for foam icebergs to form along the River Irk near Manchester.

The Environment Agency has been successful in prosecuting Robert McBride Ltd for a pollution incident that caused a large amount of foam to be seen on a five mile stretch of the River Irk in April 2009.

Robert McBride Limited pleaded guiltyunder the Water Resources Act 1991 to causing polluting matter to enter the River Irk. The company has been ordered to pay a fine of 6,600GBP and costs of 4,822.64GBP.

On 14 April 2009 the Environment Agency received over thirty reports of foam on the River Irk from members of the public. Environment Officers attended the scene and traced the pollution to a hole in the retaining wall of Robert McBride Ltd’s site, where a brown discharge was entering the river and causing large amount of white foam to cover the river downstream. Officers visited the site and requested the company take action to stop the pollution entering the river.

Officers took samples of the discharge and an ecological survey showed there was chemical pollution which had a negative impact on the invertebrates for up to three miles downstream. Officers also saw dead fish. The discharge was identified as bleach which is toxic to aquatic life.

In mitigation, Robert McBride Ltd indicated its guilty plea at the earliest opportunity and cooperated with the Environment Agency. In addition, nearly 70,000GBP has been spent by the company stopping the pollution, investigating the cause and improving infrastructure on site.

Gordon Whitaker, Environment Manager for the Environment Agency said,

“We have worked with Robert McBride Ltd to ensure that the necessary action was taken to prevent any future pollution. Hopefully this prosecution will remind Robert McBride Ltd and other companies how important it is to protect the environment from pollution through preventative measures”