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Coventry Pressworks Fined For Paint Spill

A Coventry firm that allowed paint effluent to pollute Canley Brook has been fined £12,500 after admitting its neglect.

Bosses at Coventry Pressworks Ltd, of Burnsall Road, Canley pleaded guilty to two charges of causing pollution at Coventry Magistrates Court.

The court heard that the Environment Agency was alerted by a member of the public in November 1998 when Canley Brook started running white in colour between Cannon Hill Road and Warwick University.

An investigation revealed that the paint was running from a drainage system at Coventry Pressworks.

The company was informed and the drainage system was blocked off. Companies that are allowed to take water from the brook downstream of the spillage, known as abstractors, were informed, but there was no long-lasting impact.

But in June 1999 another spillage occurred, this time with the water running white as it passed Hearsall Golf Club.

Again, officers from the Environment Agency traced the source of the leak to the paint separation unit at Coventry Pressworks.

The paint had been washed to the drains after a spillage, but no attempt had been made to contact the Environment Agency or seek advice about what to do.

In mitigation the company, which was also ordered to pay £1,715 costs for the offences brought under the Water Resources Act 1991, said the drainage system had been improved, and bosses were confident that it would not happen again.

Environment Protection team leader Mick Hyde said:

“Canley Brook is an important watercourse to local residents, abstractors and the agency and we will not hesitate to prosecute for negligence leading to pollution.

“The resultant fines should act as a warning to other companies in the city to ensure that chemicals and oils are used, stored and disposed of in an environmentally responsible manner.”

He added that the prompt action by members of the public in reporting the incident means that the harm of the spillages on the environment could be kept to a minimum.

Anyone who suspects environmental damage is being caused to a waterway should call the 24-hour hotline 0800 80 70 60.

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CWN / Environment / Enviroment Agency / 28 Jun 00

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This page modified on 10 November 2008 09:49:15AM