A farmer has been ordered to pay almost £7,000 after illegally burying waste dust on his land.
Keith Wilson, 43, of Old Springs Farm, Market Drayton, Shropshire, admitted operating an illegal waste operation at the farm.
Officers from the Environment Agency brought the case following reports a large pit had been dug and filled with around 2,500 cu m of waste dust produced in the making of animal bedding.
If the dust had been left to decompose in the pit, it could have caused pollution to rivers, risking the safety of drinking water, Telford Magistrates’ Court heard.
The court was told that the defendant had no environmental permit and that the pit had been filled without having regard to the impact on the environment.
In addition, the area is designated as a nitrogen vulnerable zone (NVZ), indicating that the local environment is particularly vulnerable to excessive organic deposits.
Wilson appeared at Telford Magistrates Court on Thursday 12 December after he previously pleaded guilty to one charge of breaching the requirements of an environmental permit between April and May 2016.
Magistrates fined him £800 and a victim surcharge of £85. He was also ordered to pay costs of £6,000.
Risk to drinking water
An Environment Agency spokesperson said: “Had the dust been left to decompose in the pit, it had the potential to have a negative impact on the localised groundwater.
“Pollution was only avoided due to the intervention of the Environment Agency, as it was the intention of the site to bury it and leave it.
“This kind of waste dumping is unacceptable and this case shows we are determined to bring offenders to justice.”
Anyone concerned about environmental incidents should call the Environment Agency’s 24/7 hotline on 0800 80 70 60.