Potato company Albert Bartlett and Sons has agreed to donate £14,000 to the Norfolk Rivers Trust after being charged by the Environment Agency (EA) under the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2010, with polluting the Smallburgh Stream near its factory at Worstead in Norfolk in September 2019.
The company was also ordered to pay costs, including those incurred by the EA, as part of the enforcement undertaking.
The incident occurred when a lack of monitoring led to the sludge being pumped away and entering a network of tanks before entering the river. The EA said it recognised that the discharge had been the result of negligence rather than dangerous or foolhardy behaviour, and that the company has since invested in preventing a recurrence of the incident.
Environment Agency environment officer Stephen Grice, commented, “It is important that all companies take action to avoid polluting the environment through careful consideration of their processes and procedures, and the monitoring of their operations. In this case, Albert Bartlett & Sons fully cooperated with the investigation and gave frank and helpful information to the investigators.
“Enforcement undertakings allow companies and individuals to make amends for breaching environmental regulations, including through a financial contribution to an environmental project. To agree this type of civil sanction, the Environment Agency must be satisfied the offender will make changes to its operations, to prevent future breaches of permitting legislation.”