A Cornish waste disposal business owner has been ordered to pay almost £80,000 in fines and court costs over hazardous asbestos.
He was prosecuted for storing and treating illegal waste, including asbestos, at the site near Penzance, Cornwall.
Also prosecuted was the Site Manager.
They were ordered to pay the sum of £6,000 in fines and additional costs.
It was the Environment Agency who brought the case against the waste disposal business.
The Owner, Leslie Allen, was found to be running a waste operation from the site in Perranuthnoe.
Waste from various commercial and domestic sources was being illegally processed on the site.
Hazardous waste, including asbestos, was also stored at the location.
The site owner did not have a permit for this.
This is illegal as all storage and bulking of waste requires an Environment Agency permit.
Environment Agency Officers had advised the defendant that he would require a permit for the facility and despite him promising to get one, he never did.
Suspicions were raised by the Environment Agency in 2014, and they went on to launch an investigation into the matter.
Officers suspected that Les Allen Waste Disposal Services was still operating illegally, despite him telling them he would apply for a permit.
They discovered that his waste records were inaccurate and that waste was still being processed illegally on site.
Most alarmingly, asbestos waste was found by officers at the location which hadn’t been bagged or even stored in a secure container,as is required by law.
Judge Carr, Sentencing, told Mr Allen and his Site Manager, that they had exposed themselves and others to great risk.
He added that poor record keeping meant we would never know what waste went through the site.
Environment Agency spokeswoman, Sophie Unsworth said, “Waste sites must operate within the law and always put human health and the environment above financial gain. This is especially important for sites receiving hazardous waste such as asbestos.”
“Despite being given repeated advice and guidance by the Environment Agency, the owner chose to continue to operate illegally, receiving, handling and storing waste, without a permit.”
After the court hearing at Truro Crown Court, Leslie Allen was fined £40,000 for two offences under the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010.
He also had to pay additional costs of £14,200 and £25,772 under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
If he didn’t pay these costs, he was advised that it would result in him being imprisoned for 9 months.
Richard Shore, the Site Manager, was also fined £4,000 for the same offences.
He had to pay £2,000 in additional legal costs.
Duty holders and employers have a legal responsibility to manage asbestos in their building so as not to put employees at risk. Contact our Armco office for asbestos management and refurbishment/ demolition surveys on 0161 763 3727 or by visiting https://www.armco.org.uk/
Alternatively, for all your asbestos training needs call 0161 761 4424 or visit https://www.armcoasbestostraining.co.uk/ for more information or to book a training course.