The owner of a waste disposal business in Cornwall has been ordered to pay almost £80,000 in fines and costs for illegally storing and treating waste at a site near Penzance, in a case brought by the Environment Agency.
Leslie Allen, owner of Les Allen Waste Disposal Services, was sentenced at Truro Crown Court this month (10 April), after he had allegedly failed to apply for an environmental permit for the site, despite having been warned by the Agency.
Mr Allen was fined £40,000 for two offences under the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010 including, between 17 November 2014 and 6 November 2015 and 5 February 2016 for operating a regulated facility without an environmental permit.
He was also ordered to pay £14,200 costs and £25,772 under the Proceeds of Crime Act. Mr Allen was warned that failure to pay would result in a nine month prison sentence.
The site manager, Richard Shore, was also fined £4,000 for the same offences and ordered to pay £2,000 costs.
According to the Agency, Les Allen Waste Disposal Services ran a waste operation from a site in Perranuthnoe where waste from a number of sources was processed. The site was also used to store hazardous waste including asbestos, the Agency has said.
This month, Truro Crown Court heard how the defendant operated without a permit despite receiving advice and guidance from the Environment Agency and assuring officers he would apply for a permit. The business had traded for close to 18 years.
The Agency claimed that officers had recovered asbestos from a pile of waste at the site which had not been bagged or stored in secure containers as is required by law.
On 5 February 2016, the Environment Agency claimed that Mr Allen was continuing to run an illegal waste operation despite having been interviewed under caution and giving an assurance he would stop.
The business was operating a crusher and swing shovel on land near Sunnyvale Farm, Rosudgeon, Penzance, the Agency said as well as treating mixed construction and demolition waste to raise a ground level without Environment Agency authorisation, the court was told.
Commenting after the conclusion of the case, Sophie Unsworth of the Environment Agency 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.”
When contacted by letsrecycle.com Mr Allen was unavailable for comment.
Source: letsrecycle.com Waste Managment